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Illfyfel Pier

A fragment of one of the tales of Illfyfel is translated

It was the wettest day of the year. The rain splattered down, thumping into the proud roses until they drooped their newly-humbled heads, forcing the baby bees to stay at home and swarm all over each other until their fathers gave them short, stinging slaps and told them to settle down. It was, it must be said, a day for fishing.

But the poor old Magic Dragon, in his many, many travels, far and wide and back again, had only his best shoes with him, and was trapped at his place of labour, peeking brief but studying glances at his magical flat crystal that showed him what the clouds were doing. His Short Companion was doing the same back at the cave, ready and waiting in her Magic Wellies, but worrying over whether the rain would ease up and be gracious enough to let them fish without the Magic Dragon becoming a Soggy-Soled Dragon.

At last, the Magic Dragon was released from the daily chains of slavery, and whilst the rain tumbled down in a mishmash of fat, sopping, sodden drops, he and his Short Companion loaded the cart and headed off in search of the Magical Fishing Grounds.

They knew that there was only one place, if the truth must be told (and, indeed, it must), that should be fished in such weather, best shoes or not. And so they traversed their wet but merry way towards Illfyfel Pier. On their journey, they saw many strange and wondrous sights, and many more strange and disturbing sights. They saw funny little creatures, all wrapped up against the rain in shining hooded vestments, followed closely by trolls shouting at them for jumping in pools of water. They saw a cave wherein creatures, and parts of creatures, and butchered vegetables were lowered into boiling oil, and then given to passers-by in exchange for paper or small lumps of metal. The Magic Dragon and his Short Companion partook of this strange and bizarre habit, for it is the Right Thing to Do in their land.

After a long and rainy journey, the Magic Dragon and his Short Companion finally reached Illfyfel Pier, but oh dear! There was nowhere to park their cart! There was the Goblin Fair in town! A magical, twinkling assortment of bizarre and alluring traps, calling in the unwary who left never-quite-the-same again, lighter in the pocket and the stomach, particularly if they partook of the roast pork, toffee apples, and had a twisty-turny ride straight after. Having found a place to park the cart, the Magic Dragon and his Short Companion discovered the Rain God was being gracious, and had stopped gobbing on them for the time being. As they approached the Gateway to Illfyfel Pier, they were greatly relieved to see The Boat Man, who was going to fish with them.

But one must not forget, that whilst in the vicinity of Illfyfel Pier, strange and unnerving things can happen, and strange and unnerving creatures can approach at any time. And it was obviously the Magic Dragon's turn for something strange and unnerving to happen to him, and a strange and unnerving creature got right up in his face and, glassy-eyed and over-friendly, informed him that he really, really liked his t-shirt, and did the Magic Dragon know where that strange and unnerving creature might obtain one for itself, because it really, really liked it. It was a great t-shirt. The Boat Man, who lived rather too close to Illfyfel Pier, was used to these nuisances, and did not make eye contact, preferring to unload his car and avoid all indication that he might be anything to do with the Magic Dragon. Or even alive. The Magic Dragon's Short Companion was busy thanking the Gods of Who-Is-Which-Sex-When-They-Arrive-In-The-Cabbage-Patch that she was not a boy with a great t-shirt on.

Skirting around the treacherously alluring edges of the Goblin Fair, The Boat Man, the Magic Dragon and his Short Companion made it safely past and stood at the edge of Illfyfel Pier. The tide was on its way out, but still most of the deck was full of water, slowly inching its way to deeper seas. The cold, watery beams of the sun, as it reached its old autumnal age mellowed the sky, putting the Goblin Fair with all its trickery to great shame.

It was now time to see what delights Neptune had in store for the Magic Dragon and his two friends. There were varying degrees of skill and expertise, and, indeed, effort, being displayed on Illfyfel Pier, not just that night, but always. It was therefore a surprise that the most incompetent of the three, the Magic Dragon's Short Companion, was the first to reel in on her Sunnyfishy Stick, a teensy tiny, but beautiful nonetheless, Smallest Pouting in All the Land!

After that, there were many bites on all the Sticks, many hook-ups being missed. The Boat Man demonstrated a new way to cast out, standing with his back to the Depths of the Sea, and giving his Stick a backwards flick, only turning round to check it had actually hit the water when he was ready to sit down for a rest after the strain of it all.

However, even with the Sticks bouncing and wiggling as Slightly Larger Tiddlers hammered at the bait with their teensy-tiny razor teeth, and Smallest Fishies in All the Land were bothering the bait but not hooking up, it was not long before the Magic Dragon got what he went there for: The Smallest Black Bream In All The Land! He was most excited, and posed for a picture – both the Magic Dragon and the Black Bream smiled as their image was captured in the Short Companion’s Magic Box. And it was not long after that he also brought in The Smallest Whiting in All the Land, who also posed with him.

As dusk set in, a lithe figure slipped out from the shadows, but his efforts to scare The Boat Man were thwarted by the Magic Dragon's Short Companion. The Son Of A Boat Man had become bored with his magical Xbox and wandered down to see... well, that, dear readers, remains unclear. But wander down he did, and wandered back again too. It was a strange and silent interlude, which the Short Companion still mulls over to this day.

As the daytime died and night set in, the Goblin Fair tried its best to appeal, but alas, its alien, ugly music could not call forth our fisherfolk, and dully throbbed on its business of attracting only the Illfyfelian strange and unnerving creatures who were not fishing.

When all became quiet at the end of the Sticks, and having moved down the Illfyfel decks, it was time to unleash the Most Magical Bait In All The Land: wonderfully crafted sweet biscuits shaped like little men and women. Their making and using was celebrated by performance-licking by The Boat Man, who then wore his ceremonial headlamp that has no less than half a million fairies fluttering about in it.

This strange but wonderful ritual of licking, biting, and throwing out parts of the said treats worked well that night, because the Magic Dragon reeled in a Smallest Fishy In All The Land! It remains still a mystery as to what that fishy was, as it was so tiny, nobody could quite identify it. It was thrown back to grow a little bigger.

And then The Boat Man then reeled in a Smallest Pouting In All The Land! The Pouting did not know what the previous Fishy was either, although he reported some foul language coming from its mouth on its way home.

Not long after the Pouting was returned, the Magic Dragon managed to shake claws with The Smallest Velvet Swimmer Crab In All The Land. It was a tense and snappy meeting, and all were greatly relieved when it was over.

The Boat Man finally made his nonchalant way home, leaving the Magic Dragon and his Short Companion still fishing. The Goblin Fair, burping its churning and bloated way to a standstill, became dark and threatening, still holding the terrifying promise of evil doings towards the teeth of the small children of unwary travellers who are lured in unknowing, unseeing, uncaring until it is too late. The stars, merry, cold, crisp and bright, winked down now and again, icily glinting their famed glory as they dusted off their finest finery in hopeful anticipation of a startling winter. They do not allow many to capture their rapturous beauty, so one must breathlessly love the sight whilst one is able.

With less and less bites at the bait, fewer and further between, the Magic Dragon and his Short Companion knew that it was time to go home. Having held out for so long, against the laws of sleep and decency, there was nothing left to do other than reel in and go home. But Neptune had one last gift for the Magic Dragon's Short Companion - The Smallest Pouting In All The Land! Indeed, it seemed that the Neptune had it in for that Smallest Pouting, for it appeared so many times that the Short Companion lost count!

And so, dear readers, I could tell you many tales of our Magic Dragon and his Short Companion's journey home, with the crazy antics and happenings of strange and unusual proportions. But I won’t. That fragment of the archives is missing. For now…

Author's Note: This was originally written as a catch report for a fishing forum after I got bored of little fishing and bad weather. If you know the real people, and the real place, you would probably understand this story a little better. But let it suffice that the best myths always remain unclear and somewhat confusing. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it...
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