By Katherine Breckenridge
Once upon a time in a land called Wales there was an old castle.
No one had lived there for years and years. Gradually the towers crumbled. The walls toppled.
Flowers took root and began growing on the stonework.
The glass fell from the windows, and birds nested in the turrets.
When the wind blew and rain fell, it was an eerie place.
The old castle, built deep in a valley and surrounded by forest, was hidden by pine trees.
Few people saw it in the summer. Those who did, came back with strange stories, about hearing low, grumbling noises and seeing puffs of smoke.
That kept folks away. Soon, everyone forgot there was ever a castle there at all.
One day a little boy went for a walk in the forest with his dog, Owyn.
He was a dog whose ancestors had lived in Wales since before the days of men.
He had short stumpy legs, big brown eyes and large pointy ears. His body was covered in dull, brown hair. Owyn was a Welsh Corgi.
The boy and his Corgi walked deep into the forest, far deeper than they had ever gone before.
The Corgi snuffled among the leaves and chased the scent of rabbits.
Suddenly, they came upon the ruins of the castle. Owyn got very excited.
He ran hither and thither, lifting his nose to sniff the air.
The boy sniffed too, and thought he caught the scent of smoke as if someone was having a bonfire.
Owyn dashed to a part of the castle where the walls had completely collapsed, and the stones were heaped on the ground. They heard a low rumbling.
The boy, a bit frightened, called, "Who's there?"
"Help me!" came a deep booming voice.
"Where are you?" asked the boy. By this time Owyn was scratching frantically at the bottom of a big stone.
He dug away the earth and revealed a crack in the ground as if the stone was blocking a hole.
Out of the crack came a puff of smoke.
"Are vou down there?" asked the boy, lying on the ground and peering into the crack.
"Yes," said the voice louder this time. "And I've been here for hundreds of years and I'm jolly well fed up with it. I can tell you."
"I don't see how I can get you out, I'm only small and this stone is very big" said the boy.
"Aah," said the voice, "I think I can help."
There was a whooshing noise and then a big puff of smoke popped out of the hole and covered the Corgi.
Then, before the startled boy's eyes the Corgi began to grow. It got bigger and bigger.
Now Corgis are very clever dogs, much cleverer than anyone thinks, even though they are small.
So you can imagine how clever a HUGE Corgi is.
The boy stood back in amazement. His Corgi was now nearly as big as an ox!
"Stand back! " said the voice as Owyn got up on his huge hind legs and placed his front paws against the stone. Owyn pushed and pushed. Gradually the stone rolled away and revealed a deep cavity in the ground. Out of the hole climbed a very dirty and very dusty red dragon.
Owyn got to work with his big, long tongue and soon licked all the dirt, dust and cobwebs off the dragon until his red skin shone and gleamed.
"Oh, thank you," said the dragon, flexing his wings. "That's much better."
"How did you get in the hole?" asked the boy.
"Well", said the dragon, "Long ago I found this nice hole in the ground and settled down for a nap. Dragons like a lot of sleep you know. After I slept for seven days there was a big storm. This wall fell down and trapped me. I've been there ever since."
The dragon looked around. "I'd better be off. Thank you very much for my rescue.
I've lots of magic to catch up on. Goodness knows how much more magic has been invented since I've been stuck down there."
"But what about my dog?" asked the boy. "You can't leave him like that.
He won't fit in my house. He won't be able to lie by my bed while I sleep. He is much too big!"
"I see what you mean," said the dragon. "Alright, I'll turn him back into normal size. And as a thank you, I'll change his dull brown coat to a nice bright one like mine."
With that he belched out a great puff of red smoke which wrapped itself around the Corgi.
Owyn got smaller and smaller until he was Corgi-size again.
But, instead of the brown, he now had a sleek and gleaming coat, a lovely rich red with glints of gold like a sunset.
Owyn was so pleased he danced with happiness.
The dragon bowed to the boy, flapped his wings, and rose into the air.
"If you ever need a dragon's help, just give me a call," and he flew off towards the west.
The boy watched until the dragon was just a little speck in the sky.
Then he looked down at his beautiful, red Corgi.
"Time to go home, Owyn."
The Corgi smiled. "Yes time to go home," he thought.
And do you know Corgis have been smiling ever since.
From the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Newsletter, March 1995.
Reproduced with kind permission of the PWCCA.
Katherine Breckenridge from Texas wrote:
"I bought my first Corgi almost four years ago from Wey Kennels in England.
"Corgi Magic" was written for my seven year old son, Andrew. He loves Corgis and Dragons equally and is one of those who says the only thing better than a Corgi on the bed is a Corgi in the bed. He's always asking me questions about our Corgis - Why are their legs so short, why do they have such big ears, why do they have red hair?
If you've seen the Welsh flag, you know it has a red dragon on it.
I told Andrew that all the enchanted creatures from Wales were red, that it was magic.
The story grew and grew until we had CORGI MAGIC."