“I will tell you, Your Majesty, and all here, what is in this tent.
There are two serpents, one white and one red. Unfold the tent.”
With such a leader, no soldier was afraid, nor did a single person in
the crowd draw back? Two stalwart fellows stepped forward to open the
But now, a few of the men and many of the women shrank back while
those that had babies, or little folks, snatched up their children,
fearing lest the poisonous snakes might wriggle towards them.
The two serpents were coiled up and asleep, but they soon showed signs
of waking, and their fiery, lidless eyes glared at the people.
“Now, Your Majesty, and all here, be you the witnesses of what will
happen. Let the King and wise men look in the tent.”
At this moment, the serpents stretched themselves out at full length,
while all fell back, giving them a wide circle to struggle in.
Then they reared their heads. With their glittering eyes flashing
fire, they began to struggle with each other. The white one rose up
first, threw the red one into the middle of the arena, and then
pursued him to the edge of the round space.
Three times did the white serpent gain the victory over the red one.
But while the white serpent seemed to be gloating over the other for a
final onset, the red one, gathering strength, erected its head and
struck at the other.
The struggle went on for several minutes, but in the end the red
serpent overcame the white, driving it first out of the circle, then
from the tent, and into the pool, where it disappeared, while the
victorious red one moved into the tent again.
When the tent flap was opened for all to see, nothing was visible
except a red dragon; for the victorious serpent had turned into this
great creature which combined in one new form the body and the powers
of bird, beast, reptile and fish. It had wings to fly, the strongest
animal strength, and could crawl, swim, and live in either water or
air, or on the earth. In its body was the sum total of all life.
Then, in the presence of all the assembly, the youth turned to the
wise men to explain the meaning of what had happened. But not a word
did they speak. In fact, their faces were full of shame before the
“Now, Your Majesty, let me reveal to you the meaning of this mystery.”
“Speak on,” said the King, gratefully.
“This pool is the emblem of the world, and the tent is that of your
kingdom. The two serpents are two dragons. The white serpent is the
dragon of the Saxons, who now occupy several of the provinces and
districts of Britain and from sea to sea. But when they invade our
soil our people will finally drive them back and hold fast forever
their beloved Cymric land. But you must choose another site, on which
to erect your castle.”
After this, whenever a castle was to be built no more human victims
were doomed to death. All the twelve men, who had wanted to keep up
the old cruel custom, were treated as deceivers of the people. By the
King’s orders, they were all put to death and buried before all the
To-day, like so many who keep alive old and worn-out notions by means
of deception and falsehood, these men are remembered only by the
Twelve Mounds, which rise on the surface of the field hard by.
As for the boy, he became a great magician, or, as we in our age would
call him, a man of science and wisdom, named Merlin. He lived long on
the mountain, but when he went away with a friend, he placed all his
treasures in a golden cauldron and hid them in a cave. He rolled a
great stone over its mouth. Then with sod and earth he covered it all
over so as to hide it from view. His purpose was to leave this his
wealth for a leader, who, in some future generation, would use it for
the benefit of his country, when most needed.
This special person will be a youth with yellow hair and blue eyes.
When he comes to Denas, a bell will ring to invite him into the cave.
The moment his foot is over the place, the stone of entrance will open
of its own accord. Anyone else will be considered an intruder and it
will not be possible for him to carry away the treasure.