Book of Legends - Horace Scudder

The Dog Gellert

In the mountains of Wales there lived a prince named Llewellyn. He had a fine castle, but the most precious thing in his castle was his little child. All the servants were devoted to the child, but his most constant friend, playmate, and guardian was the great dog Gellert. He was a powerful hound, and he needed to be, for there were wolves and other wild beasts in the forest about the castle.

Llewellyn had perfect confidence in the dog Gellert, and one day when he went out hunting he told Gellert to stay at home and take care of his little master. So Gellert lay down by the side of the cradle and stretched his great paws out, as if to say: "No one shall come near my little master."

The afternoon went by, the hunt was over, and Llewellyn drew near his castle. He sounded his horn, and threw himself from his horse at the door. Gellert came bounding out, but to his horror Llewellyn saw that his mouth was dripping with blood, and there were marks of blood all about.

"O faithless hound!" he cried. "Is this the way you guard your little master?" And he drew his sword and with one blow laid the hound dead at his feet. Then he rushed into the house. Everything was in confusion. The cradle was empty, and the clothes were thrown about.

He stood still, ready to faint, when he heard a little sound. Perhaps his son still lived. He went to the cradle, and there on the floor behind it was his little boy, laughing, and pulling the hair of a great shaggy wolf that lay stretched out dead beside him.

Then the whole story was clear to him. The wolf had come in through the open door, had stolen toward the cradle, when Gellert had sprung upon the wolf, had fought with him and slain him.

O happy father! O unhappy prince! To have his child back again, and to have slain that child's faithful guardian! He could not bring the hound back to life, but he dug his grave and built above it a beautiful monument, and the place is called Beth Gellert to this day.