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Wild River Kings Magpie

A simple and accessible Storywalk designed to harness creative writing and responses from the pupils working on the National Trusts Holnicote Estate Riverlands Project.
Ask Mr Jelley for the first password.
 
Chapter one

Welcome to the Court of the Wild River Kings

On the back of a throne made of birch and pine
Sits the king of the beavers sipping teasel wine
About him courtiers fuss this way and that
Combing his hair, wetting his coat
And beside him on their thrones sit kings vole, otter and stoat
Their talk is cut short as you enter the glade
So you bow awkwardly to the kings who sit comfy in the shade

(every one bow in your group to the kings)

The Beaver King clasps his paws and there is silence in the court
For they all want to see what fabulous gifts that you have brought
But your hands are empty
And judging by their sudden grunting
Your lack of gift offering is terribly insulting
To come into this glade without gifts for the kings
Is surly the most inconsiderate of things!

But King Beaver is up leaving the others on their thrones
And he places his wine upon a convenient stone
He then approaches you with welcoming arms
For he see that perhaps you were unaware
He then clears his throat and announces to all
‘Beauties, beasts and animals all (that's you!)
Welcome, welcome to the court of the Wild River Kings'
And all about the animals whoop, chatter and sing

‘It is our sacred custom, enshrined in forest law
That all who approach this wild river court
Must add to our precious stores'

‘So new friends, go find something organic like a feather, a leaf or bark
(but be careful it's not too dirty, dangerous or sharp)
It might be a nut, or fruit or even a pebble
Then take it to the wise birds who will spot the finest
Sometimes (he says with a wink) the winner is the tinniest!
Go find something now from about this place
You have just three minutes, so don't be slow paced.'

You have your instructions, come back to this spot in three minutes, find a pretty leaf, a feather, a pebble or a piece of bark and hold it tight.
Make it different from your team members so your group has a nice mix of different things ready to show the wise birds.
A - Go to the red umbrella
 
Chapter two

Wise Kingfisher Sage

As you approach wise Kingfisher Sage, you see she is sitting in a brilliant wooden nest made from what looks like golden ribbons. It swings gently from the trees and she is reading from a large book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Kingfisher teacher, Kingfisher Sage
Kingfisher guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Kingfisher sage flits over and nods at them all, considers for a moment and then points to one in particular. ‘This one is the most appropriate' she says and points to one in particular. ‘I love to catch fish, and this one reminds me of the movement and shape of a tasty minnow and all the Wild River Kings appreciate life in the river.'

Which of your gifts is most like a fish? This could be the shape, the size, the way the light reflects on it, or how a fish moves.

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet before you go to the next location.
B - Go to the orange umbrella
 
Chapter three

Wise Heron Sage

As you approach wise Heron Sage, you see she is sitting in a solid wooden hut which looks like a giant wicker hat. Inside she is reading from a book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Heron teacher, Heron Sage
Heron guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Heron Sage stoops and considers them all for a very long time plucking at and tapping each one in turn with her beak. Eventually she says, ‘this one is the most appropriate' and points to the one which made the best noise. ‘The Wild River Kings love song and sound so much.'

Which of your gifts makes the best sound when plucked or tapped?

Perhaps think shape, size, colour and texture.

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet before you go to the next location.
C - Go to the green umbrella
 
Chapter four

Wise Magpie Sage

As you approach wise Magpie Sage, you see she is sitting in a little wigwam made from brambles and willow. Inside she is reading from a book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Magpie teacher, Magpie Sage
Magpie guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Magpie Sage hops out of her house and is very exited about your choice of gifts. She twitches and changes her mind lots of times before finally she says, ‘this one is the most appropriate' and points to the one which would float on the river. ‘The Wild Beaver King loves to play in the water with his kits and grand kits. This one would be the most fun for them I think.'

Which of your gifts is most likely to float on the water like a little boat?

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet and then go to the next location.
D - Go to the blue umbrella
 
Chapter five

Wise Bullfinch Sage

As you approach wise Bullfinch Sage, you see she is sitting in a tiny hut which looks like an old school shoe. She is reading from a book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Bullfinch teacher, Bullfinch Sage
Bullfinch guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Bullfinch Sage hops down and considers all the gifts you've placed before her. Eventually she says, ‘this one is the most appropriate' and points to the one which is the heaviest. ‘The Wild Beaver King loves to play in the waters, building dams, making dens but especially diving down deep and fetching things from the river bed.'

Which of your gifts would sink or make a great beaver kit toy?

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet and then go to the next location.
E - Go to the pink umbrella
 
Chapter six

Wise Jackdaw Sage

As you approach wise Jackdaw Sage, you see she is sitting on top of her hut which looks like it is made of old umbrellas. She is reading from a book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Jackdaw teacher, Jackdaw Sage
Jackdaw guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Jackdaw Sage steps down from her perch and considers all the gifts you've placed before her. She takes her time before she says ‘this one is the most appropriate' and points to the one which is the thinnest. ‘The Wild River Kings love the stars at night and the moon light shining through the trees and this gift is the most translucent.'

Which of your gifts lets the light through?

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet and then go to the next location.
F - Go to the purple umbrella
 
Chapter seven

Wise Buzzard Sage

As you approach wise Buzzard Sage, you see she is sitting on top of a tree near her hut which looks like it is made of bushels of straw. She is reading from a book but hurriedly puts it away as you approach.

You say

Excuse me wise Buzzard teacher, Buzzard Sage
Buzzard guru, thinker, master
Doctor, vicar, philosopher, pastor
Which of these gifts should I take the Wild River Kings
What perfect present will be just the thing?

Place your gifts in a circle on the ground so all can see.

Wise Buzzard Sage steps down from her perch and considers all the gifts you've placed before her. She takes her time before she says, ‘this one is the most appropriate' and points to the one shaped like a fluffy cloud. ‘The Wild River Kings love the wind, air and sky, and this artefact will remind them of the rain giver which seeds the rivers with water.'

Which of your gifts is most like a cloud or has a shiny silvery sheen?

Discuss this with your team and decide which is the winner of this round, make a mark on your sheet and then go to the next location.
Go to Mr Jelley
 
Chapter eight

The Ceremony

Back in the clearing all the animals are excited to see which gifts you place in front of the Wild River Kings.

Place your most appropriate gift as an offering now, the one which has won the most rounds.

The air is electric in the glade
And the wild Beaver King sits on his throne in the shade
Beside which sit King Stoat, Otter, Vole and Weasel
All sipping from beakers brimming with wines brewed from teasels

The wise bird sages then slowly approach one by one
They gather in the glade awaiting the gifting ceremony to begin

There is a hush as the first gift is offered.

It appears to be a beautiful snail shell and all the animals ooh as it is placed on the first velvet moss cushion. The next offering is a pine cone, then a white stone which looks a little like a tooth and finally a tiny spotty feather from a woodpecker.

As each offering is made the creatures get more and more excited until at last, they are literally dancing in the glade with excitement.

I think you have chosen well.

All the kings then stand and raise their glasses of teasel wine in toast and thanks to you and your gifts.

But the proceedings are not yet over, as one of the wise bird sages flits over to you and places a sea shell on a moss cushion. It is a gift for you to take away, you pick it up and look inside but it is not that exciting. The wise sage then motions for you to put it to your ear ‘with this gift, where ever you go' she says ‘you will be able to understand all the languages of all the birds and beasts.'

You place the shell near to your ear and all the bird song from the trees all about changes into word.

What a gift from the court of the Wild River Kings.

The End
Chapter nine

Questions

Here are a few questions.

What book do you think the wise birds were reading? What book would you like them to read?

If you were a wise bird, what would make a good leaf and the winner of the round? Think about shape, texture, colour but also application - would it be good thrown as dice or a hat decoration?

Which kings of the river lands were missing from the story? Which animals do you think should have been in the glade that you know live here.

If you were to start the story again, what would you collect as your gift? Would it change from before?

Hope you enjoyed the story, remember you answers to the questions above as they will begin to write your chapter of this tale.

Kind regards

Christopher Jelley
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