The legend of Owen and King Arthur

 

This legend tells the story of Owen, a poor man from Wales, and King Arthur. One day Owen was in the fields with his sheep. Suddenly:

'Hello, Owen. That's a nice stick!' A little old man with the face of a boy stood in front of him.

'You know my name! Who are you?' asked Owen.

'I'm Loomis,' said the little man. 'And under the place where you found that stick, there's gold! Take me there and the gold is yours.'

Owen's stick was from an old tree on a mountain near his parents' house. So Owen took Loomis there.

'Is this it?' asked Loomis.

'Yes,' answered Owen.

'Right!' Loomis sat down, opened his bag and took out two little spades. 'Now,' he said, 'let's dig.'

They dug and dug and after a long time they came to a big stone. Under the stone was a dark passage. Loomis went down the passage with Owen behind him. Down, down, down they went ... into the mountain.

'Don't touch this bell!' shouted Loomis.

There, in front of him, Owen saw a big bell. He was very careful and didn't touch it.

'Good!' said Loomis.

 

Then suddenly they came into a fantastic cavern. Owen stopped and looked. Hundreds of knights were asleep in a big circle. One of the knights had a crown.

'That's King Arthur,' said Loomis.

In the circle there was a mountain of gold.

'And that's the gold. You can take lots and lots.'

Owen put gold in his jacket, his shoes, his shirt,.

'And you, Loomis?' he asked.

But Loomis just went back down the passage.

'Don't touch the bell!' he shouted.

'Why?' asked Owen.

'The sound of the bell wakes the knights up and then they ask, "Is it the day?" You must answer, "No, it isn't. Sleep."'

Of course, with all the gold, Owen touched the bell and ... a knight woke up.

'Is it the day?' the knight asked.

'No!' answered Owen. 'It isn't. Sleep.'

The knight slept again and Loomis and Owen went back up into the sun.

'Loomis,' asked Owen, 'what does the knight mean when he says, "Is it the day?"'

'He means the day when Wales is in danger and needs King Arthur and his knights,' said Loomis. 'On the day, when the bell ...' But Loomis disappeared and never finished his sentence.

 

Owen loved the gold. But because he bought lots of new things, he soon used it all. And so, one day, he went back to the old tree on the mountain. He dug, he found the stone, he went down the passage, he took lots of gold. On the way back, Owen touched the bell again and a knight woke up. 'Is it the day?' he asked. The passage was dark and Owen was alone and frightened. 'What are the words?' he thought. A second knight woke up ... and then a third. 'Oh, no! The words, the words ...' But then the knights came and they beat him.

 

Later Owen's friends found him on the mountain and took him home. From that day Owen never walked again and was very poor. His friends took him back to the old tree and dug and dug, but they never found the stone or the passage again.