There is a Welsh oral tradition that relates a story of the owl being among the oldest animals on the planet. In the story of "Cullhwch and Olwen", one of the earliest accounts of King Arthur, Gwrhyr (who spoke the language of the birds amd beasts) went on a journey with three others to find The Oldest Animal in order to find the Divine Youth Mabon. They encounter a black bird that tells them to find the Stag. The Stag tells them to find the Owl of Cawlwyd. Gwrhyr asks the owl where they may find the Mabon. However the owls tells them that he knows not of this Mabon. He tells them of an animal that God made before him, the Eagle of Gwernaby. The eagle then leads them to the oldest animal of them all......the salmon who takes the party to the castle where the Mabon is being held prisioner.
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