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St. Beuno and the Curlew

Boys who go bird-nesting often wonder why it is so hard to find the nest of the curlew. As a matter of fact it is the fault, as they would consider it, of St. Beuno. When he lived at Clynnog he used to go regularly on Sunday to preach at Llanddwyn, off the coast of Anglesey, walking on the sea with the book of sermons which he used to carry about with him. One Sunday, as he was coming back from Llanddwyn to Clynnog, treading the surface of the sea as if it had been dry land, he dropped his precious writings into the water, and failed to recover them. The saint was much worried, because even for saints the task of writing sermons is a troublesome one.

When he reached dry land he was much relieved to find his book on a stone out of the reach of the tide, with a curlew mounting guard over it. The pious bird had picked it up, and brought it to safety. Thereupon the holy man knelt down and prayed for the protection and favour of the Creator for the curlew. His prayer was heard, and ever since it has been extremely difficult to discover where the long-beaked bird lays its eggs.

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