Property of Gerry A/C©
Wednesday 3rd September 2014
The Bisterne Dragon. [755 words]
Thanks to Folk Tales/Michael O’Leary.
Wild boars rushing out at you from the woods, with the sun behind them, or was it a dragon? It has been told that it was dragons. They were to be found in Saxon shore in West Sussex, south coast of England, where they were called ‘knuckers’ and they lived in bottomless ponds.
The Bisterne dragon, however, being a more honest sort of dragon, preferred the airy heights of Burley Beacon. Burley in case one is not sure is situated south westerly edge of the Forest.
From there, it was possible to swoop down onto the farms and water meadows of the Avon Valley, which runs downs the western edge of the Forest.
A bully often likes to focus on a particular victim, and the Bisterne dragon focused on Lower Bisterne Farm. At first the residents were able to appease the dragon by leaving buckets of milk each day – but paying protection money, so to speak, never works out in the long run, the dragon became greedier and wanted more. It had already tasted blood and did not see any reason to hunt when there were cattle in the fields making them easy prey. Soon the dragon had caused so much uproar from Crow to Winkton, and Lower Bisterne Farm was nearly broken. So it was the landowners and farmers decided to hire the lone hero to battle the beast, and so they hired the one and only —-dah dah dee dee dahhhhh!! yes you guessed it,, walking into the vision of the gathering applauding crowd, all cheering and chanting his name ‘Sir Maurice de Berkeley’ what a mouthful that must have been.
Sir Maurice covered his armour in bird lime – bird lime is a very sticky substance which is made from holly bark – and this is very relevant to the New Forest. In the Forest there is an abundance of holly and ‘ of all the trees that are in the wood the holly bears the crown’. It is at midsummer that the holly king overpowers the oak king, and at midwinter the oak king overpowers the holly king: moreover, the holly is associated with the element of fire, – most suitable when doing battle with a dragon. And yet Sir Maurice was a lone hero – a dragon fighter- and he had come all the way from Gloucestershire, so it was believed his bird lime was made from the bark of the wayfaring tree.
Sir Maurice sprinkled the bird lime with broken glass, and, with his two mighty dogs running before him, he set forth to do battle with the dragon. These two dogs were capable of bringing down the mightiest of beasts, but the dragon contemptuously tore them apart and spat out the sundered canine corpses as being quite unfit for dragon consumption.
Then Sir Maurice was alone, facing the terrible Bisterne dragon, and, whilst the landowners, farmers and peasants of the Forest skulked in their homes and barns, the terrible battle commenced. Typical of Foresters today, hiding away and shouting the odds. Anyway, all day the battle continued – the foul, evil smelling beast wrapping its coils around the knight, and screeching with pain as the broken glass tore at its scales. Finally, Sir Maurice was able to sever the head of the beast, and, as the green blood burnt into the soil, he staggered from the field of battle, a broken man. He died soon after; the injuries had damaged his body so badly, seemed unable to heal. But it was the trauma of the battle – for this had eaten deep into his soul, and the mark of the dragon could never be washed away.
This battle took place in Dragon Field at Lower Bisterne Farm, [now private land]. On the wall of Bisterne Manor House, [private house] lots of private stuff going on here,, there is a stone carving of a dragon between fiery beacons; there is also a coat of arms with a dragon crest, and in the centre is the Berkeley Arms. Looking protectively out over the entrances of the house are two stone dogs, great mastiff – type dogs killed by the Bisterne dragon. Dragons are a great part of English folklore, so what is it to be, was there really a dragon, or was it a wild boar, or was it just a tale. Either way, it is a good read, just open your mind and let your imagination flow…
Thursday 28th August 2014.
From an original idea from a good friend and exceptional blogger and writer herself. Pop over and say hello. Carol B Sessums at adjustingyourfocus. – http://adjustingyourfocus.wordpress.com/
It always started off with her stepping outdoors, walking a few steps into her garden. A large orange and black butterfly would flutter around her head, then land on her shoulder. She would walk a few more steps then a blue one would flutter in front of her face and then settle on her other shoulder. She never attempted to wave them away, she always welcomed them. Even though she was walking she never moved any further away from her back door.
The next time the same would happen but now four butterflies would appear and settle on her shoulder. Each time she would then wake up, sweating all over, her forehead soaking her pillow, and her bed wear had to be changed. She could not understand why this happened because the dream was a pleasant one, no threat or horrid visions. The sunny day and butterflies gave her a sense of security and serenity, a feeling of love. On this summers day these gorgeous creatures were always visible in her garden. This day she noticed something that was different to her dream, and confused her a little.
She did not dream this dream for a while, the nights passed and nothing to be remembered. She even researched what dreams mean, but for this particular dream she was unsuccessful in finding any answers. As the nights passed and no more dreams she eventually forgot about them. But the night of the eve of her mothers birthday, she was planning to go and place some flowers on her grave, she did this every month. She was very close to her mother and tears would flow every time she thought of her, finding it hard to let go or move on. Laying in bed thinking of her day tomorrow, many pictures drifting in and out of her mind until she eventually drifted off to sleep. The sleep was restless, fidgeting and snoring causing her to keep waking, unfinished dreams causing minor distress and hitting a point for her to waken with a start. Again sweating all over and feeling very hot, she could see the full moon in the sky casting its bright golden glow upon the earth. She lay looking out her window staring at the moon, imagining people living on it. She became fixated on it, hypnotised, being in a trance waiting for someone to click their finger to bring her back to the living world. But of course it never happened.
Butterflies fluttered about her face, first two orange and black ones then two pale blue. She did not flinch or try to brush them away, she did not mind them near her face. Two more appeared followed by two more, the appearance of more until there were hundreds maybe thousands. All fluttering about her face and body, circling her in a whirlwind of colour. She noticed she was standing next to an apple tree, which appeared to be in her garden. Everything else was the same, she could see the chicken run, the gooseberry bushes but there was no apple tree. Yet here one was, bearing fruit, nice perfectly formed red apples. She turned around and saw that her house was not to be seen, she was only a few feet from her back door, but now the house was gone. The butterflies eased away from circling her, forming a cloud of colour in front of her. Fluttering, hundreds corkscrewing, a mass of delicate wings tightening, no particular shape, just a cloud of colour, continuing to spread out and up and down until they resembled a shape of a human being. All fluttering now in a constant shape for a short while, as she watched a figure taking shape, all the butterflies melting, shaping slowly until a person, another woman was seen standing only a few feet away. She took shape, her face becoming recognisable, the vision of the woman in front of her, not believing her eyes. “Mother, it can’t be, is it really you?” she whispered. Then the woman spoke.
“Hello luv, don’t be afraid, it is really me your mother. I have only a few moments.” She was about to rush to her mother and throw her a hug, but her mother noticed this and abruptly spoke firmly with a raised voice, “No luv, don’t try to touch me, I will just vanish and you will be hurt and might even join me in the world of the dead.” She stepped back a little.
“I want you know, I left you in a hurry, beyond my control I did not want to, I had no choice in the matter. But I want you know that I love very much and hope that me being here now will relieve any guilt you may have. I have heard your words and felt your tears and because of this I have been allowed to come to you and tell you not worry, none was your fault. Most of all my luv’ I will always be by your side, looking over you. You may not see me but I assure you I will be there for you.” Her mother then held out her hand, her image flickering a little, “Don’t touch me, just hold out your hand I have something for you. They were interred with me and I have no use for them so you just as well have them back and make use of them.” She then dropped some jewels into her daughters hand. A wedding ring and an engagement ring and a bracelet, not just any bracelet it was a charm bracelet. All the charms were collected over the years of her life and the holidays she had been. All with some history. “Thank you mum, but it was not necessary.”
“They are of no use to me, you just as well have them and do with them as you wish.” Mother and daughter stood looking at each other, the daughter shedding tears mother would have if she could. The silence was broken by her mother, “Sorry luv’ but it is time for me to go, remember I am here with you always. I am being called, remember I always love you.” they both held out their hands, not touching but symbolising their embrace. As quickly as she said goodbye her mother burst into a mass of coloured butterflies, blue and orange and white all fluttering madly eventually dispersing, all but two, the two on her shoulder, the orange and black on one and blue on the other.
She looked at both butterflies in turn and whispered “Thank you mum, luv you to.” the two butterflies then fluttered away. She could now see her house and where her mother had stood the apple tree now stands full of perfect fruit.
Gaa/C© August 2014
Enjoy Thank you.
another great part…
Originally posted on Sitting on the Porch:
Saturday 23rd August 2014.
After a short break while I refreshed our drinks and gave her a sandwich which she ate and said she thoroughly enjoyed. Sitting back in her rocker she caught her breath and continued with her story. Are you still sitting comfortably then I will let her continue. Enjoy.
In the shop, an antique plus bric-a-brac shop, Angela and Isobel sat in the back room chatting.
“But sis’ I really thought it was in the cafe, I had been nowhere other than that. You see Issy, I left home with it, as you know we planned to lock it in the shop safe. I did my usual, stopped off at the cafe ordered a coffee and drank it and left. All this took no longer than fifteen minutes.”
“Don’t worry Angie we’ll find it, Graham knows stuff and how to…
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Saturday 23rd August 2014
Property of Gerry A/C©
Originally posted on Sitting on the Porch:
Thursday 14th August 2014
On the Porch..
‘The day was warm, sunshine baking the earth. It was mid afternoon when the old lady stopped and asked if I knew the way to a small village in the nearby forest. Seeing that she was hot and tired I offered her a an iced tea. She took me up on my offer with great thanks, I showed her to a chair next mine that looked out into the nearby wood. While she was sitting she told me that she has not been to village for many years and could not remember her way. She was looking for an Antique/Bric-a-brac shop. We chatted for a long while and she went into a story from the past.’
Isobel came running in, slamming the front door and then falling over the carpet and shouting ‘ouch’ as she hit the floor. On…
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Friday 15th August 2014.
Gerry A/C ©
Friday 8th August 2014
Guest photographer Natalia Maks invites you to find unexpected textures in the world around you.
Enjoy and Thank you.
Gerry A/C ©
Friday 1st August 2014
If you got time I suggest listening to this easy going tune, done by very good musicians. Enjoy!
Enjoy Thank You
Gerry A/C 2014©
Saturday 26th July 2014.
Lets go and fly a kite…..
Hang on luv just sortin’….
Up to its highest height.