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2006-7-14 22:49 柯平葛竞 

  Beddgelert (Wales)Long ago in the highlands of North Wales there lived a large black hunting dog called Beddgelert. Beddgelert lived with his master in a cottage by a river at the edge of a small town. The town was situated in a beautiful valley, surrounded by woods and rugged mountains. Everyday Beddgelert and his master would go into the forest or up into the mountains to hunt for game. Every evening they would return home laden with a wild deer, or a wild boar, or very often with rabbits, hares, pheasants or grouse.

  People marveled not only at their success as hunters but also at the unique friendship that existed between Beddgelert and his master. Without question, a strong bond existed between the two friends. Beddgelert was a fierce and aggressive hunter with powerful limbs and strong teeth sharp enough to tear away the flesh of any creature. Nevertheless, he showed great affection and devotion to his master. In fact, Beddgelert would follow his master's every move. When his master sat, he sat, and when his master walked, he walked. The two friends were inseparable.

  As time passed, Beddgelert's master fell in love and married a beautiful girl. Unfortunately, a year later, while giving birth to a baby boy, the mistress died leaving her husband in great sorrow. However, despite the tragic circumstances of his birth, the beautiful baby boy brought great happiness to the lives of Beddgelert and his master.

  One day, news spread throughout the little town of the appearance of a hungry wolf on the prowl in the area. Sheep had been found slaughtered in the fields and the people were afraid. Beddgelert's master was worried about the safety of his young son, so when he set out to go hunting he ordered the dog to stay at home to protect the child. Each day the child played happily in his cot while Beddgelert guarded the door of the cottage, carefully watching for the wolf. Then one warm summer's afternoon, the wolf finally came. As the child lay sleeping in his cot, the wolf leapt in through the window; his eyes fixed firmly upon the boy. Quick as a flash Beddgelert jumped up and lunged forward, placing himself between the wolf and the young child. The two animals fought, relentlessly tearing at each other's flesh. The wolf was determined to get to the child while Beddgelert was determined to prevent it from doing so. After a long and bitter fight the wolf retreated, wearily limping away and licking his wounds while Beddgelert lay exhausted upon the child’s cot. He was seriously wounded and very weak.

  When the master returned home, the young child was sleeping soundly. Beddgelert, however, was barely alive. Nonetheless, he found the strength to wag his tail and to raise his head from the bed to greet his master. Seeing blood splattered about the room, in the cot and around the dog's mouth, the master was convinced that Beddgelert, perhaps in a fit of jealousy, had killed his son.

  The master cried out, “Beddgelert, my faithful friend, how could you betray me like this?” He was so distraught that he immediately raised his rifle and shot Beddgelert dead. Then the master stumbled out of the door of the cottage and fell to his knees, weeping helplessly. Suddenly, he heard the tiny sobs of his son. The master leapt to his feet and rushed back into the cottage amazed to find his son alive and well, indeed without even the smallest scratch on his body.

  The master suddenly realized his terrible mistake. All too late, he realized that the blood he saw was that of the wolf and his devoted dog, Beddgelert. Filled with remorse, he carried Beddgelert to the oak tree in the garden and buried him. The remains of Beddgelert lie there to this very day. The story of his loyalty and bravery is written for all to read on a beautiful headstone erected in his honor. Beddgelert was laid to rest in the shade of a large oak tree, situated by a babbling river, on the edge of the town which is now called Beddgelert.