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The Secret History of Croydon
(An adult fairy story)
The early years (Part 1)

Long, long ago, even before Gordon Brown was prime minister, before even the coming of the Thatcher, in a beautiful valley by the sea in the fabled kingdom of Ruda, the Baggies and the Croydes used to have a party on the beach each year at the end of summer. The highlight of the day was a football match which was always followed by a feast.

On the day our story begins the Croydes had just lost 47 to nil to the Baggies, they did not mind because the Baggies had won every game for the previous 431 years, probably because they were all over 5 feet tall, or possible because Destru (who was the captain and the tallest member of the Croydes team) was only 3 foot 9 inches tall.

It was not going to be a good day for Destru, but he was going to become famous and well liked, by some.

After the match was over all the players ran into the sea to relax and the spectators helped to prepare the food for the evenings celebrations. There were five roasting pigs and two sheep slowly cooking over large wood fires. There was also a massive cauldron, six feet across, that was being used to boil vegetable soup.

Destru found the water a little cold, even though it was August, so he came out of the water early and went up the beach to the fires to warm himself. The smell coming from the bubbling cauldron of vegetables was beautiful and he climbed up onto a pile of wood to try to dip the large cooking spoon, that was attached to the handle of the pot by a chain, into the soup to try to get a taste.

Unfortunately Destru lent too far and tumbled into the pot, he had time for one quick taste before he sank beneath a large carrott.

Destru's tragic end was not discovered until much later when most of the vegetable soup had been eaten. Many of the Baggies had already congratulated Ronald, the location caterer, on the excellence of his vegetable soup, saying that it had a wonderful smokey bacon flavour, before Ronald moved a pile of onions and Destru floated to the surface.

That was the end of the feast and the Baggies and the Croydes parted, with each tribe going back to their own end of the beach for the following winter. The worrying thing was that a few Baggies stayed behind to finish the soup!

The winter was long and hard and food became in short supply. It was not long before terrible rumours started to circulate in the Croyde's village about men, women and even children, disappearing in the surrounding hills. When search parties went out to look for them all that was found were big footprints and the smell of cooking.

Things came to head the following year when discussions for the annual football match started. The Baggies suggested that, to add spice to the game, the winners should be allowed to eat the losers, with extra large sesame seed buns to be supplied by Ronald.

The elders of the Croyde tribe decided that they had no option but to lead their people out of their beautiful valley and to try to find a safe place to live. The elders knew that they would have to fight to get away so all of Destru's family were ordered to stay behind and fight off the Baggies and stop them coming after the Croydes. It would be many many years before any member of Destru's family would escape, but by then they would be much feared, even by their own kind.

This was how the long march of the Croydes began in their search for a new home, which finally brought them to the caves of Waddon, they journeyed for many years, learned many new skills and had many exciting adventures.

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If you would like to contribute a story telling of the adventures of one of the Croydes on their epic journey from Rudha to the Caves of Waddon, then please send it as a plain text email (no attachments) to:Croydes.Stories@croydonweb.com. Your story should be between 500 and 1,000 words long. Background information about the various Croyde families can be found in various parts of this site.

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