ST DENNIS The Piskey Warriors

Eight year old Jory Williams was cycling along the cycle trail at Goss Moor. Coming to the end of the track he turned left onto the old A30. A mile along the road Jory felt mazed. Where was he exactly? He saw another track on the opposite side of the road and decided to take a look. He cycled up the bumpy rugged track until he came onto a circular grassy path leading around Castle an Dinas. Jory was very pleased to have found it all by himself and he very much wanted to walk up through the outer rings to the top of the hill-fort. Having cycled way ahead of his mum, dad and his baby sister, he had a bit of time before they caught up and Jory thought he would explore the fort. Leaving his bike by the side of the trail, he set out. 

All of a sudden a thick fog swept across the moors. Jory could smell the fog before he saw it whisking all about him. He turned back, thinking he could get away to his bike but he wasn’t entirely sure which direction to take. Who knew where he would stray to if he left for his bike hardly able to see the end of his nose. Instead, Jory got down onto his hands and knees and methodically felt his way across the grass, moving slowly forward until he felt the outer wall of the castle rampart. Jory stumbled over the mound and into a ditch of ferns and waited for the fog to lift. 

Lying alone in the arms of the ancient hill-fort, Jory listened for the sound of his parents coming to help him. At first he thought it was the bark of a moorland cow, he listened more closely and was sure he heard the cries of soldiers fighting all about him. Could it really be a battle was taking place in the fog? This was a castle after all and castles were meant to be full of knights and fights. Jory lay back and listened to the baying and snorting of horses, the clash of swords and shields, the shouts of pain and command. He imagined he himself had command of this battle, like he did when he played with his wooden fort in his bedroom. Shouting along with the battle and enjoying himself immensely, Jory was not at all surprised when figures began to emerge from the fog. They were not the huge muscled knights of King Arthur’s hunt as he expected. Instead two handsome armies of the little people fought a mighty battle in the fog at Castle an Dinas. The piskey warriors were all dressed in red jackets with green hats and they were excellent riders of tiny moorland horses. They fought a long and bloody battle, their shouts thick in the air. Jory watched the piskey armies for what felt like forever and he forgot all about being stranded in the moor in the fog.  

As suddenly as its arrival, the fog lifted and with it the piskey warriors vanished. Jory lay stunned by what he had witnessed. 

‘That was awesome,’ he said to himself.

He looked all about him for signs of battle; a broken sword, a maimed piskey, piles of bloody bodies. The castle was just as he had found it, the mists and fog and the piskey warriors had all well and truly vanished. After a time, Jory brushed himself off and walked back to his bike. He found it easily as standing by it were his Mum and Dad and baby sister.

Jory has not forgotten his trip to Goss Moor and Castle an Dinas or the piskey warriors. He has succeeded in persuading his parents to take him on the cycle trail many times since. On every trip to Goss Moor, one of his parents has made sure they ride ahead with him and although he will never stop hoping, Jory has not yet seen the piskey warriors again.


told by Anna Chorlton

source Enys Tregarthen