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  1. The Beautiful Milk Cow
  2. The Brothers

The Beautiful Milk Cow

Long ago a beautiful cow used to graze on a hill close to the farm Cefn Bannog. Whenever anyone in the neighbourhood was in want of milk they went to this cow, and however big their pails were, they always left the cow with the pail filled with rich milk. It made no difference how often she was milked, she gave milk to everybody and was never milked dry so long as everyone who came only took one pailful. Then there was always enough for all.

This went on for a long time, and the people were glad to avail themselves of the inexhaustible supply of new milk, freely given to them all. But finally a wicked hag determined to milk the cow dry. She took a riddle with her, and milked and milked the cow tilll at last she could get no more milk from her.

Afterwards the cow was never more seen near the farm. She went to a lake four miles off, bellowing as she went, calling for her two two long-horned calfs to accompany her. The oxen were so big and heavy that marks of their hoofs were left in the rocks. When the three of them came to the Lake of the Two Oxen, the mother cow and the two long-horned oxen entered the lake, bellowing horribly. They all disappeared in its waters, and were not seen afterwards.


The Brothers

Liebenstein and Sterrenberg, two castles not far from each other, once belonged to a nobleman who had as his ward a lovely young lady. He had also two sons. The elder was heir to Liebenstein, while the younger was destined to inherit Sterrenberg. These brothers were fast friends, but they both fell in love with the same woman - their father's ward. The elder of the young men was magnanimous and convinced that the lady favoured his brother's advances more than his. So he left it to his younger brother to woo and win her.

In due course it was announced that the younger brother and she were engaged to be married. But as the date fixed for their nuptials drew near, the young knight of Sterrenberg was infected with a desire to join a crusade, and despite the entreaties of his fiancée and his father he mustered a troop of men-at-arms and set off for Palestine.

Year after year went by, and no one heard of him. His friends and relations began to lose hope of ever seeing him again. The elder brother strove not to take advantage of the situation, and treated the lovely lady simply as a beloved sister. But one day the rover came back with a wife. While abroad he had fallen from his vows and taken to himself a Grecian wife.

The older brother was incensed on hearing the news, and sent his brother a fierce challenge to meet him in single combat. But scarcely had they met and drawn swords before the injured lady intervened. She reminded the young men that they were brothers and implored them to desist from bloodshed and had them reconciled.

Then, having averted their duel, she entered a neighbouring convent, and thus shattered the rekindled hopes of the elder brother. But he was not the only sufferer, for a scandalous rumour had it that the Grecian wife was unfaithful to his brother, who at last was forced to banish her altogether.

And so the two knights lived on, each in his wind-swept castle - for their father was now dead - brooding often on the events that had formed their lives. The elder never married, and the younger did not feel for doing it a second time.

They never entered court or town,
Nor looked on woman's face;
But childless to the grave went down.

Still on the mountain
Are seen two castles grey,
Who slowly sink to decay.


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