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The Way of the Lamprey Larch

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 Lauren, Sam, Lila, Chloe, and Holly.

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.
Not glass, not metal, not plastic, not wood. I am the head of a grave. You will find me where oak figures stare. I am the first word you find on the plaque.
Chapter four

Lauren - the noise that never came.

As the Fish man approached the display, something caught his eye in the corner of his vision. He tilted his pale blue head to have a better look. He frowned. What was it? He slid across the slippery floor and gazed at it in awe. His beady black eyes flickered fiery blue with satisfaction. Although he could not read because of the misty white film covering his eyes, he could make out a few blurry words. ‘Limestone' and ‘crosshead' were the clearest. He wanted to find out more. His slimy fingers grasped the uneven stone, causing the rusty golden rings on his fingers to clink, and he felt the ancient pattern on its surface. His coin mail jacket clinked as he brought back his tentacle arm. It was a phenomenon. It was amazing.

He reached out for it again before he left. But as his fingers made contact with the stone, it tipped. He froze. It tilted one way. Then another. It rocked back and forth, this way and that, before he was dizzy with the repetitive motion. He fast forwarded it in his mind. It would topple. And from nowhere, a crash would come. It would smash into a million pieces. And it would be all his fault. Just as the cross head toppled off it's plastic stand, he shot out a teal arm and caught it. The sound never came. His black lips spread out into a triumphant grin across his jelly like face.
Not stone nor wood nor plastic, I shine in the light. I am rounded not sharp, you may use me to eat ice cream. what am I?
Chapter five

Alive artefacts

As the fish man aproched the display he touched the glass and it melted then he put the spoons in his pocket.A hatch slid back and other fish men came in then the glass exploded then they started playing with the artefacts . All the artefacts came alive and they got a surprise when the statue said ” excuse me! “

The police ran in the room and closed of the exit and the hole in the wall they couldn't deny the truth they where trapped...
We look like earrings but we are not, we do the job of buttons. Edmund Wyndham can see me. Made of wood we are not, nor stone, what are we made of?
Chapter six

The smelly stuck hand

As the fish men approached the display they smiled in ashtoneshment then the King river man stepped forward and his eyes turned purple , all of a sudden the glass disappeared and he touched the artefact.
Out of nowhere one of the river men shouted "it's nearly time for the museum to open , people will be here soon "
Then the King river man lost focus and his eyes went to their normal colour and the glass appeared , the Kings hand was stuck he tried so hard to pull it out that he farted !!!!
All of a sudden a security guard heard and he walked up up up the stairs and into the room that the fish men where in...
Juice, squash, alcohol. Am I water? You use me for all these things when your lips touch me. Where was I found?
Chapter seven

Stuck in the museum!!!

As the fish man approached the display he touched the glistening object and felt it's markings . It was quite ancient. His hands slimey scaley hands picked up the artifact. There was juice in the artifact and the fish man picked it up he didn't know what it was so he poured it on his head . Suddenly they saw light it was the sun they had been there too long what could they do? They were stuck. Dear der derrrrr
I can play a tune to you, but I have keys that don't open doors. If you don't have me, then you are poor. What is the fist name of the person who made me? Look on the red plaque.
Chapter eight

Holly' tale

As the fish man approached the display their lime coloured scaly skin reached through the glass. The fish men toured the museum and found it was a dead end. One of the fish men turned and as if by magic his eyes went from green to red. Then one of them reached his hand and started to play the piano. All of a sudden the fish men started to sing and the song was happy. After they had their fun they glanced and saw the sun. Then one of them shrivuled up. They all shot off, and then one more died.
C - Room upon room upon room upon room
They hoist up a bell to ring out and boom
Though I am but a model made of leather
But my twin stands the tallest
In all of Taunton's weather
Hunt me out in this hall
and answer the question to reveal all.
What am I? (5 letters)
Chapter nine

Church tower

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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