The Gryphons Task
The 21st of November, the best day of the year, for Tim anyway, because he turned eleven. He unwrapped many presents but finally he got to the present that came from his parents, the ultimate present. In previous years he’d had: a pinball machine, a remote control monster truck and a giant Lego set, to name a few. Slowly, Tim peeled back the wrapping and there in front of him was a superb stunt kite.
'Awesome' Tim declared.
'And I know just where you can use it, Avebury' Tim’s dad Neil pronounced.
When they arrived at Avebury Tim practically dragged his parents out of the car, which was a Ford Galaxy, in his rush to get going. At the top of the embankment he took out the new kite. It flew like a dream but Tim’s arms tired quickly so he put it away and decided to wander around the Stones. When he got to the stone-with-the-seat-in he sat down while his mum took a picture of him. As he got out of the ‘seat’ he felt a tremor – no he must of imagined it but there it was again, he dismissed it to the back of his mind and walked over to the barn…
At the back of the barn Tim saw – in the eaves – a pair of malevolent red eyes staring at him, he blinked but the eyes were still there, then with what sounded like a flap of great wings they were gone.
'What was that?' breathed Tim.
Then it occurred to him that it might have something to do with the shaking stone so he told his parents he was going to have another stroll around the stones, but on his own.
As he approached the stone he was shocked to see that in place of the seat there was a swirling mass of colours – a portal. Tim reached tentatively towards it. His hand was just about to touch it when he felt an almighty thump next to him. He turned and there, in front of him, in all of its splendour and glory was a Gryphon.
'STOP!' roared the Gryphon.
Tim jerked his hand back and the Gryphon spoke again:
'You have opened the great portal of Aenger and in doing so you have let three magical creatures get through into this world: a greedy goblin, a fiery phoenix and a yobbish unicorn.'
Tim snorted at that.
'It is therefore your job to get them back through the portal' the Gryphon told Tim.
This, in fact, was not true; the truth was that it was the Gryphon’s job to collect the creatures but he was far too lazy! Then with a flap of his wings the Gryphon was gone.
Tim stood there in total shock for a few moments then his marvellous mind kicked in: right, so I have to think of how to lure the creatures back into the portal Tim thought. What do they like? Well goblins like gold so… Time felt in his pocket and took out some chocolate coins – from Aunt Marge – would they work? Well there was only one way to find out.
Two minutes later Tim found himself in the beech trees, spying on a goblin. Quickly Tim angled one of the coins so that it shone on the goblin. It worked, he now had its attention. He chucked the coin on the root covered floor while stepping away. The goblin duly scuttled over, picked the coin up and put it in his pocket. This routine carried on until the goblin had gone straight back into the portal. One down two to go.
Up next was the phoenix. Now as everyone knows phoenixes are birds and what do all birds love? BIRD SEED! Quick as flash Tim hared towards the shop and with some of his birthday money bought a packet of birdseed, he went back out and sprinkled some seeds on the ground and sure enough in came the phoenix. Tim’s heart skipped a beat – it was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. With vibrant reds and oranges flowing across its body. Then as though it were eating for England it gobbled up the seeds. When it had finished it looked at Tim expectantly as if to say where are the rest? So Tim put some more seeds into his hand and the stunning specimen pecked them right out right out of his hand. From there it was a simple matter to lead it back into the portal. Two down one to go.
Last up was the unicorn. Unicorns are essentially horses with a horn on top and horses like apples and carrots. Tim didn’t have an apple, however he did have a carrot so he would use that. So off he went to find the unicorn.
As he was walking along Tim saw a glint in an alleyway. When he looked again he saw that it was the unicorn’s horn. The unicorn was, with its horn and a pot of paint, writing rude messages on the wall like: GARY THE GOBLIN SMELLS OF DUNG! Tim giggled while he read the rest then remembered what he was there for and took out the carrot. The effect was immediate: the unicorn stopped in mid-sentence and trotted towards him. Tim began to run away. The unicorn followed. When the duo came to the portal Tim hurled the carrot through and the unicorn followed.
'Well done' said the Gryphon.
Tim turned to see the great Gryphon standing beside him.
'As a reward you may go through and take the first thing you see.'
When Tim came back through he was holding a funny green thing.
'A dragon’s scale' said the Gryphon. 'You will learn its properties in good time.'
With that the Gryphon disappeared and so did the portal.
'So, how was your walk love?' Said Tim’s mum.
'It was okay' replied Tim.