Merlin is a famous magician, and there are many wonderful stories about him. He comes from Wales, and he is the only child of Princess Adhan and Prince Meurig. Merlin has got many magic powers. He can change into different animals, look into the future, sees through walls, and change the weather.
When Merlin is older, he is a good friend to King Arthur, and to all the men of the Round Table. He helps Arthur to fight his enemies and to be a good king. His enemy is the enchantress Morgana le Fay. At first, he loves her, and he teaches her magic. But soon she uses bad magic on him, and he is very angry with her. At the end of Merlin's long story, he doesn't die. He goes to sleep in a magic cave. One day, he must wake from his sleep, and help his country again.
Young Merlin lives in a castle with his mother, Princess Adhan. The castle is in Wales, in the west of King Vortigern's kingdom. Merlin doesn't know his father. He's fighting for the king far away.
The castle is near a forest. Merlin and his mother often walk there. She teaches him about forest plants. "When you're older, you can come here without me," she says. "But be careful. There are many hunters. And an enchantress, Ceridwen, live here, too."
Merlin's only friend is a toad. One day, Merlin visits the village near the castle. Two boys, Morfran and Arwel, are behind him. But Merlin doesn't see them. He talks to his toad.
"Merlin's talking to his toad!" Morfran laughs.
"Go away," Merlin says. "Or when my father comes back home..."
"We're not afraid, Merlin. Your father's never at home," Arwel says. "And is he truly your father? Perhaps you're a demon's child!"
That night, Merlin tells his mother everything.
"What can I do about these boys?" he asks.
"I can talk to those bullies," Princess Adhan says. "No," Merlin answers. "They call me a mother's boy without that!"
"Then your father can speak to them after he comes home," she smiles. "But be careful with Morfran. He's Ceridwen's son."
Next week, Merlin goes to the village shop with his mother. He sits near the door with his toad in his hand. Suddenly, Morfran and Arwel jump out in front of him. "It's Merlin and his toad!" they cry.
The toad is afraid. It falls to the ground. "Let's see your toad jump!" Morfran laughs. He runs after it.
When Merlin's mother arrives, the bullies leave.
That night, Merlin sees his father in a dream. He is sitting under an oak tree after a fight with the king's enemies.
"I'm dying," Merlin's father tells him.
"Father, no! I need your help with some bullies!" Merlin cries.
"When they bully you, walk away," his father says. "Look for the biggest oak in the forest. There's something important near it."
Next morning, Merlin tells his mother about the dream. "Listen to your father," she says quietly.
When Merlin meets the bullies again, they take his toad. "Say goodbye to Mr Toad!" Morfran laughs.
Merlin remembers his dream and walks into the forest. He lives there for days and eats forest plants.
Then one day, he finds the biggest oak in the forest. There's a little house near it. In front of the house, there's a boy. He's sitting near a cauldron.
"Who's that?" Merlin thinks.
Merlin watches the house from behind the oak tree. "Morfran!" a woman cries through the open window. "Yes, mother," the boy says. The woman comes out of the house.
"Oh no!" Merlin thinks. "It's Morfran, and his mother - the enchantress Ceridwen."
"Is the potion ready?" Ceridwen asks.
"Soon, mother," Morfran answers.
"This potion can give magic powers to the first drinker of it!" she cries. "And that is you, my son!" Morfran smiles.
"I need to find a bottle. Then you can drink the potion from it. We must do it quickly before your father comes home," Ceridwen says. She goes back into the house.
Merlin moves nearer, but Morfran doesn't see him. Just then, Morfran takes something out of a little bag.
"Oh, no!" Merlin thinks. "It's my toad!"
"Ha! Ha!" Morfran laughs. "Here's one more thing for the potion!"
"Stop!" Merlin cries. He jumps out and takes the toad from Morfran. But at the same time, he hits the cauldron with his leg. It goes over onto the ground. Some of the potions falls onto Merlin's hand.
"Merlin!" Morfran cries angrily. Merlin smiles. He moves his hand up to his mouth.
"Wait!" Morfran cries. "Don't drink that!"
But Merlin quickly puts the potion in his mouth. Suddenly, a magic white light comes from Merlin's head. Just then, Ceridwen comes out of the house with a bottle in her hand. She sees and understands everything. She looks angrily at Merlin.
"You must die for that!" she cries.
"Come here, boy!" the enchantress cries.
"I need to run!" Merlin thinks. In his head, he sees a hare. Then, suddenly, he is a hare.
"Aha!" he thinks. "So now I can change into different animals."
Merlin runs away into the forest. "I can easily run faster than Ceridwen now," he thinks.
But when he looks behind him, he sees a big dog. It is running after him, and its angry mouth is open.
"Oh, no!" he thinks. "Ceridwen can change into different animals, too."
Merlin moves quickly through the trees. But he can hear Ceridwen behind him. She is coming nearer.
Just then, he arrives at a lake. "I need to be a fish," he thinks. Suddenly, he is a long, dark fish. He moves fast through the cold water of the lake.
"I'm all right now," he thinks. But when he looks back, an otter is coming through the water behind him.
"Ceridwen's an otter now!" he thinks.
So he changes into a little bird and goes far up into the sky. But soon he hears an angry cry behind him. Now a big eagle is coming after him.
"Ceridwen again!" Merlin thinks. He moves here and there in the sky, but he can't lose the eagle. Just then, Merlin sees a hunter far down in the forest, and there's a sudden noise - "Whoosh!" An arrow hits Ceridwen. She falls to the ground near her house. Morfran runs to her dead body.
"Merlin, you demon!" he cries angrily. "One day you must die for this!"
After some years, Princess Adhan - Merlin's mother - moves away to a convent. But Merlin stays in his father's castle. He reads books and works on his magic powers. "I want to be the best magician in the kingdom," he says.
At first, Merlin learns to change the weather. Next, he learns to see through walls. Then he learns to look into the future.
Morfran lives with his father in the forest. He often thinks about Merlin.
"Perhaps I can kill him with one of my mother's old potions," Morfran tells his friend Arwel.
But the old potion bottles have nothing in them - all but one. "And this potion doesn't kill people," Morfran says. "It makes ill people well again."
"So give it to somebody important," Arwel answers, "and pretend to be a magician."
Soon after that, King Vortigern visits Wales after years of fighting. He has a new wife, Ronwen, but she is ill. Morfran hears about this. He goes to the king's men with the magic potion. Ronwen is well again after she drinks it. So Vortigern calls for Morfran.
"You can be my magician!" the king says.
Ronwen is happy in Wales. She wants to stay there. "Let's make a castle on this hill!" she tells Vortigern.
Vortigern begins the new castle, the walls fall down again and again. "Make a magic potion and stop this!" the king tells Morfran.
"I need the blood of a boy without a father for that," Morfran answers. "Now, the son of a demon lives near here. Give me some men, and I can bring him to you."
Vortigern's men bring Merlin to the hill. "Here's the demon's son!" Morfran tells Vortigern. "Kill him. I can make a potion with his blood, and put it on the ground. Then you can finish your castle."
"Morfran's my enemy! And he's wrong!" Merlin cries. "There are two dragons under the hill. I can see them through the ground."
"Dragons?" Vortigern asks.
"Yes," Merlin cries. "A read dragon and a white dragon. When they fight, the walls fall down."
The dragons hear Merlin's cries, and they come up angrily through the ground. They are fighting, and breathing fire and smoke.
"I can stop them!" Morfran says. He pretends to do some magic, but he's not a true magician. The dragons breath fire on Morfran, and kill him.
Merlin quickly changes the weather. Suddenly there's a wall of rain in front of the dragons. They move up into the sky. When the rain goes, the dragons are far away.
"You're a true magician!" Vortigern cries.
He finishes his castle and calls for Merlin. "Tell me about the future!" the king says.
Merlin closes his eyes. "You, Vortigern, die without any children," he answers. "Dark years of fighting come after that. Then I see a sword with magic light in it, a king with a wonderful castle, and his beautiful wife. I'm that king's magician."
"Be my magician!" Vortigern cries.
"No," Merlin answers. "I must work more on my magic. I must be ready when my king and my country need me."
Then Merlin changes into a hare and runs away into the forest.
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