The Fable of Byard’s Leap
Many years ago, when North Kesteven was just a wild and desolate speck of land, there lived a witch known as Old Meg, who was the terror and scourge of all men and beasts that lived there. At the villagers’ cry, a champion emerged who vowed to rid the district of her for good.
The Champion had the pick of a dozen fine horses on which to ride, but knew his steed had to be quick and alert, so he devised a plan to test their reactions. While the horses drank at the village pond, he tossed a large stone into the water and watched for the quickest to react.
A horse by the name of Blind Byard jumped faster and further than all else. The champion took this as a good omen, because a blind horse would not be scared by the loathsome appearance of Old Meg.
The Champion mounted Byard and, armed with his trusty sword, rode to Old Meg’s den and called for her to come forth. She heckled the rider, screeching “I’m busy, I’ll see to you later!”
No sooner had these words been uttered, that the witch jumped from her hiding place and dug her nails deep into Blind Byard’s flanks. The horse reared up in pain and made an almighty leap of some 60 feet, dislodging the hideous hag, who fell to the ground. Seizing his chance, the champion ran her through with his sword and ended her deathly grip on the village, returning a hero. Byard’s leap was so powerful, his hoof prints are still visible today.