The young boy watched the High Priest in awe as the white Bull was prepared for the ritual sacrifice on the morrow. Druids from all the Clans had gathered for the Beltane feast from as far away as Gaul. The Bull seemed to sense its fate as it grew increasingly nervous. The boy soothed the animal and calmed it down. He had a way with animals. The High Priest spoke fondly to the boy.

            “Mind your Mother Gwydr, she has need of you. I hear Bronwyn calling you, you don’t want a clout now, do you,” said the Priest, smiling.

            “Oh by the hells! I’ll be for it now,” yelled Gwydr, running as fast as his legs could carry him.

            After the evening meal while the camp was quiet, Gwydr watched the flames dance in the camp fire while listening to the lap of waves caressing the nearby shore of Ynys Mon. Slowly an image appeared as Gwydr scried in the flames, one that terrified him. He jolted himself out of the trance and ran to warn the High Priest, but Bronwyn stopped him. Bronwyn knew that her son had the Seer’s gift, but didn’t like it. Rhodri the Clan’s Seer and Herb man told her that it was Gwydr’s destiny to follow the Way, and that she shouldn’t hold him back because the future of the Druids was in Gwydr’s hands.

            “Mother please, we have to get away from here, now. I have to tell the High Priest what I saw, it’s going to happen!”

            “Here now, enough of this. You stop all this magical nonsense, do you here me boy? Whatever it is, it can wait until the morrow.” She shook him firmly by the shoulders.

           “What did you see boy? Tell me now,” said Rhodri, hurrying over when he heard the alarm in Gwydr’s voice.

       Gwydr told Rhodri what he saw in his vision, the tears streaming down his cheeks.

                       “There were hundreds and hundreds of men and boats, landing on the shore over there. They wore helmets with big plumes and carried long spears and shields. They killed all of us, even the High Priests,” he sobbed. “Even our bravest of warriors couldn’t stop them.”

Bronwyn was about to stop her son, but Rhodri’s expression stopped her, making her blood run cold.

“I had the same vision in a dream,” he said to her. “Go, now! Pack as much as your cart can hold, and tell as many kinsmen as you can. We have to hurry!”

          As the small band of six families reached the safety of the sacredGroves, they stopped to look back. The distant screams behind them began two hours ago, and the air was full of acrid smoke. They cried in silence for the loss of their people. They were the last of the Druids, they had to reach the nearby shore where there were enough boats to carry them far away from their homeland. Would Gwydr survive with to pass on to his successors?   copyright Linda Gibson 2012

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