Secret History of Croydon
The infamous football match in which the Baggies somehow ate one of their opponents had passed into Croyde Folklore. For the Baggies, however, it became part of tradition and no feast was complete without a taste of fellow man - as one young Croyde was to discover.
Wuncake II was bored. It was Ikeday and, along with the rest of the Shortoffer family, he was waiting in the shadows of the Great Pillars for the traditional Ikeday market to begin. Wuncake wondered why everybody insisted in arriving a good hour before the Gatekeepers opened the market. The field outside was jammed with carts and chariots. Arguments broke out as horsemen jostled for hitching posts. Bored children wandered about impatiently.
He looked up at the two Great Pillars. According to legend, these had been erected in honour of the day when the great spirit-warrior Ike had defeated the demon Chintz in a mighty duel and banished him to the distant hills of Sanders Dead.
Wuncake had an idea. Muttering something about seeing a friend he slipped away from his family and disappeared amongst the crowd. Ducking behind one of the pillars he crept into the undergrowth and vanished into the trees. Hopefully he would not be missed and could creep back into the market a couple of hours later. Freedom!
Navigation was not one of Wuncake's greater talents. Indeed a friend had unkindly remarked that Wuncake 'could not find his own backside with both hands and a lantern'. After a few minutes he was well and truly lost. And bored. He had hoped to stumble across some tavern or mead-house, or maybe glimpse a nubile young Baggette bathing in the cool pure waters of the Wandle.
Wuncake has read somewhere that when lost, one tended to go round in a circle. Therefore, he reasoned, by simply keeping going he would at least end up back at the Great Pillars sooner or later.
Thus reasurred, Wuncake strolled confidently along. After ten minutes of walking almost exactly Due East he blundered into a Baggy village.
The Village Guard, whilst evidently a fellow of great brawn, was not without cunning. He greeted Wuncake as if an old friend and led him into the village square. In those days, relations twixt Baggy and Croyde were, except for the odd argument over the lunch menu, quite cordial. Wuncake was therefore not startled to be provided with a comfy bench and goblet of fine Claret. He was curious but not unduly concerned when two young Baggettes relieved him of his garments and placed him in a large vat filled with a warm aromatic broth.
Wuncake assumed that this was some sacred bath offered to honoured visitors, perhaps a rite adopted from the primitive worshippers of Raadox. He could smell fragrant herbs but did admit puzzlement at the pieces of onion and carrot which were floating around his midriff. The water was also getting a tad hot.
Sensing his suspicions, one of the Bagettes sought to distract him, and asked Wuncake where he was from. On hearing his answer, she promptly called for the guard who hauled Wuncake out of the vat and unceremoniously dumped him on the ground.
"What was that for?" asked a bemused Wuncake. "Well," replied the Guard, "last one from Waddon ate all the potatoes!".
the chronology of the Secret History Of Croydon is uncertain, readers
may be puzzled by the reference to potatoes in what was probably
a pre-Elizabethan period. Correctly translated, the guard would have
said: "last one from Waddon ate all the addings!". Please
refer to The Roots
Of The Adding for information on the Adding and its relationship
to the contemporary potato.
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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.