|The Book of Legends|
|by Horace Elisha Scudder|
|Legends to supplement Fifty Famous Stories Retold. Includes the stories of St. George and the Dragon, William Tell, King Cophetua, St. Christopher, The Wandering Jew, and the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, retold in fine English prose. Ages 7-10 |
THE DOG GELLERT
 IN the mountains of Wales there lived a prince named
Llewellyn. He had a fine castle, but the most precious
thing in his castle was his little child. All the servants
were devoted to the child, but his most constant friend,
playmate, and guardian was the great dog Gellert. He was a
powerful hound, and he needed to be, for there were wolves
and other wild beasts in the forest about the castle.
Llewellyn had perfect confidence in the dog Gellert, and one
day when he went out hunting he told Gellert to stay at
home and take care of his little master. So Gellert lay
down by the side of the cradle and stretched his great
paws out, as if to say: "No one shall come near my little
The afternoon went by, the hunt was over, and Llewellyn drew
near his castle. He sounded his horn, and threw himself
from his horse at the door. Gellert came bounding out, but
to his horror Llewellyn saw that his mouth was dripping with
blood, and there were marks of blood all about.
 "O faithless hound!" he cried. "Is this the way you guard
your little master?" And he drew his sword and with one blow
laid the hound dead at his feet. Then he rushed into
the house. Everything was in confusion. The cradle
was empty, and the clothes were thrown about.
He stood still, ready to faint, when he heard a little
sound. Perhaps his son still lived. He went to the cradle,
and there on the floor behind it was his little boy,
laughing, and pulling the hair of a great shaggy wolf that
lay stretched out dead beside him.
Then the whole story was clear to him. The wolf had come in
through the open door, had stolen toward the cradle, when
Gellert had sprung upon the wolf, had fought with him and
O happy father! O unhappy prince! To have his child back
again, and to have slain that child's faithful guardian! He
could not bring the hound back to life, but he dug his
grave and built above it a beautiful monument, and the place
is called Beth Gellert to this day.
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