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Watery Tale Magpie

This Storywalk was created for the Frome Festival by children from Frome schools.

They spent two days walking, being inspired and writing and the following stories are the fruits of their labour!

If you want to know more about my Storywalks including school Storywalks experience days where your pupils get to write the stories in the Storywalk Engine, plus creative literacy sessions, then please get in touch.

Christopher Jelley - Claire Vowell

This trail begins outside the Frome Library, travel to that location for the first chapter to reveal.
Chapter one

The Watery Tale

The river Frome runs deep and fast,
So many stories it has seen in its past.
The water bubbles, gurgles, froths and foams,
On it meanders, round corners it roams.
On the river banks in the shade of the trees,
Stories unfolding through histories.
Of bygone people and a bygone age,
Tales of life and mystery to cover many a page.
But, where are these stories? On the wind they run free.
Tiny clues remain unearthed to be found by you and me.
We've searched and discovered, with youthful creation
A myriad of ideas inspired by location.
Then crafted and polished and carefully penned
So a patchwork of stories from the library extend.
With devices in hand follow our direction
as words and pictures reveal for your inspection.
Our stories await you, let your imagination free,
Come and visit Frome's hidden tale tapestry!
Facing away from the library, turn right and follow the edge of the library until you see a brass letterbox.
Chapter two

The Mysterious Mailbox

One strange day a local baker named Norman went to the library of Frome to fetch a new bakers book (he was clumsy and lost his old one) but when he got to the entrance he noticed something unbelievable occuring around the mailbox of the library, a poor, rugged old man with torn clothes and a long, scruffy beard was speaking to the mailbox. Norman thought the man was going mad, so he simply ignored it.
Norman was walking into the library but something urged him to walk towards the mailbox, he took one step, then another, then one more and before he noticed he was already at the mailbox, he blinked quickly and was very confused and he said to the man in a cross voice that was quiet
"What are you doing?"
the man replied in a calming tone, he said
"Well, I'm getting food"
At this time the most unusual thing happened, a curious beeping sound started playing, it got louder and louder until it became silent again and it paused for a few seconds. Suddenly, a loud beep broke the silence and a blue flash struck out of the mailbox and blue smoke started puffing out of it and quickly evaporating once it reached the ground, then a humanoid hand popped out of the mailbox and a banana like never seen before was being firmly gripped by the hand, the banana was a perfect honey-gold colour with no brown on any cm square of it, as the man reached for the banana the hand's grip loosened and the man grabbed it firmly and ran off.

Norman was absolutely astonished and seconds later he fainted on the spot, and hours later when he woke up he thought to himself if he could get something that he wants really badly, he spoke to the mailbox in a deep, commanding voice, he said
"Give me 10 tons of gold!" but nothing seemed to happen, no beeping or no blue flashes or anything, he was furious. He then thought to himself,"What could be on the other side? I want to show them a piece of my mind", he walked around, into the library and around again where the other side should've been but miraculously there was nothing there, Norman blinked quickly and lifted one eyebrow in great confusion, he went outside again to the other side and thought if maybe he could only get things that he needs and not what he wants, so he said again loudly and commandingly
"Mailbox, give me something I need,"
and a beeping sound started to play faster than usual, then blue flashes came, faster than usual and out came a letter that seemed to rhyme, it was a poem, it said:

Those whom seek wealth and power,
Spoiled with greed from head to toe,
Those who's lives are peace and flowers,
Purified with generosity from high to low,
Those who's minds are curious every hour,
Will soon meet a curse of blinding slow.

Norman soon realised what this meant, you shouldn't ask for something that you don't need, only for things that you do need.

Turn to face the car park and walk diagonally left. You will see 2 large stacked pots on the edge of the pavement.
Chapter three

The Witches Cauldrons

Once upon a time there was a girl called Crystal. She was walking along when suddenly she saw the most strange thing. Standing there were two old , black, rusty cauldrons that seemed to be balancing on top of each other! They were as black as soot and looked like two giant top hats. Crystal, who was keen to find out more about her strange discovery, examined the cauldrons to see if there was anything to show the history of these peculiar objects. Inside the cauldrons as Crystal had noticed , there was fungi and moss and dirt. Crystal had expected it to be dirt all the way down but to her surprise when she touched it, the dirt fell to the bottom. Suddenly she saw a small carving on the side of the top cauldron. It was the same shape as a fish! She carefully traced her fingers across the fish. Suddenly the cauldrons filled with water and fish. It really was a beautiful sight, there was clownfish , goldfish , angelfish. At the bottom of the cauldrons there was a small, bronze box. It was very light. "There can't be much in it", thought Crystal. So she opened the box...
A blinding light filled the air. When Crystal could see again she found herself looking straight into the eyes of a tiny, golden, beautiful pixie. Crystal put her hand out and the pixie settled on her hand. "My name is Goldie and I have been trapped in that box for a year and a day",said the pixie, in a soft, whispery voice.
"Who put you in there?", asked Crystal.
"The evil king", replied Goldie,"and he has lots of other animals trapped in his castle to, we must go and save them!".
"Yes", said Crystal, and they set off.
Soon they came to a low valley. "That way!" said Goldie. After hours of travel they came to the evil king's castle. Goldie and Crystal crept inside.
They looked through a crack in one of the doors and saw a big, bulky man sitting in an armchair. "The evil king!" whispered Goldie. "Lets go that way" said Goldie pointing to a flight of stairs.
Half way up the stairs, they saw an adorable,fluffy, tabby kitten mewing softly. Crystal carefully picked the kitten up and put her in her backpack. They carried on up the steps. Soon they came to a room full of cages. In each of the cages were small creatures. Crystal set them free and they all crept downstairs.
Suddenly a bunny tripped and fell. The evil king heard and came storming out. All the creatures ran for all they were worth until they were completely out of sight. Crystal and Goldie set all the animals free except the little tabby kitten as it had nowhere to go. And they all lived happily ever after. The End
Take the path by the river and follow the path to the Jenson Button Bridge. Walk to the 9th tree on the left past the bridge.
Chapter four

The Twisty Tree

Once upon a time long, long ago, there was a Twisty tree. Twisty tree was so tall in fact it was as tall as the biggest giant in the world (maybe a bit bigger.) It had loads of big twisty branches that twisted other each other in a weird way. In case your wandering were it is it's balancing on the side of the river bank. The smooth bark of the tree is a pale beigey brown colour. On the tree you might see a little hole in the middle of the tree some people think it's a fairy window but it's a secret door to the magical baby animal care centre!

In the twisty tree there live loads of fairies, all of the fairies are animal fairies, they look after all of the baby animals that don't have parents or a home. If you look very carefully you might see one or two little dots flitting around the Twisty Tree. Those tiny dots are actually fairies! The fairies all wear a long purple, sparkly dress down to their knees, in bright pink capital letters it says A.C.C (Animal Care Centre) (or you could wear clothes to do with animals). These fairies have lots of important jobs to do and all of the jobs are written in the Magical Fairy Job book. We will show you some of it now.
Job one finding animals: This job is a very tricky job because all the homeless baby animals hide under tree's, in bushes, in water or on roof tops.
Job two taking the animals back to the A.C.C: for this job you need to know how to drive called the A.C.V (for animal care van.) In side the A.C.V there are lots of soft conthy beds. First of all the fairies find the animals and bring them to the van by carefully carrying them in their arms like you carry a baby. When there are 7 or more animals in the van all of them will get seported back to the A.C.C.
Job three: (checking to see if the animals are hurt,if they are they go to the special secret get well soon recovery room: first thing you need to do on job 3 is to check the animals all over. Today we have 7 baby animals, they are all fox Cubs, we've checked them all. They are all ok except for one that has hurt her front left paw. We've put a bandage on it. She is allowed to walk around, but only if she doesn't use that paw. Now we need to find out how old they are. We found out that the oldest is 10 years old, the second oldest is 7 years old and then it hopes 6 years, 5 years, 3 years then 1 year old. Then we need to name them all. Let's think of good fox names like: Foxy, happy, Bushy (for Bushy tail), Orangey, Trixy, Fluffy and Amber. These are all really good fox names, now we need to see if they are boys or girls...

(Ten minutes later)

So now we know they are all sisters and we have decided which name goes best with which animal, we think the oldest should be called Bushy because she has a big bushy tail and the second oldest should be called Orangey because her fur is very orangey. Our secret favourite is Happy, the youngest because she is always smiling. We forgot to tell you about the GOBLINS! Every year on the 9th of January the goblins come to steal a animal. Last year they took smily snake the youngust of all are snakes. Today it's the 9th of January,we just thought that the goblins are going to steal Happy. But Happy is only 1 year old, Smily was 3. So we need to look after Happy. Wait a minute where is Happy?

Oh no, the GOBLINS! The Goblins must have taken her while we were talking!

We need to go and look at the animal save bench, if Happy is carved on the bench WE NEED TO SAVE HER! Let's go to the animal save bench right now, because the Goblins carve a picture of an animal they have taken into the bench as a clue. The bench is further down the river path on the left hand side.

(5 minutes walk later!).

Oh no, she is carved on the bench, can you see her, right in the very middle? We need to save her, let's get the water fairies and Crystal their little sister because they know how to swim in the water, they could teach us how to swim and come with us, because the Goblin's lair is under the river!

(An hour of swimming training later)

This is really fun! I love swimming in the river, let's get on with it then, we need to find Happy. "Crystal, do you have a map?"

First we need to dive off the Jenson Button Bridge down to the giant iron door into Goblin land, which we need to push open. Secondly we need to go past the Goblin Mouth Bush (be careful as it bites). After that you need to run around the front of the house to the Goblin face tree. Finally tiptoe in through the back door, but be very quiet, walk up the stairs and on the right there will be a bedroom and in the bedroom will be Happy. We need to tell her not to make a sound, then we take her back to the A.C.C.

O.K. let's get going, "Weeeeeeeeeee!" that was fun, diving off the bridge!
Look, there's the giant iron door, push! Well done you opened the great door. Now, past the bush, quickly round the house, now past the tree in through the door. Come on quietly up the stairs into the bedroom. "Happy, are you there?", "yes" came the faint reply. Open the door, coming, quick, let's get back to the A.C.C.
What was that noise? Oh no, the Goblins have woken up! Quick RUN!!

Phew that was lucky, the Goblins can't come into the A.C.C, we're safe. Happy was safe and well, back where she belonged with her friends.

Keep following the path with the river on your left till you get to the tree with a bird box to the left of the river steps. The tree is opposite the rear entrance to the Cheese and Grain.
Chapter five

The Tree Prison

Once in a distant and far away land, many light years ago there lived a young fairy called Iêsha, little did she know that she was being watched by an evil doppel (doppels don't have names.) At the time all that Iêsha knew about doppels was:

1) That doppels are poor tempered, white and turquoise maggots.

2) That doppels can take on any shape, form or size.

3) That doppels must change back into their true self for one hour once every day, otherwise they suffer a horrible and gruesome death by Tulips ( which doppels are highly allergic to.)

Apart from those three facts, Iêsha didn't really bother thinking about doppels, mostly because they only live in Gruffalo Forest which is 393.87777777777 miles from here.

One summers day in May Iêsha was playing in a Tulip meadow with her friend when she heard a yelp of pain from the edge of the field. Iêsha is a very kind fairy (which is normal) so she went to help the poor and unfortunate creature with her friend (she would later regret that she was kind.) When she reached the creature she realised why the creature was yelping in pain. It was a doppel, and as you know doppels are HIGHLY allergic to tulips. " Oh no," exclaimed Iêsha, " Poor thing! Iêsha bent down to help the doppel. The moment Iêshas' long, sparkly nails touched the doppels' shoulder she felt a shiver run down her spine. It was like somebody had poured icy, cold water down the back of her dress. The sensation was over almost as soon as it had started. Iêsha shuddered and decided she must have imagined it.

" Bye Iêsha! See you tomorrow I have got to go and visit my Granny." Shouted her friend "Byeeeeeee!" Answered Iêsha. "Right..... Back to the doppel..." Muttered Iêsha. Iêsha didn't want to hurt the doppel (she had been touching tulips) so she used magic to levitate the doppel up away from the tulips and back to her mushroom house to tend to its wounds. She laid it down on her kitchen table and went to find some bandages. I bet you can imagine her horror when she came back to the kitchen to find that the doppelgänger, the wounded and vulnerable doppel had been replaced by a PIXIE POLICE MAN! For all you muggles (humans) out there, pixie police men are only called upon in times of major crisis, such as:

Murder cases and

Before Iêsha could say anything the pixie police man injected her with a sleeping potion and carried her out of her house

Iêsha woke up about a week later in a dank and smelly room. The only light in the room was a dim lightbulb that flickered every few seconds. She had obviously been THROWN into the room because she was covered in bruises. Iêsha didn't have any food or water for what seemed like years. It could have been months, weeks or only days since she had seen sunlight, she would never know...
Follow the river path past the entrance to the canoe club. The next story will trigger underneath the railway bridge.
Chapter six

Bridge Battle

One usual night a multi-coloured rock rattled over the bridge on the usual midnight quarry train.


This multi-coloured rock exploded! Out of this fragmented beauty a portal grew, a portal from a different planet! Out of this portal came an alien with the ability to take over human minds!

This alien quickly took over nearly everybody in Frome. Only one person was left in Frome and he was called Tom.

Tom had been born with the power to withstand the alien's power plus an additional power to take control of water.

Tom set out to find this monster. He searched far and wide and at last he found this devilish fiend hiding under a wooden walkway by the railway bridge.

The battle began.

Tom quickly retreated as the alien advanced to attack. Tom leaped onto the water and decided to fight back. He heated up all the water to create some thick mist. The alien tripped up and fell into the river. The Alien was drowned!

With the alien gone the portal was sealed. No alien of that species ever intruded on Earth again.
Chapter seven

Walk back to the library for your final chapter.
Chapter eight

You've walked, read and absorbed and we hope you've enjoyed,
Inspired tales about Frome that cannot be destroyed.
Stories are everywhere, that much is true,
Locked within nature and all around you.
Our mission is over, our tales are completed,
They're here to be enjoyed, re-read and repeated.
So share them with friends and take others on our walk.
Stories need an audience, so through you they can talk.
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