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You are in: Lancashire > RaW > Owd Demdike and the Giant

Taffy Thomas

Owd Demdike and the Giant

You've all got together and finished our original Lancashire tale... read it here!

Storyteller Taffy Thomas's opening paragraph started you off...

"It wasn't in your time, and it wasn't in my time. It was in the time when birds built their nests in old men's beards.

A giant tramped from Yorkshire into Lancashire. The locals were terrified of him, partly because he was huge, but mainly because he came from Yorkshire. Needing a rest, he settled his backside on the top of Pendle Hill....."

Tony Howarth from Burnley added this...

"It was a terrifying sight for the people in most parts of Lancashire, as the giant could be seen, quite clearly, from many towns and villages. What was his plan? Where was he going? Why had he come over from that strange and, some say, dangerous, county  of Yorkshire?"

Michael Patten from Lytham added this...

"The giant incurred the wrath of Owd Demdike, doyenne of Lancashire Witches, for she hated trespassers and Yorkshiremen of any size, especially those who sat on her mandrake roots. Demdike took up her stout stick and prepared to give the giant a 'piece of her mind'."

John Mcnicholas from Blackpool added this...

"However at the very moment she closed her garden gate she encountered Timothy, an extremely old and unutterably wise owl who had given her valuable counsel many times before. ''I hope you aren't off to bandy words or indeed sticks with that over inflated Tyke old girl' said Timothy peering down imperiously from the stout branch of a grand old oak which had caught his eye on approach. Timothy always preferred to be out of reach when challenging Demdike."

Russell from Manchester added this...

" 'Happen I am,Timothy, ya can't let Yorkshire folk ,of any size, come stomping th'feet on Lancashire soil, before y'know the'll be planting white roses and claiming they're the best tea makers!' Timothy let out a toot. 'Excuse me! Look lass, why dont ya try that diplomatic approach, that new fangled pc thingymigig, explain that we the good folks of Lancs will reinstate the weekly delivery of free food parcels to the malnourished, impoverished Yorkshire folks in return for him getting h'sen back home?' Demdike was struck with a thought, luckily it missed her head."

Jan from Preston added this...

"It seemed that time was rapidly shifting back and forth between the time of giants, the Lancashire Witches and the age of technology and had begun to meld into one.  What was going to happen to our history if the past was the present, the present the past?  And more importantly what would become of our future if this couldn't be resolved?  Were the witches powerful enough to bring things to rights or was there another way?  Where was our hero or heroine who could save us - and keep not only time in its place but Yorkshire as well..."

Ros from Kirkby Lonsdale added this...

"Too late.... the giant stirred. He stretched his mighty arms and uncurled his toes. Timothy flew to the top of a high oak tree to take a better look just in time to see the giant heave himself to his feet and pick up a huge tree trunk at the end of which was a spotted  knotted handkerchief containing his rather modest packed lunch. Owd Demdike leapt up and down, incandescent with anxiety but, regardless of all the fuss, the giant began to make his way down towards the River Ribble in the beautiful spreading valley below. The ground shook a little with every step he took. Alarmed, Timothy took flight westward in the direction of the high red Tower by the sea. He was wise enough to know when he needed help."

Anne from Clayton-le-Moors added this...

"On and on he flew navigating by the dying red sun. Exhausted he alighted on the sails of a white windmill overlooking the Ribble Estuary. 'I must be mad,' he said to himself. 'Flying all this way at my age. It's not as if me and Owd Demdike have been the best of friends, we've been at loggerheads for years. Advice! When has she ever taken my advice?' Timothy flapped his tired wings and rose into the air. But this time some strange instinct told him his old sparring partner really did need help and he intended to give it. The sky darkened and suddenly there in the distance he spotted the red circling light on the top of the big red tower a sure indication that the white wizard was in residence."

John Mcnicholas from Blackpool added this...

"Arkwright a Blackpudlian Wizard of some repute was absentmindedly licking the ice cream from the top of a large cone when Timothy settled on top of a Land Rover behind him. 'I've been expecting thee Timothy' he said without turning round. 'Well you might Arkwright' intoned Timothy gravely. 'Things are in a right pickle yonder, and what's this new toy of yours I'm perched on?' 'It's a motor vehicle I came across earlier' explained Arkwright. 'But don't concern yourself, it's only here cos the time space continuum's buggered. Right, I spose I'd better start thowd girl up, and take thee back so we can both assist yon daft old scut in Pendle'!"

Jennifer Taylor added this...

"I thought motor vehicles were supposed to drive over land" cried Timothy as Arkwright steered his new found transport into the sea.  "Aye Timothy owd lad but what quicker way to get back to Pendle but by navigating the river in this amphibian."  As they reached Sawley Abbey the shadow of  the gallumping Yorkshireman was visible in the twilight with Owd Demdike right behind with stick aloft.  "Nah then Demdike" said t'giant "dus ta not recognise me?  Lancashire born, Yorkshire bred, strong in t'arm thick in t'ead."

Alec Price from Brinscall added this...

"Thick in t'ead tha might be, but if tha dorn't get thi sen back oer yon border, tha'll feel this stick around yer ear hole." The giant laughed so loud that all Lancashire shook. then quick as owt, old Demdike flew up on her stick and gave him a right bashin."

Ellie from Oswaldtwistle added this...

The giant swatted her like he would a pesky fly. 'Stop pestering me woman' he roared, his breath bending the trees as if they were in the path of a hurricane. 'Do you think I want to be here in this God forsaken county? I'm here for a good reason. In my rucksack I have brought thirteen white rose bushes for you to plant alongside your red ones. And when the deed is done and if you would be so kind I shall take home with me the same number of your red bushes and this shall be a lasting symbol of our friendship.They only sent me because everyone else was too frightened to come, they've heard such stories of  wild Lancastrians, their Lancashiire hotpot, their witches and familiars and folk donkey stoning their back doorsteps. Nobody else dared to come.' Demdike flew back towards him and perched on his shoulder. 'Well that's different' she said. I'll whistle for Timothy, let's see if we can sort something out before you demolish the Ribble Valley with those enormous boots of yours!"

Jan from Preston...

Whilst she waited for Timothy to arrive, taking his time as usual, she pondered what the Giant had said earlier.  "dus ta not recognise me?  Lancashire born, Yorkshire bred, strong in t'arm thick in t'ead."  She still couldn't place him.  But if what he said was true, and he was Lancashire born, then maybe he was the perfect person to mend the rift between the counties (starting with the token of the roses).  And if this happened then maybe the rift in time would also resolve itself.  Now where WAS that bird?

Jan finished the story...

After what seemed an eternity, Arkwright and Timothy  spluttered to a halt in the Amphibian vehicle.  "I told you it was meant to be driven on land, you magic wasn't so great this time" said the old bird.  "Oh bother that we got here didnt we?"  They looked up from their niggling and saw the giant and Owd Demdike busy digging up her garden, taking out red roses and planting white ones. 

As soon as Arkwright set eyes on him he said "by the heck Granville, you've grown"  Demdike and Timothy exchanged glances..  "Whatever happened to my best apprentice?"  "er, well I'm afraid that last spell to make me a little taller went slightly wrong, and somehow I ended up in Yorkshire and was taken in by a kindly couple despite being a Lancastrian.  As I got older our little village wanted to make friends with the folks of Lancashire and as I said to Owd Demdike most were too afraid.  They thought because of my size and background I was the ideal choice." 

So they all pitched in to plant the remaining white roses and to dig up 13 red ones for him to take back with him.  As soon as the last one was done an amazing thing happened - with a little help from Arkwright I think....  Amongst the red and white roses, pink ones began to appear, the skies brightened, the vehicle disappeared and as though drawn by some invisible force locals from both sides of the "divide" began to appear, smiling and nodding and shaking hands with each other.  It looked like it would be a good future for Lancashire and Yorkshire after all :)  And Granville was seen heading off for Yorkshire, red roses in hand to go and continue the good work that had just begun...

last updated: 12/06/2008 at 12:48
created: 20/04/2007

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