“Beyond Be Dragons!”
It was the usual horrid misty day in Blaenau Ffestiniog, with torrential rain falling, when Siriol Squirrel (SS) and Hamilton Hamster (HH) proceeded purposefully to the Lakeside Café as they were certain to need a hearty feed up before the terrors which most certainly lay ahead in the darksome deeps. Their objective? The “Lost Forever World in the Back-of-Beyond Vein of Cwmorthin/Oakeley-Dokely”, which they would be the very very first to explore!
For breakfast, SS ordered a dish of banded snails, comprising mint humbug, Belgian chocolate and lemon sherbet flavours, which prompted HH to exclaim, that she had probably been a thrush in her previous existence.
HH tuckd into a couple of “Birdie Bars” which comprised the compacted contents of a bird feeder, whereupon SS exclaimed he had probably been a sparrow in a former life. (It was currently news that bird lovers from Wrexham to Porthmadog, had been very puzzled as to why the contents of their bird feeders were vanishing so fast!)
Then up the forbidding slate heaps to Llyn Cwmorthin, called a lake by the fanciful, but since it is best to adhere strictly to facts in this account, it is prudent to refer to it as a mere puddle. SS and HH thus proceeded into “Puddle level” adit to eventually gain an exceedingly nasty chamber which they found to be chock full of heavy collapse owing to the Townies' habit of repeatedly driving their 4 by 4's and caravans across the moorland directly above.
To test the promising acoustic of these mighty halls of slate, SS fulfilled her long held ambition to sing a selection of her favourite Christmas pop songs, climbing the unspeakably treacherous falls as she did so. Still singing loudly, SS fell down a crack.
Having (just about) survived the “Chamber of Singing Death”, SS and HH gained the continuation of “Puddle Level” which lead them to the entrance of the “Lost Forever World in the Back-of-Beyond Vein of Cwmorthin/Oakeley-Dokley” which was their aforementioned objective.
Looking down the utterly heart- stopping pitch, HH promptly rigged his KRT* line from a peg made from a stick of liquorice, which protruded from a very loose crack in the badly delaminated slate wall.
Looking down he saw an ancient ladder which SS decided to call “The Ladder Of Death Of Death Of Death Of Death” (hereafter referred to as the LODODODOD) At the bottom of the pitch, HH discovered a slate lithophone, on which he proceeded to play the “Sword Forging Scene” from Richard Wagner's “Siegfried.” This proved to be exceedingly annoying and was also extremely silly, as it was more than likely to arouse they knew not what!
SS discovered a vast mega- block of Citrineprehnite a species of diorite, which had been so named after the Victorian geologist Hendrik Von Prehn, who was thought to have been quite stoned when he stumbled over it. This was coloured bright pink, with lemon- yellow and lime- green spots, and since SS's Godson Barney, had requested her to bring him some Rock from Wales, SS popped the mega- block into her rucksack, where it squashed a bunch of bananas.
Proceeding down a mystery level further into the lost mine of Oakeley-Dokley and its uncharted Back-of-Beyond Vein, SS and HH came upon a great dragon basking in a huge echoing void of slate. Great dragons have great names, and this one was SO great he had two of them. He was called Rinfaf, foremost, but also Guams. HH, much taken aback, smacked Rinfaf-Guams on the snout with a chunk of slate. The dragon wasn't much amused. He guarded the way further into the mystery workings, and SS and HH were very perturbed by this unexpected turn of events. In an attempt to vanquish Rinfaf-Guams, HH dictated exceedingly boring tracts from a thick computer
manual he happened to have in his ruck- sack, in the vain hope that the mighty worm would fall into a deep slumber, but to no avail.
SS offered him some squashed bananas and HH, some “Birdie Bars” to tame him, but as one would predict, this only succeeded in making him extremely cross.
In desperation, SS started to sing, her dulcet tones echoing round the vast hall, but after she had completed the 53rd and ¾ rendition of “Waltzing in a Winter Wonderland”, it was quite evident that Rinfaf-Guams had had quite enough: - he gave chase, emitting vaporous masses of flame! HH
jumped on a slate- board and plummeted down a 1 in 2 incline, while SS made a lunge for the LODODODOD in a frantic bid to escape, knocking it clean over in her attempt!
By some miracle, undisclosed (I've run out of ideas!) they managed to gain “Puddle Level” and the welcome outside world.
As it turned out, Barney was not in the least impressed with his gift of Rock, and Rinfaf-Guams was left in peace for many a year, as mine explorers refused to go that way
HH and SS proceeded to the Oakeley Arms for a well earned 50 pints of “Oakeley-Dokley”
Their next adventure : - “The Hearthstone Mine of …..........!!!”
* KRT – “Knackered Rope Technique”, a slight improvement, but not much, on NRT - “No Rope Technique”, alternatively for those who can't spell, the latter can also stand for the former.