The Strid on the Wharfe
Tim all you have to do is wade across. I dare you.
But it will be very cold, Clive.
Why are you afraid.
They say it is enchanted, that once a dragon lived here, that he defended the people of Elmet, against those that would harm them.
That is rubbish, it’s only a river. If you go I will follow.
Ok: burr it is cold, Clive its got hold of me.
Don’t be daft,
As Tim felt himself being pulled under the surface he took a deep breath. He knew he was being taken deep, he was afraid. Then he felt the warmth enveloping him.
If I am going to die I will do it with my eyes open.
Before him was a vast underwater cavern, its ceiling and walls lined with glittering precious stones. But the floor was covered with rusted swords and human bones. Then as a stream of warm bubbles issued forth from deep within the cavern, Tim saw the dragon.
Wake up, do wake up Tim.
The Boy and the River
The sun seemed so far away and yet Tim felt warm. A pale green light radiated from the sun. Tim decided to investigate what was afoot. He tried to run, but a rather strange feeling, like that of a heavy weight or pressure held him fast.
‘Remember child: you are now in my realm’. ‘Swim lad’.
Swim yes that was it, yes that was it, he was in the river. Clive had taunted him into wading across it. Yet the voice did not belong to Clive. Tim wondered who was speaking to him in such a deep voice. Curiosity drove Tim to lift his feet and yes he swam. Moving slowly forward Tim travelled deeper into the cavern, drawn forward by the glow from the pale green orb. As he moved forward, the walls of the cavern receded, then disappeared all together. It now seemed to Tim that he was swimming in a vast ocean.
Hey lad what you doing?
Tim stopped swimming and looked around himself for the source of this new voice. His eyes alighted upon a bank of seaweed, from within which a pair of dark black beady eyes where watching him. Then much to Tim’s concern a strange hairy elongated dogfish like creature detached itself from the waving forest of seaweed and swam towards him.
I asked you where be you going lad.
If you please sir, I got lost when I fell in the river, but I saw a dragon and he had such a gentle smile, so I thought that I would ask him how I might get back to the river bank. The dogfish smiled at him, then said there there be no dragons here about. Then in a slightly warmer voice told Tim that his name was Malcom and that if Tim would follow him, he would take Tim to someone who might be able to help.
Reluctantly Tim followed Malcom into the forest of seaweed. As Tim felt the seaweed brushing against his legs he heard Malcom saying, ‘take care lad, this here seaweed likes to wrap itself around things and hold them to itself’. So Tim followed Malcom closely, as they eased themselves through the dark swaying forest.
After a while Tim started feeling frustrated by the lack of conversation from his new found companion. Now tired and hungry Tim wanted to rest, but he dare not stop, for there was no pathway for him to follow. For it seemed Malcom just brushed the waving fronds aside. As Tim was about to called for a halt, the forest parted and he found himself looking up towards a mountainous pile of rocks. Around which were hundreds of large and rather hungry looking sharks. The largest of which glided down to grin wickedly at Tim.
Welcome Malcom, who is this, you have bought for supper. Lord Bigwig this is Tim, he is looking for the dragon. Indeed. Looking for the dragon is he. Brave fellow, are you known to the dragon? I believe so Sir. He has looked upon me and smiled, Sir. Smiled at you you say, indeed that is important, for I have never known him to smile. Never no never.
Lord Bigwigs smile got bigger and bigger, till his teeth parted. Tim was looking right into the mouth of the largest white shark in the ocean of … well he did not know the name of the ocean, but he could see right into the sharks mouth, and it was full of fledgling sharks. Yes Tim they are my children, there are nine of them, they are as yet without names. We do not name them until they are ready to swim independently. But you may call me Meg.