ONE DAY, AS GWION THE DWARF was guarding the sacred cup that contained the precious “Water of Regeneration,” three drops fell on his hand, crackling like fire. When he brought them to his mouth, the veil that shrouded the mysteries and the future of the world was lifted. The guardian goddess of the water then tried to kill him. But thanks to the magical virtues of the water, the dwarf was able to transform himself into a hare, a fish, and finally a bird. To chase him, the goddess assumed the form of a hunting dog, a beaver, and a sparrow. Finally Gwion transformed himself into a kernel of wheat and hid himself in a huge pile of grain. Then the goddess changed herself into a black hen, discovered him with her penetrating eyes, and swallowed him. Once inside her body, he impregnated her, and in nine months she gave birth to the bard, Taliesin.¹

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