The Devil is Outwitted, The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Trefeglwys Wales
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Category: The Devil, Evil Spirits, Satan
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Title: The Devil is Outwitted


In the story that follows the Devil is outwitted by a Welshman. Many variants of this tale are found in many countries. It is evident from this and like stories, that it was believed the Spirit of Evil could easily be circumvented by an intelligent human being.| I when a lad often heard the story related, and the scene is laid in Trefeglwys, Montgomeryshire, a parish only a few miles distant from the place where I spent my childhood. | The writer in Y Brython, speaking of Ffinant, says that this farm is about a mile from Trefeglwys, on the north side of the road leading to Newtown.| I include the Welsh version first|Mae hen draddodiad tra anhygoel yn perthyn i’r lie hwn.  Dywedir fod hen ysgubor yn sefyll yn yr ochr ddeheuol i’r brif-ffordd.  Un boreu Sul, pan ydoedd y meistr yn cychwyn i’r Eglwys, dywedodd wrth un o’i weision am gadw y brain oddi ar y maes lle yr oedd gwenith wedi ei hau, yn yr hwn y safai yr hen ysgubor.  Y gwas, trwy ryw foddion, a gasglodd y brain oll iddi, a chauodd arnynt; yna dilynodd ei feistr i’r Eglwys; yntau, wrth ei weled yno, a ddechreuodd ei geryddu yn llym.  Y meistr, wedi clywed y fath newydd, a hwyliodd ei gamrau tua’i gartref; ac efe a’u cafodd, er ei syndod, fel y crybwyllwyd; ac fe ddywedir fod yr ysgubor yn orlawn o honynt.  Gelwir y maes hwn yn Crow-barn, neu Ysgubor y brain, hyd heddyw.  Dywedir mai enw y gwas oedd Dafydd Hiraddug, ac iddo werthu ei hun i’r diafol, ac oherwydd hyny, ei fod yn alluog i gyflawni gweithredoedd anhygoel yn yr oes hon.  Pa fodd bynag, dywedir i Dafydd fod yn gyfrwysach na’r hen sarff y tro hwn, yn ol y cytundeb fu rhyngddynt.  Yr ammod oedd, fod i’r diafol gael meddiant hollol o Ddafydd, os dygid ei gorff dros erchwyn gwely, neu trwy ddrws, neu os cleddid ef mewn mynwent, neu mewn Eglwys.  Yr oedd Dafydd wedi gorchymyn, pan y byddai farw, am gymmeryd yr afu a’r ysgyfaint o’i gorff, a’i taflu i ben tomen, a dal sylw pa un ai cigfran ai colomen fyddai yn ennill buddugoliaeth am danynt; os cigfran, am gymmeryd ei gorff allan trwy waelod ac nid dros erchwyn y gwely; a thrwy bared ac nid trwy p. 159ddrws, a’i gladdu, nid mewn mynwent na llan, ond o dan fur yr Eglwys; ac i’r diafol pan ddeallodd hyn lefaru, gan ddywedyd:| Dafydd Hiraddug ei ryw, Ffals yn farw, ffals yn fyw.| The tale in English is as follows:—| There is an incredible tradition connected with this place Ffinant, Trefeglwys.  It is said that an old barn stands on the right hand side of the highway.  One Sunday morning, as the master was starting to church, he told one of the servants to keep the crows from a field that had been sown with wheat, in which field the old barn stood.  The servant, through some means, collected all the crows into the barn and shut the door on them.  He then followed his master to the Church, who, when he saw the servant there, began to reprove him sharply.  But the master, when he heard the strange news, turned his steps homewards and found to his amazement that the tale was true and it is said that the barn was filled with crows.  This barn, ever afterwards was called Crow-barn, a name it still retains.| It is said that the servant’s name was Dafydd Hiraddug and that he had sold himself to the devil; consequently, he was able to perform feats, which in this age are considered incredible.  However, it is said that Dafydd was on this occasion more subtle than the old serpent, even according to the agreement which was between them.  The contract was that the devil was to have complete possession of Dafydd if his corpse were taken over the side of the bed, through a door, buried in a churchyard, or inside a church.  Dafydd had commanded that on his death, the liver and lights were to be taken out of his body and thrown on the dunghill and notice was to be taken whether a raven or a dove got possession of them. If a raven, then his body was to be taken away by the foot and not by the side of the bed and through the wall, not through the door, and he was to be buried not in the churchyard nor in the Church, but under the Church walls.  When the Devil saw that by these arrangements he had been duped cried, saying:| Dafydd Hiraddug, badly bred, false when living, and false when dead.


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