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The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo

The Snow Spider Story Part Four

Giving the metal horse gift to the wind has a disastrous effect on the weather. It becomes dark and stormy. A howling wind rushes through the hills and torrential rain falls. The area is in danger of flooding. Gwyn goes home as fast as he can and tells his parents that he is going to see if Nain is okay. At her house he finds things in a terrible mess. She looks years older than she was the day before. The whole house has been wrecked as if a madman had been smashing everything in it. Gwyn asks what has happened but she looks at him and says that he should know since he caused it by giving the horse to the wind, even though he had been specifically told not to. We learn that an evil warrior Prince who butchered horses was bound up in the metal horse fragment. It was his prison and that by giving him to the wind he had been released. Nain had tried to stop him as he had come looking specifically for Gwyn, a descendant of one of the original magicians who had imprisoned him. Gwyn looks into the mirror of Nain and sees a hideous horse reflection. Nain asks why he let the horse go and he tells her that he was trying to get Arianwen back. Gwyn thought she had been lost, drowned by his mother. Nain tells him that she belongs to him and that he could get her back anytime he wanted if he really tried.

Mrs. Griffiths struggles with the weather Mr. Griffiths tries to get the farm secured Nain has been attacked in her own home by the mad Prince

She tells him that he is a bad magician Gwyn should not have released the broken metal horse The canary is dead

Meanwhile back at Gwyn's house, he finds that Eirlys has been caught up in the storm and is very ill. Gwyn's father carries her into the house and places her in Bethan's old room. Gwyn then spies a dead black cat on the path and realises it is the work of the evil warrior Prince. The family cat "Long John" (because of his three good legs) has been drowned by the madman. Gwyn issues a challenge and shouts a promise that he will capture the evil one that has been released.

Eirlys is found by Mr. Griffiths Eirlys is placed in the bed in Bethan's old room Long John is found dead.

Gwyn goes out towards the mountain but finds that an unknown entity is forcing him back and down. Very soon he is reduced to crawling on the earth. He slams his fists into the ground and lightening strikes. In a burst of colour he spins around glowing with a flaming light behind the thorn trees. Mrs. Griffiths sees this and faints. Eirlys gets a cold flannel and lightly dabs Mrs. Griffiths head. Gwyn eventually returns to the house after having to fight for Arianwen. He brings with him the book that Nain gave him. Suddenly he finds that he can translate the words without any problem. Eirlys now realises that Gwyn is a magician like his ancestors before him. From the book, he reads the section about the broken horse. The old Welsh legends spoke of Kings and Princes as well as magicians. Eirlys asks Gwyn to read about Princess Branwen as she remembers there being horses in that legend. Gwyn reads the story but soon stops abruptly. He says that it is too terrible to read out aloud. Eirlys insists that he continue and so he reads how it all began. It started with Efnisien, Branwen's brother. He came upon the King of Ireland's horses and asked to whom they belonged. He was told by the soldiers that the horses belonged to the King of Ireland. They also told him that the King had come to marry Branwen (Efnisien's sister). On hearing this Efnisien was furious and refused to let this happen. With pure hatred he drew his sword and cut off the horses ears, their tails, their eyelids and their lips until they screamed in agony and no one could go near them. The mad Prince somehow had become locked up inside the metal horse. Gwyn now knew who he was up against and what he must do.

Gwyn begins his fight The fight is not easy against the mad Prince Things get serious for Gwyn

Gwyn uses all his magician's powers Gwyn is desperate to find Arianwen Gwyn wins the first battle

Gwyn goes to see Eirlys They learn the evil deeds of the mad Prince Gwyn decides to use Arianwen to cast a imprisonment spell on the mountain

With Arianwen's help Gwyn casts a spell to imprison the mad Prince on the mountain. The prison is made out of ice and prevents him from leaving. Unbeknown to Gwyn, Alun has wandered up onto the mountain looking for Gwyn and has also become trapped behind the ice barrier. Alun's parents come to the house looking for their son and accuse Gwyn of being responsible for their son's disappearance. A massive search party begins but the spell that Gwyn had cast was starting to work and was causing havoc with the rescue services as a huge fog had descended. The fog is the thickest and coldest they have ever seen. The search party soon have to stop the search and return. Everyone fears the worst for Alun as he is alone on the mountain in treacherous conditions.

Arianwen sinks into the snow The spell begins to work Gwyn learns that Alun was looking for him

Alun is now trapped behind the ice sheet The Lloyds come looking for Alun Gwyn casts another spell to turn Alun into a bird

The spell is complete The search party have to stop

Back at the house, Gwyn tells Eirlys that the spell has been cast and has begun to work. She tells him that Alun was here and had gone looking for Gwyn. Gwyn's worst fears are realised when he sees Alun trapped in the prison of ice. The spell had now caused the fog to become so thick and heavy that it was suppressing all sounds and smothering anyone caught inside. Gwyn realises that he must now use his powers to protect Alun so he casts another spell to transform Alun into a bird - a white dove like bird which would be unseen in the prison, safe from the mad Prince. The mad Prince now begins screaming and struggling in an attempt to escape. He bangs his sword against the enclosure but cannot penetrate the wall of ice as it closes around him. The wailing and crying of the Prince was brought to Gwyn's ears via the enchanted pipe. It gets louder throughout the night but eventually subsides. Later on, an exhausted Gwyn hears a tapping at the bedroom window. He goes to look only to find Alun down outside throwing snow up at the window. Gwyn rushes downstairs to let his friend in. Alun is wet and cold but none the worst for wear. Alun tries to explain but Gwyn knows everything especially about the huge ice barrier. Alun realises that Gwyn was telling the truth about being a magician and the white city and the silver sailing ship. Alun gives Gwyn the metal horse he found out in the snow. the mad Prince is now back in his prison, this time permanently. Alun's parents arrive to take him home. Alun gives Gwyn one last thing before he leaves. A small silver spider - Arianwen.

The mad Prince is trapped Alun is safe

Alun returns to Gwyn's house The mad Prince is once again trapped in the broken metal horse

The group have a wonderful family Christmas Alun and Gwyn are best friends again

After Christmas Eirlys tells Gwyn that it is time to go. They both go up the mountain where she asks him to go with her. He refuses but she still tries to pull him along with her. He resists long enough for her to depart on the silver sailing ship without him. Gwyn then heads back with Eirlys red scarf. He meets Alun on the way and the boys head off back to the house. There they are met by his mum and dad. His dad is very pleased that Gwyn did not go with Eirlys. Nain is there seeing that all is well again with the family.

Gwyn's father is very pleased to see him Nain is happy that all is back to normal

And so ends a truly magical piece of writing and adaptation for television. Yet another true Little Gem of a story brought to life on the small screen.

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The Snow Spider
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