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Advice to a Pig

Written for a Far Isles poetry contest many years ago: the theme was "Pigs and Apples", and the Household of Strongoak was a very new idea, co-hosting its first revel.

I must confess to a bit of plagarism here. An old acquaintance of mine who I last saw fleeing the battle of Arderydd seems to have gone a bit loopy since, and spends his time sitting in apple trees, writing poems addressed to the trees and a pig, and predicting Doom. The pig gets given a lot of advice, most of it literally of no use to man nor beast. I reckoned I could give it much more useful orders, resulting in a more cheerful prophecy, and in less than thirty verses, but the style should still be recognisable to anyone familiar with the Black Book of Carmarthen.
Just in case the judges of this illustrious contest don’t read early Welsh, I’ve provided a translation.

Oian aparchellan,
aparehell atlet guin
Nachufte hun boze
in coed afel
Rac dyuod heliwyr
ae cyn kyfruys.
Affalen pen.
blodev effplit
attif y dan,
y hangert ae hargel rac pawb.

Oh little pig,
oh blissful pig
Don’t take your morning nap
in the apple wood
lest the hunter comes
with his clever hounds
Sweet apple tree
with splendid flowers
that grows in secret,
its mystique will hide it from everyone

Oian aparchellan,
bichan brychei.
Clat in lle argel
in Derwen-cadern
ger chwech bryn.
A mi difgoganafe
a gwir uit
fe gwir heb gev:
cig rnoch,
a selsigen,
a morddwyd,
a palfais:
gwledd maur!

Oh little pig,
dappled bundle
Forage in the hidden place
in Strong-Oak
by the six hills,
And I prophecy
and it is the truth
the truth without falsehood:
and sausages,
and ham,
and gammon:
a great feast!

Sian ferch Rhianneth
May 1999

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