An Old Tale in Wales
In Carmarthenshire Wale it tells of the origins of the healing arts of the physicians of Myddfai. It concerns the lady who dwelled in Lyn-y-fan-Fach, the lake nestling below the peak of the Black Mountain in carmarthenshire Wales. This beautiful lady rose out of the lake and appeared three times to a young shepherd lad, who wooed her with loaves of bread baked by his mother. The first loaf was too hard, the second too soft, but the third was just right. The lady agreed to marry him on condition that he promised never to give her "three causeless blows." He had no trouble accepting this, and so they were wed, the lady bringing much wealth in the form of cattle, sheep and horses all of which arose from the waters. Years passed and the couple had three fine sons. Then , one day, the lady found herself too tired to attend a christening, whereupon her husband struck her with a pair of gloves. This, she told him, was the first causeless blow. The second was for weeping at a wedding and the third for laughing at a funeral. Sadly, she left her family and returned to the lake, and her husband never saw her again. She did, however, show herself to her sons and taught them the healing properties of herbs. Through her instruction, the tree sons of the Lady of the Lake grew up to become the famous physicians of Myddfai.
The physicians of Myddfai were, in fact, historical characters who passed their knowledge down the generations, to their children and they too became the physicians of Rhys Gryg, Lord of Llandovery. The last of the physicians of Myddfai died in 1842. They left their books of their herbal remedies that had been handed down from medieval times.