Long long ago there lived a gigantic water monster called the Afanc. The Afanc lived in Llyn-yr-Afanc in the River Conwy. He was extremely strong and particularly bad tempered

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The Afanc
Long long ago there lived a gigantic water monster called the Afanc. The Afanc lived in Llyn-yr-Afanc in the River Conwy. He was extremely strong and particularly bad tempered. His eyes were green black and his hide was a tough as armour. When in a bad mood he would break the banks of the river causing the water to flow over and flood parts of the Vale of Conwy. Homes would be destroyed, crops were ruined and the people were miserable. The villagers decided that something must be done to stop the Afanc.
The village men got together and plotted to kill the Afanc. They gathered all of their weapons: swords, spears, bows and arrows. Every man was armed. In the dead of night they crept through the wood towards the lake. The villagers could hear the Afanc resting, his breath coming in long, slow pants. Their hearts began to pound, they didn’t want the Afanc to hear them coming. The wood was dark and the path criss-crossed by trees. Trees which, in the darkness, looked like strange creatures. Shrivelled, dead leaves crunched underfoot. Strange sounds drifted towards them carried by the wind. At last they arrived at the lake and began hurling the weapons at the Afanc. The men were keen marksmen and each weapon hit its target. However, none of the weapons seemed able to pierce the skin of the Afanc. His hide seemed impenetrable; no man-made weapon could puncture it. The Afanc awoke; he looked at the villagers and roared. The ground shook, trees bent, the men ran and ran back to their village.

The village leaders resolved to entice the Afanc from his home and move him to a lake far away beyond the mountains, where he could cause no further trouble. The best blacksmith in all of Wales was called upon to forge strong iron chains. Hu Gardan and his two long-horned oxen, the strongest oxen in all of Wales, were summoned to the village of Betws-y-Coed. There was one problem left. How could the villagers tempt the Afanc from his lake in order to bind him with the chains and hitch him to the oxen? One wise old man remembered how the Afanc adored beautiful young women. All the maidens in the village were gathered together and told of the plan. The daughter of a local farmer was willing and brave enough to aid the men with their plan.

The girl approached the lake, Hu Gardan, his oxen and the village men hid in the wood near to the lake. Standing on the shore she softly called the Afanc; the waters began to heave and churn, and through it appeared the huge head of the monster. The girl stood bravely and as the Afanc slowly crawled nearer and nearer she began to sing a gentle Welsh lullaby. The song calmed the monster and he lay down beside the maiden and slept. In a flash the village men appeared and bound the monster using the forged iron chains. The monster began to stir; the men quickly hitched the monster to the oxen. The Afanc awoke and was furious to discover that he had been tricked. He gave out an almighty roar and slid back into the lake. The oxen stood firm and began to pull the Afanc from the waters.

Hu Gardan, the village men and the oxen used all of their strength to drag the creature up the Lledr Valley to Llyn Ffynnon Las, close to the summit of Snowdon. There the chains on the Afanc were loosened, and with a roar, the monster leapt straight in to the deep blue water that was to become his new home. Encased within the sturdy rock banks of the lake he remains trapped forever.

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