Thursday, 14 February 2008

the story continues - pt.3

Since the 1980's, it was widely believed that Miggy and his kind had finally been exterminated. Coypu came originally from South America where their fur was much prized. Just like Deryk and his descendants, they'd sneaked a boat ride in search of new lands and colonised this part of East Anglia.
The problem was that the humans had defined Miggy and his kind as an aquatic rodent and pest and an extensive programme to capture and destroy them all had been hailed a success.
The coypu was to be found no more on the marshes but, like the Dykies, they were still there but now, like their co-dwellers, they stayed away from human contact.
What the humans had failed to grasp was the finer qualities of the creature. The ancient Indians in their native land had discovered centuries earlier what the Dyke dwellers now valued from a coypu. Their dung.
Coypu dung had amazing healing qualities. Slapped on an open wound overnight, the next day would find the rift healed over and very little scar tissue to show where the tragedy had happened.
It was the coypu eating and digestive abilities that gave the dung this power but Deryk usually declined to use it if he knicked himself whilst shaving.
It was because the Dykies had been so helpful in concealing the last colony of coypu during the final cull that they, in return, did all they could to help the little folk.

Deryk stood for a moment as the water found creases in his trousers out of which to cascade. He looked rather like an ornamental garden fountain.
"You look a right pillock."
Complimented Miggy with a grin.
"I suppose," he continued without waiting for Deryks response, "that you're taking the cone to Juggy at the factory?"
Deryk nodded but made no sound except the squelshing of his wellies as he began to stomp with one foot then the other to encourage the water to leave sooner rather than later. It didn't seem to make much difference.
"'Ang on then."

Miggy slipped silently into the water with scarcely a ripple. The boat began to rock from side to side, then heaved up into the air before coming back with a splash. Miggy re-emerged now with a branch gripped tightly between his large front teeth.
"Gis is gwats squapped gyo."
With a mouth full of branch, that's how it came out! Deryk understood.
"You sound just like grandad when he's had too much nettle wine." Miggy struggled to pull the branch up the bank as Deryk chuckled at his own joke.
Miggy spat out the branch.
"And you look as though you need to dry out too!"
That was a clever reply for a coypu.
The delay in his journey meant that dawn had cracked by the time that Deryk reached his destination. There, where the marsh met the river that flowed out to the sea, stood a gigantic factory that the humans used to convert sugar beet into refined white sugar. The steam and noise made by the factory was the perfect cover for the Dykie activities although, being in such close proximity, they had to be careful that they weren't discovered. Many moons ago, a Dykie was tragically killed when he fell into the humans mechanism and it wasn't until newspaper reports about pink sugar that they realised what had happened to him.


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