|Saint David and his mates were living at Carn Llidi, but something made them decide to move south to here - perhaps it was a bit too exposed there. They struck camp in the valley and lit a fire. Up above lived Boia, an Irish freebooter, who had settled there with his wife and was currently terrorizing the neighbourhood. Boia spotted the smoke curling up but had just put his slippers on after a day of pillaging, so decided to ignore it. Next morning however his wife spotted the remains of the fire and nagged at him to go down and get rid of the newcomers. Boia eventually walked down to have a word. David easily pacified him, and after a nice conversation Boia said it would be fine if David and his friends stayed at the valley bottom. Boia returned to the top. His wife was unimpressed, particularly when she found out they were monks.
Boia's wife, who was called Satrapa, had a cunning idea. She sent her maids down to the river in their sexiest gear and instructed them to strip off and bathe. After popping their eyes back in their heads, some of the monks went to St David to complain. They said they found this 'an intolerable nuisance' as it was clearly distracting them from Higher Things. In fact they said that it would make the place unendurable if it happened every day. "Just ignore them. They'll get fed up of it and go away," said St. David.
Meanwhile, Boaia was becoming a regular guest at their camp, and even decided to get baptized in the river. This was the last straw for Satrapa. She decided she would have to make a sacrifice to the Siddi, the underground divinities. She asked her stepdaughter Dunawd to come with her to gather some nuts. When they were resting, Satrapa asked to look at Dunawd's head ('You seem to have some nuts in your hair'??) and when the stepdaughter put her head in Satrapa's lap, the woman seized her hair and cut it off. This was 'tantamount to adoption' (so it says) and she quickly cut the girl's throat, letting her blood pour out onto the ground for the gods.
Frightened at what she'd done (though possibly she should have thought about this before) Satrapa ran away. Things didn't get any better for the family that night, as another Irish pirate, Lisci, turned up and slew Boia in his sleep. Then 'fire fell from heaven' and consumed the castle.
Dunawd was seen as a martyr: "A clear fountain arose in the place where her blood flowed to the ground, which abundantly cured many diseases of mankind." Ffynnon Clegyr Boia and Ffynnon Llygad are both near the site: no doubt the spring is one of those?
(retold from the sources in Baring-Gould's 'Lives of the British Saints' p298)
Posted by Rhiannon
9th July 2006ce
Edited 29th July 2006ce