An old folk tale relating to Devil’s Bridge or Bridge on the Mynach in Ceredigion.
The Devil’s Bridge is the lower of three bridges spanning the falls and the river Mynach below. The story goes that the Devil himself built the bridge as a ploy to harness an old lady’s soul. The old lady’s cow had wandered across the river when it was low, to eat the lush green grass on the other side. The Devil who just happened to be holidaying in Wales at that time, offered to build her a bridge in order to retrieve her, now very fat cow.
However, there was a condition attached to his kindly offer. He said that he would build the bridge if he was allowed to take the first soul that crossed it. The old lady agreed, but thought it strange, until she realised that he was expecting her soul.
The next day the bridge was built and as the Devil rubbed his hands in glee across the opposite side, the old lady threw a crust of Bara Brith onto the bridge, which her dog promptly followed. The Devil was outraged, and extremely embarrassed at being outwitted by the old Welsh lady and vowed never, to return to Wales. In a way he was quite glad because every time he came it always rained and he hated rain.
This is my experience of The Devil’s Bridge and Falls………
The Promised Land
A journey up the mountain,
A steam train from ages past,
Puff, Puff, Puff,
A wondrous experience, if you have no fear of heights.
The Valley below shrinks as we chug higher,
Spectacular views invade my eyes,
Sickness invades my stomach,
Palms clammy, shivering,
Temperature continues to drop rapidly.
It’s summer in Wales,
In picturesque Ceredigion we sport T-Shirts and Jeans,
Artic clothing more appropriate now.
The children had poured excitedly into the open carriages,
Like sheep we’d followed suit.
‘Best seats behind the engine’ the black-hearted drivers shout,
Your fate is sealed.
Laughing their hot steaming rocks off, as a veil of hail descends upon the train.
We are greeted at the summit by mist and a torrent of icy rain.
Just one hour to see the promised vista,
We follow the steep and slippery paths down to the Devil’s punchbowl.
It is certainly beautiful, made more so by the sun now shyly peeping through.
There is a scramble to return to our awaiting carriage, you do not want to get stranded here.
Seated comfortably, the journey down begins,
Warm rays caressing the protective window panes.
29th August 2013