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The Way of the Lamprey Ash

Once a month when the moon was dark and not a splinter of its form shone down upon the town the lamprey would come. Mothers gently tucked their children in tight, fathers bolted the hatches and doors, nobody went out, everyone stayed home as this was the night the Lamprey always came.

Until that was someone at the museum saw something which would change the town for good and their relationship with the bottom feeders.

A simple keyword Storywalk for years 2 – 6, though can easily be adapted for older, task dependant.

This Story has written elements by Trull Primary School pupils Madison, Ethan, Toby, Jessica, and Evie.

This digital walk was created through support from The Arts Council England, Rook Lane Arts of Frome and The South West Heritage Trust.
Walk to the cauldrons in the Making Somerset Gallery and then type the word 'lamprey' in the keyword box below.
Chapter one

The Way of the Lamprey

Once a month when the moon was dark and not a splinter of its form shone down upon the town the lamprey would come. Mothers tucked their children in tight, fathers bolted hatches and doors, nobody went out, everyone stayed home for fear of the river men stealing in.

They could be heard slithering down the streets, each wore a cape made entirely of discarded padlock keys and between them they dragged chains and rusty bike frames dredged from the river bed.

Over at the museum the curator had been working late setting up a new display and misjudge the time. When she finally closed the cabinet she realised it was dark and then with sudden dread she remembered it was lamprey night. There was no way she could get home now and on the street far below she could hear them scraping and scratching about. If they tried the museum door, then they would be inside and there was nothing she could do.

Quick as a flash she began locking up the museum, door after door, latch after latch. Then down to the next floor, more doors, locked, latched, then shutters, locked latched, and all the time she could hear the creepers slither closer, closer, closer.

Finally, she was on the ground floor running to the front door behind which the lamprey sucked at the locks. They were turning the handle, pushing at the door, it was too late! They were coming in, she had but a moment to slip into a broom cupboard and watch terrified through the key hole as the lamprey slithered and oozed inside, one after the other.
Chapter two

Slowly they poured.

Slowly they poured over to the cabinets, peering inside and leaving big sucker like welts on the glass. But as they gazed they seemed in awe of the artefacts, pointing and muttering to each other, fascinated.

They didn't break anything, in fact as she watched it was obvious that they were actually enjoying themselves, even reading the labels. Then just before dawn the creepers slithered out and back through town to the river clanking everything in their path as tradition insisted.

The curator watched astonished, she had quietly followed them out of the museum and watched it all and realised they had been totally different in the museum, they had even put their rusty bike in the courtyard bike rack. In that moment it occurred to her that there might be a way to solve the nuisance of lamprey night for good.
Chapter three

Over the coming weeks

Over the coming weeks she invited all the school children to the museum to help her write the puzzles then on creepers night all was prepared. Towns folk locked their doors and then the river people slithered into town.

They pounded on the doors, and scratched on shutters all the way up the street until they reached the museum door. But this time it was locked but on it was a letter, the creepers slid up to it and read the words.

The town would like to invite you to view
As we've riddles and clues written just for you
But the rules are simple for you to receive this gift
You must pass quietly through the town
No knock on ginger, no tapping on the glass
Only quietly this way must you pass
And as reward for your consideration
Here is the first riddle for your contemplation
And with it you will find the key
Which bids you access to this gallery

Sign and agree
And we will pass you the key.

Looking on from a tiny little secret hole the curator watched as they all nodded and signed the paper with their wet fists. She then tugged a little rope attached to the door latch and the door swung open and there before them was a single gallery tablet glowing brightly.

As they stepped forward this is what they saw.
You can play with me ,I am a rectangular keyboard instrument . I only have plucked strings .
Chapter four

Madison's tale

As the fish man approached the display he pulled off the glass and placed it on the floor . His pocket was filled with bottle tops from the making of his cloak as there are so many in the river . He smoothed his fingers across each tile of the piano and as he was doing it each tile made their own little noise . Then out of nowhere he started playing the most beautiful and elegant tune . This tune attracted all the river men to the museum and they all danced gracefully to this amazing tune . Then much to everyone's surprise the riverman stopped playing the old music and started playing current music and they had a great night grooving . Then suddenly the river man toppled forward into the piano and left a gigantic dent! He was very upset. He knew he had to tell someone, so early the next morning when the manager came in he owned up and said he was sorry.
Three kings and a pair of wings . I am taller than you and decorated in red ,yellow and blue . I hear the piano ting while the bells ring
Chapter five

Security Mayhem

As the fish man approached the display they worked their unusual magic by slipping their hand through the cracks. To touch the tremendous artefact...leaving a slimey mark behind. Surprisingly, his disgusting hand exploded with a Big Bang. He snorted smoke from his nose. The others came to see, the crisp packet clothing crunching as they walked. And then, bang! BANG! BANG! All of the other fish men's hand exploded one by one. Could get this get any worse? Without warning, the Ilchester Mace crashed through the glass and landed elagantly on to the ground...was this the end? Was the ground going to give way?

I am bright and colourful I breath something unusual I can only be defeated by a sword to the mouth. I am hiding in the corner being warmed by a cauldron .
Chapter six

The dancing disaster

As the fisherman approached the display his scaly hands urging to feel the beautiful display,his chainmail rattling as he scuttled towards the display.Suddenly he had to he reached out but before he could there was a bang as door was swung upon,He turned to see friends dancing to their own beat.They walked towards him still dancing and singing. "Join us " they said.
So he did they all started dancing and singing a song they all forgot where they were they were to busy having fun.Out of the blue the ground started shaking they all stopped there and then there were no more ratterling.The dragon tumbled off the wall and smashed.without warning the floor cracked and started part. They started to squeal and cry...
I am made of iron and was found in a grave . I could kill you unless you were saved . Find me in the closest cabinet to the fire , under the cauldrons
Chapter seven

The Sword of Slime

As the fish man approached the display, he tried to grab the sword. Suddenly his hand went right through he glass. He snatched the sword out and also took all the jewels and other precious items and stuffed them in to his slimey, wet pockets. He then ran away and headed for the door. Slipping and sliding as the slime fell out of his pockets he crashed into all of the displays. All of the artefacts came tumbling out and all over the floor. The museum manager came in to find a big slimey mess.
I am made of wood and some people sit on me watchmen at night hold the light . You can find me in a cabinet looking at the bell
Chapter eight

The bench

As the fish man approached the display, he tugged off the glass and sat on the bench. Meanwhile someone else came along and sat on the bench too. Even so they kept coming along and sitting on it until......He broke it because he was to heavy. The fish man was wearing clothes he's made out of crisp packets so he could snack on them when he wasn't meant too! The fish man's kept coming along...but then they found it was broken. So they ran to get some super glue and....Got it on the carpet! They all ran away so that no one knew they did it.
D - Picture of light
Lead framed delight
Sweat wrapper bright
Churches bathe in coloured sunlight

Hunt me out in this hall
and answer the question to reveal all.
What am I made of ? (5 letters)
Chapter nine

Stained Glass

End - Go back to beneath the cauldrons cauldrons and type the word Lamprey below.
Chapter ten

The End

The lamprey were greatly satisfied by the school children's riddles and clues, as they walked up the street out of town they didn't push over the litter bins or peer through the curtain cracks. Instead they lifted their rusty trolley and carried it quietly back to the river in the hope they would get more riddles to enjoy.

So each month, the school children would set up new riddles and clues through the galleries for the creepers. Everyone still locked their doors to the lamprey and tucked their children in tight, but the fish people didn't disturb anyone anymore, as they were so eager for their riddle clue treats at the end of the street.

That was until . . . . .
Chapter eleven

Further thoughts

Why do the Night Creepers carry rusty things from the river bed?

Which was your favourite clue? Which was really hard and could have been done better?

So what will happen next in the story, is there something about to happen which brings the fish people and the residents together?

From the gallery, which artefact would you choose to add to the walk.

Why do the Lamprey people have capes made from rusty discarded keys? Where do you think they were from and why are there so many in the river?
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