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Act in haste
By Stuart Kerner

Here is a traditional Welsh story called 'Beddgelert':

Once upon a time there was a young hunter, who lived alone except for his huge dog Gelert. Gelert was a magnificent creature, half dog and half wolf.

After a few years the young hunter married, but sadly his wife died while giving birth to their son. This meant it was left to Gelert to stand guard over the baby while his master was out hunting.

One day, the hunter found himself caught in a storm and returned to his home much later than usual. When he finally managed to get to his house, he discovered to his great dismay the front door was ajar. But this was nothing compared to the awful scene that awaited him when he entered: his baby son was nowhere to be seen, and worse, his cot was covered in blood!

The hunter stood in shock unable to comprehend the sight, but his attention was eventually caught by Gelert creeping from beneath the bed, and moreover by the red blood dripping from the huge canine’s mouth. With a loud howl, the hunter raised his sword and brought it down with savage force on the dog’s enormous head – killing him stone dead.

Almost immediately the hunter heard the unmistakable cry of his baby son coming from underneath an upturned chair. He flew to it and flung the furniture aside. Underneath he discovered his son safe and well. Next to him, however, was the lifeless, bloodied body of a massive snake – Gelert’s distinctive tooth marks clearly imprinted about the reptile’s throat, inflicted while the faithful animal had been protecting the infant from the serpent’s deadly bite.

Those who act in haste repent at their leisure. Do you always think about the consequences of your actions or do you strike first and ask questions later?


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