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The Lambton Worm Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:00:00 AM
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The Lambton Worm

One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so. How does the story end? More...
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:36 AM

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The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:37 AM

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The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/2015
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Location: Kolkata, Bengal, India
Article of the Day
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The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:39 AM

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Joined: 1/28/2015
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Article of the Day
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The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/2015
Posts: 6,963
Neurons: 3,368,135
Location: Kolkata, Bengal, India
Article of the Day
?

The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
KSPavan
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:17:40 AM

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Article of the Day
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The Lambton Worm
One of northeast England's most famous fairy tales, the story of the Lambton Worm opens with a youth named John Lambton skipping church to go fishing, whereupon he catches a strange eel-like creature and drops it down a well. Lambton eventually goes on to join the Crusades and returns years later to find that the worm has become a giant beast. A witch tells him how to defeat the creature but warns him that he must kill the first living thing he sees after he does so.
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:34:22 AM

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The story states that the young John Lambton was a rebellious character who missed church one Sunday to go fishing in the River Wear. In many versions of the story, while walking to the river, or setting up his equipment, John receives warnings from an old man (or a witch – depending on who tells the story) that no good can come from missing church.

John Lambton does not catch anything until the church service finishes, at which point he fishes out a small eel- or lamprey-like creature with nine holes on each side of its salamander-like head. Depending on the version of the story, the worm is no bigger than a thumb, or about 3 feet long. In some renditions, it has legs, while in others it is said to more closely resemble a snake.

At this point, the old man returns, although in some versions it is a different character. John declares that he has "catched [caught] the devil" and decides to dispose of his catch by discarding it down a nearby well. The old man then issues further warnings about the nature of the beast.

John then forgets about the creature and eventually grows up. As a penance for his rebellious early years, he joins the Crusades. Because the story is often said to have taken place in the 14th century, he likely fought in the Barbary Crusade.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:41:48 AM

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Quote:
The North East is a region disproportionately rich in dragon lore. Among others, the Legends of the Sockburn Worm and the Laidley Worm are based here. Worm, from the Saxon wyrm or German wurm, is an old word for dragons. As late as the 18th century, superstitious Mackem glass makers extinguished their furnaces every eight years to prevent the creation of a fire salamander.

Here, on the opposite bank to Penshaw, is the real site of the legend - the liar of the Lambton Worm ... Worm Hill, in Fatfield, today a district of Sunderland. No-one knows whether the hill is a Neolithic or Saxon burial mount, a Dark Ages fort or just a "kaim", a glacial deposit. Nearby stands the chapel of Brigford, where the Lambtons [would] take their vows before departing for the crusades, and their ancient seat, Lambton Hall, both now gone for over two hundred years.

And it is one of that family, related to the Liddels, who is the hero of the story - 'John Lambton that slew the worme was Knight of Rhodes'.

>As Talbot has explained, the Lambton Worm legend has been the basis for many other legends and stories. He lists some of these:

Here the myth meshes with reality. John Lambton really does exist and is a Hospitaller Knight of Rhodes in the 15th century, and, for the following nine generations, the Lords of Lambton die violent deaths as prophesied by the witch's curse, the last being Henry Lambton who dies in a coach crash in 1761.


The legend inspires
Stephen Laws' The Wyrm,
Ian Watson's The Fire Worm
Bram Stoker's The Liar of the White Worm, adapted and filmed by Ken Russell as a Hammer Horror parody (in which a pastiche of the old ballad is sung).

Jeff Smith, American creator of the epic fantasy comic Bone, discovers the legend while visiting Sunderland and skilfully weaves it into his graphic novel Rose, drawn by Charles Vess

and Lewis Carroll, who grows up with the legend, and that of the Sockburn Worm, produces Jabberwocky - the nonsensical dragon slain by the 'beamish boy'.


from https://wp.sunderland.ac.uk/seagullcity/the-lambton-worm-and-penshaw-hill/




Quote:
The Lambton Worm


Lambton Castle is on the banks of the River Wear near Durham. Long, long ago, John, Lord Lambton's spoilt young heir, was fishing for trout in the river. It was Sunday.
"This is the Lord's day," said a passer-by. "You should be praying, not fishing!"
The lad took no notice. He put a grub on the hook and cast his fishing line again. It hit the water with a plop.

For a while he had no luck and he lost his temper. He cursed the river. Then, suddenly, the rod jerked madly. Young Lambton thought he had hooked a huge fish and struggled with the catch.


"You'll not beat me," he said, nearly falling over in the river. At last, he pulled his prize onto the sandy bank, and looked at it.

It was ugliest thing you ever did see: a worm-like creature, black as pitch and oozing slime. Its head, like a salamander's, had needle sharp teeth and nine holes along each side. It was thin like an eel, but had two legs at the front and two at the back, like a lizard. Despite being small, it twisted and coiled with amazing power.
"Whatever kind of fish is this?" he said aloud. Just then an old man appeared from behind and looked at the creature.

His face went ashen and he quickly made the sign of the cross.
"You must not put it back in the river," he said. "It bodes ill but you must choose what to do with it."
Then the old man disappeared.


With some hesitation, John Lambton put the creature into his basket. As he walked towards home, he glanced again at the hideous creature and shuddered.

On the way, he passed a field with an ancient, very deep well. "There is no way the creature can escape from here," thought John. So he tipped the basket up over the well and the worm dropped into the darkness below. After a while, Lambton heard a distant plop.


Satisfied, he went back to the castle and forgot all about the worm. But, in the black waters of the well, at the bottom of that deep, dark hole something stirred, for the ugly creature grew and each year got stronger and stronger.

As John grew up, he became sorry for his poor behaviour and decided to join the crusades. His loving father gave him his blessing and all the villagers turned out to wish him well. Then, just over a year later, strange things began to happen.

Shepherds found half eaten sheep. Just a few to begin with, but soon it became one every night. The cows started giving less and less milk. The smell near the well became terrible and strange vapours arose from its depths. People who drank its water complained of burning mouths and throats. The villagers thought the well had been cursed.

Then, one morning, they awoke to find a glistening trail of foul slime leading from the well to the Wear. There, in the middle of the river, wrapped around a rock, was a fully grown dragon. It was enormous and fearful, with huge coils that gleamed in the morning sun. It had no wings, but a thick muscled body. Its head was large and its mouth full of razor sharp teeth; poisonous vapours trailed from its nostrils and its mouth as it breathed.

The news spread around the countryside. Some people, brave enough, went as close as they dared to get a glimpse of the creature. Others locked themselves in their homes, or collected their belongings and fled. By day, the dragon rested on its rock, but by night it swam to the bank and coiled itself three times around a hill. Nobody felt safe.

And soon, the beast became hungry. It started to rampage around the countryside. Its appetite was enormous. It took lambs and sheep and ate them whole. It had a taste for milk and would tear a cow open with its sharp teeth. Soon, there were few sheep or cattle left.

Some brave villagers tried to kill the beast but were crushed or torn to pieces by its sharp fangs. If a piece was hacked from the dragon, it slithered over until the piece reattached. After each attack, the dragon would roam the countryside, uprooting trees, smashing fences and stealing children. Soon people gave up trying to kill it.

Eventually the dragon came to Lambton Hall. The local residents were ready. They filled a large stone trough with warm milk and tied two sheep nearby. As the dragon approached the gates, it was distracted by the smell of the milk. It plunged into the trough and drained it dry. It ate the sheep with relish and, well fed, it returned to the hill.

From that day on, the dragon stopped roaming the village. Every day, it slithered to the hall to find the offering of milk and sheep. The trail became marked by its path of dark slime.


Nearly seven years passed; the worm grew ever bigger and the people ever poorer. The land around the castle became quite barren.

Then one day, a handsome young knight, in shining armour and riding a charger entered the castle grounds. It was the young Sir John, back from his adventures. That night the great hall was filled with people.

"What has happened to all the trees on the south side of the castle?" asked the young knight, "Has there been war here?" A hush came over the gathering.

Sadly, his father told how the dragon had brought them to ruin. Horrified, John realized that the dragon was the same hideous worm he had thrown into the well all those years ago.
"It was my fault the dragon destroys our land," he declared. "So it is I who must rid Lambton of this evil menace."
The crowd cheered. He began making a plan to defeat dragon. He listened closely to stories of the dragon's remarkable healing powers, and he learned its habits and its needs.

Then, he went to visit a local witch. She said that he alone could kill the worm. He must go to the blacksmith and have a suit of armour made, with razor sharp blades sticking out from its surface. Then he must go to the rock, and summon the dragon with his horn.

"But mark my words well," said the wise woman. "If you slay the beast, you must then put to death the first thing that crosses your path as you pass the threshold of Lambton Hall. Otherwise, for the next nine generations, no Lambton will die peacefully in his bed."


John swore on oath to follow the advice. The blacksmith forged him a suit of armour embedded with spikes. Then he went to the church to pray.

The next day, he waded into the river near the rock, blew his horn and awaited the dragon. It seemed to recognize him instantly. In its fury it lashed its tail, sending waves of water over him. Lambton swung his sword, slashing and cutting the dragon. But this time, when a piece was hacked off, it was swept away by the river before it could re-attach. And when the dragon coiled itself around Lambton, to crush him to death, the razor edged spikes cut it to pieces.

The more it tried to crush him, the worse it was sliced. Desperately, it tried to get back to the riverbank, but Lambton kept hacking away until it closed its fiery eyes. It was dispatched with one heavy sword blow to its head and was swept down the river, turned crimson with blood.


Exhausted, Lambton crawled from the water and blew three blasts on his horn. This was the signal for his father to release his favourite hound, to complete his vow.

Unfortunately, his joyful father forgot and rushed out to greet John as he passed over the threshold. Dismayed John blew another blast on his horn and the hound was released, which John killed with one sweeping blow from his sword.


But it was too late, for the vow was broken. What the witch foretold, came to pass. For nine generations following the death of the dragon, no Lord of Lambton died peacefully in his bed.


http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/textonly512-the-lambton-worm.html
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