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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

The Araf and the Ildiwch (Poem)

In the wilds of Western Wales
Mythic creatures still abound,
Whose names, for information,
On the road signs can be found.

The Araf is a vocal beast.
Hills echo with his call.
He looks quite like a womble,
Though he’s all of twelve feet tall.

To visitors his risk is small.
Say ‘boo’, and he will go.
But never will he rush himself,
Thus signs warn: ‘Araf Slow’.

The Ildiwch is dangerous.
He’s teeth and spines and claws.
He’ll not care for your safety
Nor for any human laws.

It’s very best to follow
The advice the road signs say:
If you chance upon an Ildiwch
Don’t cross his path, Give Way!

Traeth are aquatic mammals
With green fur and huge blue feet.
They live in social colonies
Where many thousands meet.

As a protected species,
Habitats are out of reach.
A conservation sanctuary
Is often marked ‘Traeth Beach’.

Llwybr Cyhoeddus are rodents
Who excavate burrows in the ground.
But despite fluorescent ears and tails
They’re very rarely found.

So if this timid animal
Might just be there to see,
It’s announced on Public Footpath signs
In the vicinity.

Strange beasties roam this ancient land:
Rhybudd and Arafwch Nawr,
Gorsaf, Gyrrwch yn ofalus
And very many more.

You too can see this fauna.
Close searching rarely fails.
Just watch out for the signposts
As you journey into Wales.