Peredur, son of Efrawc
EARL EVRAWC owned the Earldom of the North. And he had seven sons. And Evrawc maintained himself not so much by his own possessions as by attending tournaments, and wars, and combats. And, as it often befalls those who join in encounters and wars, he was slain, and six of his sons likewise.
Now the name of the seventh son was Peredur, and he was the youngest of them. And he was not of an age to go to wars and encounters, otherwise he might have been slain as his father and brothers. His mother was a scheming and thoughtful woman, and she was very solicitous concerning this her only son and his possessions. So she took counsel with herself to leave the inhabited country, and to flee to the deserts and unfrequented wildernesses. And she permitted none to bear her company thither but women and boys, and spiritless men, who were both unaccustomed and unequal to war and fighting. And none dared to bring either horses or arms where her son was, lest he should set his mind upon them.
And the youth went daily to divert himself in the forest, by slinging sticks and staves. And one day he saw his mother's flock of goats, and near the goats two hinds were standing. And he marvelled greatly that these two should be without horns, while the others had them. And he thought they had long run wild and on that account they had lost their horns. And by activity and swiftness of foot, he drove the hinds and the goats together into the house which there was for the goats at the extremity of the forest. Then Peredur returned to his mother.
"Ah, mother," said he, "a marvelous thing have I seen in the wood; two of thy goats have run wild, and lost their horns; through their having been so long missing in the wood. And no man had ever more trouble than I had to drive them in."
Then they all arose and went to see. And when they beheld the hinds, they were greatly astonished.
And one day they saw three knights coming along the horse-road on the borders of the forest. And the three knights were Gwalchmai the son of Gwyar, and Geneir Gwystyl, and Owain the son of Urien. And Owain kept on the track of the knight who had divided the apples in Arthur's Court, whom they were in pursuit of.
"Mother," said Peredur, "what are these yonder?"
"They are angels, my son," said she.
"By my faith," said Peredur, "I will go and become an angel with them."
And Peredur went to the road, and met them.
"Tell me, good soul," said Owain, "sawest thou a knight pass this way, wither to-day or yesterday?"
"I know not," answered he, "what a knight is."
"Such a one as I am," said Owain. "If thou wilt tell me what I ask thee, I will tell thee that which thou askest me."
"Gladly will I do so," replied Owain.
"What is this?" demanded Peredur, concerning the saddle.
"It is a saddle," said Owain.
Then he asked about all the accoutrements which he saw upon the men, and the horses, and the arms, and what they were for, and how they were used. And Owain shewed him all these things fully, and told him what use was made of them.
"Go forward," said Peredur, "for I saw such a one as thou enquirest for, and I will follow thee."