Ceridwen is a magician who features in the mythical version of the life of the genuine bard Taliesin. Ceridwen had an ugly son, Afagddu (“ugly”), whom she wished to make wise. She brewed a magical liquid and had her kitchen boy Gwion tend it. Three drops scalded his hand and he licked them off, instantly acquiring all the knowledge. In an ancient, ancient hunt she pursued him: first she became a greyhound and he a hare, then she an otter and he a fish, then she a hawk and he a rabbit. Finally, she became a hen and he a grain of corn, and she ate him. She became pregnant with him and he was born nine months later, a boy of astounding grace and beauty whom she named Taliesin and put into a coracle in the sea.

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