The tavern on the corner of East and Main was run by a man named Joseph Slonenbakker, but ‘round these parts everybody knew him as Tabby ... Continue
Overlooking the river Avon, there is a tower which bears the inscription "I. Cook, 1693". It's known as "Cook's folly", and it's origin story reads like a fairy tale.
The legend begins when a very pregnant Mrs Cook came across a gypsy beggar. Being a kind woman, Mrs Cook gave the beggar some alms, and in thanks, the beggar promised to tell the child's future.
Two days after the birth of the baby, the beggar, good to his word, delivered a scroll to the child's father, the Sheriff of Bristol, Sir Maurice Cook.
Inside was written the following prophecy:
"Twenty times shall Avon's tide
In chains of glistening ice be tied,
Twenty times the woods of Leigh
Shall wave their banners merrily,
In spring burst forth a mantles gay
And dance in summer's scorching ray;
Twenty times shall autumn's frown
Wither all their green to brown,
And still the child of yesterday
Shall laugh the happy hours away.
That period past, another sun
Shall not his annual journey run,
Before a silent secret foe
Shall strike the boy a deadly blow.
Such and sure his fate shall be,
Seek not to change his destiny."
(TL;DR: Boy will live 20 years but will die before he turns 21.)
All in all, it was a pretty crummy thank you gift.
The father built a tower and when the boy neared the end of his twentieth year the father said, "Hey, how would you like to live in this tower?"
To which his 20 year old son replied, "No thanks."
But after the father showed the scroll to his son and the rest of the family joined in pressuring him, the son relented and agreed to live in the tower until the threat had passed.
The tower had but one entrance which could only be opened from the inside. If the young man needed anything he had a basket and a rope that he'd let down from his window to be filled with supplies.
On what was to be his last night in the tower, feeling a bit of a chill, he requsted a bundle of wood be placed in his basket and for his friends to make arrangements to throw him a massive "if homeless people can see the future than why are they homeless" party celebrating his release.
In the morning, his sisters called up to him, probably to ask what he wanted written on the cake, but their brother didn't come to the window or open the door. The father ordered for a ladder to be brought and a servant climbed up to peek in.
"The young master is sleeping," said the servant, likely thinking the family he worked for was insane. After all, they did lock their adult son in a tower because of something a vagabond said.
The father however, freaked. He ordered the servant down and cried out that his son was dead. Once the ladder was clear, the father climbed up to see if his fears had come true.
And sure enough they had. On his motionless son's neck were puncture wounds. And an adder snake lay wrapped around the young man's arm. The snake had gained entrance via the bundle of wood and struck the boy dead (probably after learning his snake butt couldn't leave because he'd been carried into a tower and snakes can't fly. Unless they're on planes.)
And so, the prophecy was fulfilled...and the Cook family never gave alms to beggars ever again.
'The Battle of the Titans was a 10 year war of supremacy between the children of Gaia and Uranus (aka The Titans) and their grandchildren (aka The Gods of Olympus).
Like many family feuds of it's time, the cause of the fight stems back to incest and a disagreement over parenting styles. Every night Uranus (the sky) would hit up Gaia (the earth) for some Netflix and Chill. But, as this was before our clever monkey butts invented the internet, and Uranus had no chill, he ended up just boning Gaia--who happened to be his mum (yeah, that's nasty).
It gets worse. Binge-worthy TV shows and a dating pool that extended outside the family weren't the only things missing from this dark time. The primordial gods also lacked basic Sex Education. This was unfortunate for all involved because Uranus wasn't ready to be a father. Despite his deep wish to be childless, for reasons he couldn't quite understand, Gaia kept bearing his children. And he hated those little brats.
So, living up to his name (ie. he was an ass), Uranus took the ugliest of those crying, shitting, little buns (the cyclopes and centimanes) and put them back in the oven. Now you may be thinking, Whoa, hold up. It doesn't work like that, once they're out, they're out. No backsies! And believe me, Gaia was thinking the same thing and said as much. But her protests were lost to the wind (see what I did there...sky god...wind? No? Psh, whatever).
Naturally, Gaia found this to be most unpleasant. Nobody appreciates having their deformed offspring shoved up their Tartarus. Deciding enough was enough, she grabbed her first edition copy of How to Screw Up Your Children, flipped open to Chapter 3: Involving Your Children in Parental Disputes, and got to work turning her little titans against their dad.
Cronus, being the biggest mama's boy of the bunch, agreed to help put an end to his father's nightly visits by performing an impromptu sex-change operation on dear ol' dad with a giant sickle. Not being much a surgeon, the end result was a very messy castration. Seriously, it was insane--the things that came out of Uranus' nutsack literally took on a life of their own.
Now, it's common knowledge that when one takes out the Boss that means they become the boss, that's how I got my management position at Ihop (they're still picking Tracey's teeth out of the pancake batter). But before Cronus' butt even landed on his father's throne, Uranus left him with a parting prophesy--one that has been echoed by parents for millennia since: "I hope your kids are just like you." Or something like that. I dunno, I wasn't there.
This freaked Cronus out. He didn't want to be overthrown by his own kid, that would suck! Being the cunning and paranoid god that he was, he developed one of the first methods of birth control--eating your offspring. His wife, Rhea however, being firmly pro-life, didn't much like this and decided to save one of her sons by feeding her husband a rock instead (Titan's had some ugly babies). Meanwhile, Cronus decided why not piss off all the women in his life and also managed to make his mother angry by deciding his Father was onto something and putting his brothers back in Tartarus.
The boy who lived, contrary to what that Scottish woman said, was named Zeus. Zeus grew up and sure as shit decided to overthrow pops and free his siblings. Now how he did this is like one of those stories that changes each time the person tells it; with each retelling getting even more wild. One version, Granny Gaia gave Zeus a tonic to slip into Cronus' wine making him vomit up all the kids (that is some super slow metabolism and some nasty ass wine), in another, Zeus sliced Cronus opened, performing the world's first successful c-section. Regardless, Zeus' siblings were free, and the war was on!
First thing #teamOlympus did was get on Gram's good side by freeing their uncles from Tartarus. The centimanes hurled rocks (or titan babies, I hear they're easily confused for one another) at Cronus and the cyclopes crafted lightning bolts for their nephew to hurl at Cronus. One could say they were holding a grudge. As the war waged on, Prometheus and Themis defected from #teamTitan and joined #teamOlympus, ensuring they escaped punishment when Cronus inevitably lost (and somewhere Uranus was laughing).
The Battle of the Titans won, Zeus and his bros drew straws to see who got to rule where. Zeus got to be the deity in charge and much to his grandmother's dismay, his first action was to imprison the titans (excluding Prometheus and Themis) in...you guessed it, Tartarus.
And you thought your holiday dinners were awkward.
From: "Merry Little Tales for merry little hearts" [London, 1853]
"The fowl she laid an egg and then
She hatched it, like a good old hen --
A wondrous story 'tis to tell:
No chicken comes from out the shell!
But soon as hatched, right out there ran
A little Dwarfish tiny Man!
With Boots and spurs and coat bright red,
And smart cock'd hat upon his head. --
He gives his tiny whip a smack
And jumps upon an old cocks back.
The cock not relishing such fun,
With fear and fright begins to run.
And lots of children join the chase
With fun and laughter in each face.
The little man cares not a bit
For all their screaming and their wit.
At length the cock he wants some rest,
And tries to rid him of his guest;
So flings the Dwarf into a Pan
Of Water, and then off he ran.
The children now all flock around,
In time to pull him out, half drown'd"
History, folklore & storytelling.
Mumbling hermit wandering the Welsh countryside in search of a cave to live in.