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The Way of the Lamprey 4 to 6

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.

A simple keyword Storywalk for years 2 – 6, though can easily be adapted for older, task dependant.

Read the story, let the pupils hunt out the keywords and hidden secrets. Then write new clues, add pictures and change the keywords with your pupils, before a re-read from the top, but this time with your pupils' words inside.

Walk to the cauldrons in the Making Somerset Gallery and then type the word 'lamprey' in the keyword box below.
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 misjudged 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.

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 puzzles, riddles and conundrums, then on creepers night all was prepared. Towns folk locked their doors as normal 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. Although on the door was a small letter, the creepers slid up to it and read the words.

Dear River Men

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 for the museum gallery 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 the first riddle.
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 ? (four letters)
Chapter four

The Bell

B - White tall beautiful and majestic, with not a jot of paste or plastic. Carved from a single slab of stone, I stand quite still both proud and alone. Hunt me out in this hall and answer the question to reveal all. What am I ? (6 letters)
Chapter five


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
Chapter six

Church tower

stained glass riddle here
Chapter seven

Stained Glass

I am not the spoon

The knife

Nor fork

I am not the cake

The pie

Nor pork

I am not the rack to drip me dry

I am not the shelf for that's where I lie

The round is my shape

Eat off this .......
Chapter eight


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 (5 letters)
Chapter nine


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 ? (5 letters)
Chapter ten


canon balls riddle here
Chapter eleven

Silver Spoons

Go back to beneath the cauldrons for the last chapter and our story to complete. Your keyword consists of just two letters written on the side of one of the cauldrons suspended from the ceiling.
Chapter twelve

The End

The lamprey were greatly satisfied by all the 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 bikes and carried them 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 river men. 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 thirteen

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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