Early Anglo-Saxon glass ‘claw beaker’. 5thC, found at Castle Eden, Durham.
(via claw beaker | British Museum)
Here we go folks, it's round 2! This time with 100% less Jack!
Going to let it run for a week again, I'm very curious if Collot will be able to give the same strong showing as before. Or maybe Jack's fans will go for a wild card?
As always, do please reblog to spread this to a wider group - let's get as much of the fandom as we can!
(Yes, I am going to run this as a reverse elimination style tournament, with the winning order announced after all 5 polls are done. Why? Because I'm bored and unmedicated, and I have too little enrichment in my enclosure.)
Many folk tales have been forgotten now, but not that of the Lambton Worm. Every northerner knows this, the story of a worm-like dragon, a witch’s curse, and the rebellious and surly heir of the Lambton estate.
It’s set in County Durham in the north east of England, and it tells the story of the "ne’er-do-well” heir, of whom his father despaired. He made an extra effort to be unpleasant, and on Sundays when he should have been at church in his finery, he donned his oldest clothes and went fishing.
On one such Sunday the young man sat by the River Weir but not one fish did he catch until, at the point of giving up, he finally felt a tug on the line. He pulled and pulled, and eventually a creature surfaced, a “long evil-looking worm” that he thought looked like “the Devil himself”. Disgusted, he threw it down a well and left it there. A passer-by saw it too, and said of it “That beast tokens no good”.
Years passed by, and the heir left Lambton to fight abroad, whilst the creature continued to live in the well. Eventually it grew and was able to climb out, and it would lie by the river during the day, and would go up to Penshaw Hill (pictured above) to sleep at night (they say the beast left an impression of it’s coils on the hill, which you can see if you look closely at the picture). It would feed on any living creature it could, and the whole county lived in terror. The old Lord of Lambton tried as best as he could, and some of the bravest and strongest knights in the country travelled up to Durham to slay it, but it could not be slayed - it was even cut in half, but it immediately assembled itself and was stronger than before.
One day, the heir of Lambton returned a new man, and vowed to his father that he would rid Durham of the creature. But first, he consulted a witch who told him he must fight the creature in the River Weir. He thanked her, and she said as payment he must kill the first living creature he saw. “If you fail to do so,” she warned, “the Lords of Lambton for nine generations will never die in their beds”.
The young man rushed home to tell his father, and they planned that on killing the beast the heir would sound his bugle, and his father would release one of his dogs so that he might kill it and fulfil his obligation to the witch. He then went into the Weir and did battle.
The witch was right to tell him to fight in the river, for whenever the heir cut a piece off the creature the Weir would rush it away before the worm had a chance to reassemble. Finally, he killed it and the county was rid of the beast. However, as he sounded his bugle his father, overjoyed at his victory, rushed to see him, making the old Lord the first living creature the heir encountered. He couldn’t bring himself to kill his own father, however, so he continued his plan and killed his dog. But the curse was set, and, for nine generations, not one of the Lords of Lambton died peacefully in their beds.
[Sources: British Folk Lore, Myths, and Legends, Folk Tales of the North Country by F. Grice].