Walter and the Dragon’s Tooth
They are only seen on very rare occasions, or by accident if they have lost their way and to be honest not many people have seen a Weezle-wobbler, so it might be wise if you read this to learn a little about them.
Weezle-wobblers are shy little creatures. They stand between 9 and 12 inches tall, or up to the knee of most 4 year old boys and are covered all over with purple and blue fur.
All of them have long thin tails, small round noses and for the most part they are jolly and cuddly little guys who to be honest, can also be a little strange and silly at times.
The weezle-wobbler in this story is called “Walter” and he is a little different from the average Weezle-wobbler, as he had a red nose where his nose fur is much shorter than the rest of the fur on his body and this makes him stand out in a crowd, especially when all the family are together having a picnic in the big field on a pleasant summer’s afternoon.
At the start of a brand new day and just as the sweet sound of the dawn chorus was coming to an end, a sad looking grey face with a squashed nose peeped out from behind the bright yellow daffodil at the side of Walter’s bucket.
“Are you there Walter?” called out Munch.
There was no reply other than a vibrating sound of the Weezle-wobble snoring at the bottom of his bucket.
Munch called out again, a little louder this time.
“Walter, the sun is up and the dew on the ground is just about warm enough for a good wash”
Down in the bottom of the plastic bucket Walter’s eyes had just begun to open and his furry little body was just started to wake as he stared up at the morning sun.
Weezle-wobblers were not the best first thing in the morning and they needed a good old shake before they were aware that a new day had come to life.
After a few moments, Walter the Weeezle-wobbler stood tall in his bucket, stretched his stumpy furry arms high towards the sky looked upwards at the bright morning sun, screwed his eyes tightly together and shook his sleepy body with all his might;
“Brrrrrrrrrr, Mmmmmmmmr, Blllllllaaaar!” he moaned as his furry figure shuddered a few times before his tongue eventually came to life, popped out of his mouth, licked his thin weasle-like lips until at last he was able to answer his little friend sat on the damp grass just outside his bucket.
“Mornin’ my old friend.” he called out still half asleep. “How’s life in the world of snails?”
His friend Munch was a little garden snail that lived near to Walter in the big field close to Mabel’s miniature railway.
Munch wasn’t the best looking snail if the truth be told; in fact he was pretty ugly really. He had a squashed up grey nose the size of a pea, 2 huge twisted feelers that stuck out at a funny angle on the top of his head, a slimy square mouth with no teeth and a really sad looking face that appeared very tired and full of worry.
He wasn’t the fastest creature in Weezle-ville either, but when it came to meal times he was one of the quickest lettuce eaters in the land. He had come fourth in a competition for “lettuce eater of the year” last year and that is where he picked up the name “Munch.”
Munch slithered slowly over towards Walter and stood in front of his friend’s furry blue legs and just under his tummy as the Weezle-wobbler washed his eyes with 2 damp petals filled with the morning dew from the flowers of a nearby tulip. As Walter rinsed his face with the damp petals the dewdrops rolled from Walter’s eyeballs, dribbled downwards off Walters cheeks, bounced off his cuddly tummy and they then dropped gently on to Munch’s face.
Of course It wasn’t like jumping in Bent’s brook where Munch normally took his morning shower up by the fishing lake where the water flowed quickly up and over the shiny pebbles and splashed up at you giving you a good all over shower, but as he stood beneath Walter’s tummy feeling the dewdrops cascade down upon his sad little face it was quite enough for today.
Washed and refreshed the 2 friends sat together on an old upturned log and Munch began to tell Walter all about what had been happening in his life while they both chewed on a few shoots of damp stinging nettles and sipped on the fresh dew that rested on the tips of a couple of recently mown blades of grass.
The sad snail sat uncomfortably on the log, looked up worryingly at Walter’s kind and furry face, before saying in a shaky little voice –
“It’s been a bad couple of days for me. First, on Tuesday morning, I cracked my shell when I slipped off a damp rock while I was out looking for some mushrooms for lunch and then, on Wednesday evening, I lost my glasses up near the old tin mine while I was hiding from a couple of hungry magpies. Of course my shell will be ok as I can fill the crack with some mud and leaves and it will be good as new, but my glasses are a different matter,” said the snail worriedly.
There weren’t many snails in Weezleville that needed glasses, but Munch was quite unlucky as he had needed glasses since he was a very slippery young snail.
He had been very lucky as an old and very wise beetle that had lived in one of the small caves next to the old tin mine had been able to make and fit together a very interesting pair of hand-made glasses.
They were made from bits of brown bootlace held together with two shiny crystals that the beetle had come across in one of the meandering creeks during one of his journeys. It had taken the beetle nearly eleven weeks of polishing with his back legs before the crystals were just right for Munch to see through.
Fastened together with the bootlace and tied around Munch’s feelers they had been perfect for him to see just a few inches in front of him…Sadly they were now lost!
Walter had been listening very closely to his friend and was alarmed about the sad and worried features of the snail’s pitiful little face.
“Don’t worry my old friend” exclaimed Walter. “I will help you”
“I will go with you up to the old tin mine and we can have a good look together.”
“If I carry you, we can be there in next to no time”
It had took over a day for Munch to find his way to Walter’s plastic bucket as not only is it well over half a mile from the old tin mine but without his glasses, Munch had spent many hours simply going round in circles, banging his head on tree stumps, or worse still treading in hedgehog pooh that he simply couldn’t see without his glasses.
“Thanks Walter!” shouted Munch looking excitedly up towards the big Weezle-wobbler, ”you are the bestest friend ever!”
Munch climbed up Walter’s leg and sat his self-upright in Walter’s left hand from where he had a good view of the fields in front of him.
They started to move forward at a gentle pace. Walter scoured the field to his left whilst Munch combed the area to the right as best as his poor eyesight would allow. With the added bonus of Walter’s tail feeling the ground behind them as they moved, they were hoping they had all angles covered if they should come across Munch’s glasses.
From Walter’s plastic bucket they headed up towards the old tin mine. This was the last place that Munch was wearing his glasses when he hurried
away from the chasing magpies, so the area between Walter’s bucket and the entrance to the caves near the old tin mine was probably the best place to begin.
Weezle wobblers were really tall when they were compared to snails so it took no time at all before Walter’s long legs had gathered pace and they had reached the worn wooden gate in the big field where they then slipped between the gaps in the wooden entrance.
Here the ground was very uneven compared to the flat green grass of the big field and in their path lay all different types of obstacles between the gate and the little caves near the old tin mine.
The craggy countryside that lay ahead spread forward from the gate to the small wooden stumps that lay just in front of the entrance to one of the smallest caves.
At best, the ground in front could be described as wild, tangled and twisted while the worst of it remained unsheltered, barren and gloomy.
Rumour had it that many, many years ago, long before the gateway to the human world had ever been discovered and even before Weezle-wobblers had settled in the area, there was talk of a dark presence around the caves. A presence that would consume nearby fields and forests with one almighty breath: Villagers of the time spoke of a dragon like creature with strength and power beyond the imagination of any young Weezle-wobbler and it was said to this day that the creature still lived way down in the cold dark reaches of the deepest of the caves.
Walter thought it was all mumbo jumbo and just a tall tale to keep the youngsters away from the barren waste ground where accidents could occur if one did not remain watchful of potholes and alert for hidden stumps.
Walter reassured Munch that all would be well, held him just a little bit tighter and stepped forward onto the dark crusty earth.
There were a couple of birds on the fence way over in the distance arguing over a poor little worm they had caught, but there was little in the way of clues as to where Munch’s glasses could possibly be.
Suddenly there was a gentle squelching and without any warning Walter’s foot slipped, he fell sideways and Walter came crashing down to earth. As Walter fell, Munch somersaulted from Walter’s hand and landed face down in a puddle of rain water next to an old rotten plum that the maggots were making into a very welcome meal.
“Are you ok Munch?” inquired Walter in a concerned tone of voice.
“Think so,” responded Munch in an agitated and nervous manner.
“I have disturbed some friendly maggots having their lunch, but other than that, everything seems ok. My shell is still in one piece and I don’t think I’ve squashed any of my important bits, so all is good I think.”
Walter peered down into the shallow pothole, saw that his friend was in relatively good spirits and gently lowered his hand for the snail to climb aboard so as they could continue their quest to find Munch’s specs.
As he offered His hand to Munch, Walter’s furry fingers brushed softly against something hard near to the rotting plum.
He knew it wasn’t the plum that he had touched as that would be juicy and slimy. He knew it wasn’t the stone from inside the plum as that would be uneven and quite rough. He knew it wasn’t the maggots he could feel as they were much too soft and much too wriggly.
He lowered his head down further until his big red nose was nearly inside the pothole along with the little snail. He looked closely at the shiny object. It was like a white flat stone but it was in need of further investigation.
He picked it from the sodden ground, brushed the dirt from it with his fingers and rubbed it up and down a few times on his smooth furry bum….It was a dirty white colour, shiny, flat and in the shape of a triangle. If he wasn’t mistaken, it looked a lot like a tooth.
“Crikey!” shrieked Munch in his high snail-like voice. “Is that a Dragon’s tooth?”
My Grandad once told me about the Dragon’s that used to live here and he said it was really good luck if you could ever find a tooth from one. Just touching one could help you with all sorts of problems and he said they could bring you loads and loads of luck.
Walter smiled to himself as he listened to Munch’s silly tale before putting the tooth in his hip pocket.
“If it’s good luck to have a Dragon’s tooth, then maybe it will help us find your glasses!” said Walter jokingly.
They had only gone a few steps more when without warning a friendly little sparrow flew down out of the bright sky, sat quietly atop of Walter’s head, dropped a small red berry hard on Walter’s noodle and then gracefully flew off without so much as a hello, or good-bye.
“So much for dragon’s teeth being good luck!” he moaned. “Unless you call a red berry, something precious? Knowing my luck, if I eat this berry it will probably give me tummy ache. He could at least have left me a gold coin a map of buried treasure, or something more interesting than a berry.”
Some of the juice from the berry was running gently down his face and into his eye which irritated the little Weezle-wobbler.
He looked for the nearest puddle of clear water to rinse his face before the juice began to dribble faster all over his fur and then he would need a wash for the second time to-day.
As he lent forward to gather a handful of clear water from the puddle on the ground, he heard a gentle clink as the dragons tooth fell from his pocket and began to roll gently down the hill. It seemed to gather pace, so Walter quickly grasped Munch a little tighter and set off in pursuit.
Strangely, the tooth began to move faster and by now Walter was breaking in to a gentle trot in his attempt to catch his prize possession.
He could understand it gathering pace if it was round, but this was flat and triangular. Surely it couldn’t move as quickly as it was currently going?
No sooner had the tooth begun to get away from Walter when without warning it stopped in an instant. It had stopped on top of a blackened and charred triangular shaped tree stump. It appeared to be a stump that was perhaps ravaged by fire many years ago.
The tooth was lying flat and was glistening brightly as it shone in the sun. The point of the triangular shape gave the impression of being brighter than the remainder and at one point Walter thought he had seen it glow like the burning embers of a fire. As he stooped to pick it up, he became aware of a gentle humming coming from the tip of the dragon’s tooth.
“That’s weird!” commented Munch, as he sat upright in Walter’s hand observing everything that had happened.
“From my view up here, I can see something glowing, I can hear something humming and the tip of the tooth appears to be pointing in only one direction.”
Walter paused to think and was in agreement with Munch.
As Walter studied the situation at greater length, it became obvious to him that the dragon’s tooth was trying to tell him something…Putting his head to the ground on a level with the tooth; he looked above the tooth and let his gaze follow in the direction of the tip of the triangular object.
In the distance, he could make out 3 caves, all with small openings to their fronts and the tip of the tooth was putting directly at the cave on the left of the three.
Could this be a clue?
Was the tooth indeed magic?
Did the dragons really exist in years gone by?
With the dragons tooth and Munch now tucked safely away in Walter’s hip pocket, he set off towards the left hand cave. All he could think about was what they might find when they got there. Maybe it would be the owner of the tooth that had arisen from way down in the caves and wanted his tooth back.
Walter was becoming nervous the closer they got to the entrance.
The area all around the opening to the cave was black and burnt and not one single creature was to be seen on the scorched earth.
With the exception of a few birds flying overhead the area all around was as quiet as a graveyard at midnight and all in all it was a pretty frightening for the worried Weezle-wobbler.
After quite a few minutes of tramping and trudging over the barren landscape he at last stood less than 2 paces from the entrance to the cave.
He took Munch from his pocket and put him on a tall flat shaped rock near the opening of the cave.
“What do you think?” a shaking Walter asked.
A terrified Munch had by now had disappeared back into his shell and all that Walter could see was the tip of Munch’s eyebrows as he peered out from his shell trying to catch a sneaky look without having to poke his head out altogether.
The snail’s scared little voice answered back from inside his shell,
“Don’t ask me, I just wanna go home.”
These words that were of little encouragement to the weezle-wobbler, but Walter was determined to see if the dragon did exist, or if it was all just a made up story invented by the miners in the old days as they sat around the night’s campfire exchanging ghostly tales.
Walter clasped his hands tightly into a fist, stood high on his tip-toes, braced himself with all his might and thrust his little furry head into the cave and bravely walked in about 5 paces.
It was as black as the blackest of nights in the middle of winter. In fact at first he thought that he had forgotten open his eyes, but as he turned around, he could just see the light from outside coming through the entrance to the cave.
As he stepped a little further inside the light from outside was gradually disappearing and was soon no more than a tiny spot in the distance. The floor of the cave felt rough and the walls felt damp and cold.
Not the ideal place for a scared little weezle-wobbler, but more like the home of a rampaging fire breathing dragon, thought Walter to himself.
Walter stiffened as he thought he heard the shallow breath of a huge creature coming from a corner close by and he felt his skin tremble at the thought of what might lay ahead.
Onwards he stepped, a little further into the darkness getting more scared with each tiny footstep made into the rough, cold cave.
Again, he heard a gentle humming coming from a corner nearby. Could it be the sound of a dragon licking his fiery lips at the thought of a good meal of fried Weezle-wobbler?.
He heard the noise again, this time louder. A continuous gentle humming sound which Walter thought was now a little louder and deeper than before. This time It seemed much closer than previously and now he also thought that he could see the gentle glow of fire. A fire that was perhaps ready to burst out of the dragon’s mouth and turn Walter into the Sunday roast?
He felt something move and feel warm near the top of his furry little leg.
Was this the end for Walter?
Was the dragon about to breathe one almighty breath and send flames shooting towards Walters trembling little body?
He closed his eyes tightly and hoped with all his heart that it was nothing more than a daft dream and he would wake up in the bottom of his plastic bucket back in the big field.
Something moved again near the top of his leg, but it wasn’t fiery hot as he had expected. In fact It wasn’t the fire of a dragon’s breath at all. It was the dragon’s tooth in his pocket. He had forgotten all about it when he took Munch out, but the tooth was still there and now it was glowing and humming.
He took the tooth from his pocket, felt the warmth of it in the palm of his hand and realised the glow from it was enough for him to see just a little way ahead of him.
He could make out rocks of all different shapes and sizes scattered here, there and every-where. There appeared to be a huge head of a pick axe over to the right stood up against the cold black wall, a tin cup squashed on the ground. Both of which were no doubt some of many items left behind by the old tin miners of years gone by.
Walter began to relax a little now that he could see more than the darkness, but still he couldn’t see quite enough to feel totally comfortable. There were still strange noises and he kept catching sight of things on the ground that he wasn’t quite sure of. In fact, he was still pretty scared if he was honest.
A very disturbing sound suddenly rushed by Walter’s left ear. Then, there was some sort of flurry, or a commotion and something most worrying and unusual occurred. He felt something brush his shoulder, something moving speedily with great haste. Within seconds Walter heard a loud squawk and As he turned towards the distant glow of the light coming from the entrance where Munch was sitting worriedly on the rock he saw something speed past his head with a great swiftness towards the light of the entrance.
Walter kicked something hard on the rugged floor, and then he walked in something soft that rustled between his toes. Again it was something unusual and something that made Walter stiffen with fright.
The noise, the movement and the strange things on the ground were more than Walter’s nerves could handle and he rushed rapidly towards the light at the entrance to the cave, to Munch and the safety of the outside world.
He had learned very little about the large cavern, but before heading back into the un-known darkness to find out more and establish the truth about dragons he needed far more light so as he could see any obstacles that lay in his path.
Outside in the daylight he dropped to his furry little knees and looked up at Munch sitting high up on his rock and put the dragon’s tooth on the floor next to him before beginning to talk to Munch.
“I need more light Munch,” whispered Walter just in case anything was lingering inside the cave and waiting to jump out and grab them both unexpectedly.
“Do you know where I can get a lantern or a good torch?” he queried.
As Munch sat and thought of places to obtain either a torch or a lantern he was suddenly blinded with the strong rays of light from the noon day sun. The sun now at its highest point of the day was impressively strong as it cast its forceful rays towards the cave.
Within seconds, the power of the sun sent out beams of light containing a great and powerful force that hit the dragon’s tooth which lay on the ground at the side of Walter.
The power of the light intensified and a huge beam reflected from the tooth and cascaded great gusts of bright light into the entrance of the cave brilliantly lighting the insides of the dark damp recess.
They could now see all that lay before them. A strange sight indeed, for in the centre of the small cave was a nest the side of a large armchair made of twigs and straw and in the centre of the nest was an assortment of shiny items surrounded by black and white bird’s feathers.
A much braver Walter now ventured back inside the cave and stood over a well-constructed nest and began to inspect the many items he saw mixed in among the straw, twigs and bird’s feathers.
He came to the conclusion that it was indeed the nest of a family of magpies. Perhaps even the nest of the magpies that are regularly seen around the tin mines and old caves.
Mixed in amongst the twigs and leaves Walter could see lots of different shiny objects. There were small shiny buttons that had perhaps come from the coat of a very grand lady, there were small nails that had perhaps been taken from the builder’s yard, there were tops from milk bottle tops of all colours; red, gold, silver, along with a splendid variety of many other shiny objects.
The shiniest of all the objects lay at the bottom of the nest covered in feathers and was tangled up in the twigs by a piece of brown string.
Walter reached for the piece of string and pulled on it gently. The object came free with just a couple of short tugs and Walter put the small shiny crystal in his pocket before leaving the cave to head outside to find Munch.
As Munch sat outside on the flat surface of a small rock the sun began to move again. Its intense rays of light moved from the surface of the dragon’s tooth and the reflected cascades of intense light were suddenly gone and the cave was in darkness again.
Munch was still thinking about where he could get a torch for a further expedition into the cave when Walter reached into his pocket and placed Munch’s glasses on the floor in front of the delighted snail.
“My glasses, my glasses!” he shouted with great happiness. “Where on earth did you find them?”
Walter told Munch of the nest and all the shiny objects that the magpies had stolen from different people and places.
“When you ran away from them and dropped your glasses, they must have picked them up and carried them back here to add to their collection” suggested Walter.
“Gosh, it was really lucky that we came across that little cave don’t you think?” questioned Munch.
“Lucky too, that you found the nest where they were hidden?”
Walter thought long and hard…
“Yes it was lucky indeed,” he answered, smiling broadly to himself.
He slipped his hand inside his furry little hip pocket and rubbed the dragon’s tooth between his finger and thumb…