Cwn Wybir, Sky Dogs, Fairies in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Cwmbran Wales
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Category: Fairies
Sub Category: Fairy or Mythic Animals
Title: Cwn Wybir, Sky Dogs


The Rev. Edmund Jones, in his work entitled “An Account of Apparitions of Spirits in the county of Monmouth,” says that, “The nearer these dogs are to a man, the less their voice is, and the farther the louder, and sometimes, like the voice of a great hound, or like that of a blood hound, a deep hollow voice.” It is needless to say that this gentleman believed implicitly in the existence of Cwn Annwn, and adduces instances of their appearance.|The following is one of his tales:—|“As Thomas Andrews was coming towards home one night with some persons with him, he heard, as he thought, the sound of hunting. He was afraid it was some person hunting the sheep, so he hastened on to meet, and hinder them; he heard them coming towards him, though he saw them not. When they came near him, their voices were but small, but increasing as they went from him; they went down the steep towards the river Ebwy, dividing between this parish and Mynyddislwyn, whereby he knew they were what are called Cwn wybir (Sky dogs), but in the inward part of Wales Cwn Annwn (Dogs of Hell). I have heard say that these spiritual hunting-dogs have been heard to pass by the eaves of several houses before the death of someone in the family. Thomas Andrews was an honest, religious man, and would not have told an untruth either for fear or for favour.”|The colour of these dogs is variously given, as white, with red ears, and an old man informed Mr. Motley that their colour was blood-red, and that they always were dripping with gore, and that their eyes and teeth were of fire. This person confessed that he had never seen these dogs, but that he described them from what he had heard.—Tales of the Cymry, p. 60. There is in The Cambro-Briton, vol. ii., p. 271, another and more natural description of Cwn Annwn. It is there stated that Pwyll, prince of Dyved, went out to hunt, and:—| “He sounded his horn and began to enter upon the chase, following his dogs and separating from his companions. p. 128And, as he was listening to the cry of his pack, he could distinctly hear the cry of another pack, different from that of his own, and which was coming in an opposite direction. He could also discern an opening in the wood towards a level plain; and as his pack was entering the skirt of the opening, he perceived a stag before the other pack, and about the middle of the glade the pack in the rear coming up and throwing the stag on the ground; upon this be fixed his attention on the colour of the pack without recollecting to look at the stag; and, of all the hounds in the world he had ever seen, he never saw any like them in colour. Their colour was a shining clear white, with red ears; and the whiteness of the dogs, and the redness of their ears, were equally conspicuous.”


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