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Way of the Lamprey Alder

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!
Make your way to the Making Somerset Gallery and then stand beneath the cauldrons. Your key word is the first word written on the large information panel.
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.
G - All heads and tails, with tiny picture portrait details, swap 'em trade 'em guaranteed by the king, but the value of these is the important thing. Hunt me out in this hall and answer the question to reveal all. What am I ? (one word with five letters)
Chapter four


F - Could it be a lion, mouse or dog It's not a bird, snake, pig or frog. Not a pigeon nor monkey nor rabbit nor rat. No, I think it's a cat on my battle ready hat. What am I made of? (one word with five letters)
Chapter five


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? (one word with five letters)
Chapter six

Church tower

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 ? (one word with five letters)
Chapter seven

Stained Glass

A - Long ago I was lashed in the top of the tower, woken to sing for every prayer and hour. Now I sit idle clapper-less and dumb, where once I was rung wildly so I'd ring out my song. Hunt me out in this hall and answer the question to reveal all. What am I ? (one word with four letters)
Chapter eight

The Bell

H - Iron gob stopper. What am I ? (two words five letters and five letters)
Chapter nine

Silver Spoons

Go back to under the cauldrons and type the word Lamprey in the key word box 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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