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Our Shropshire Stories

Never Be The One at the Back, by Elizabeth Bristow,

St John's Primary School, Bridgnorth


Never be the one at the back. I warn you. Never be that person; that person who disappears. Despite the fact that we’re all Shoplatch-trained, world-class archers, we always fall victim to this...force. We’re all disheartenedly waiting for the day, the hour, the minute, the second that we are snatched away from our comrades, never to see the light of day again. Yes, we have heard the legends. The legends of the Lynx that roams the land where we stage our weekly march. At first, I was convinced that is was just another pesky Viking, sabotaging us. Now I’m not so sure. There’s no smoke without fire, after all. Is there? It was yesterday. I was the penultimate archer. My best friend was behind me. We were all scared. You could feel the stiffness surrounding us in the cold February air. And you could just tell something was terribly wrong. And I turned and saw it. That cat. Without thinking, I screamed at the top of my lungs, so loud I felt them burn inside me. I could have shot it, I know, but I’m notorious for being a slow drawer. Everyone turned to me, and then the Cat. But that Lynx didn’t give two hoots. He or she bolted up and grabbed Arthur around his waist with it’s horrendously large jaws. The pain was obviously so bad that nobody could scream for help in it. And then it ran away. With Arthur. He’s ...


gone. We’re changing our route this week onwards. I just don’t want to die. Not yet. So we’ll just keep on training, keep on competing, keep on winning, keep on sleeping, keep on eating, keep on marching and repeating that. But we know that Sir is retiring soon. And we know that the new Sir won’t be aware of the change. So we know this safety is short-lived. It sounds really bad, but I just hope that some newbies join the ranks, so that I live. But news has spread about this, so they won’t dare. We know that when the new boss comes in, I’m next. I am next. Do me a favour, and never be the one at the back.

this story was inspired by the place-name Shoplatch, a street-name in Shrewsbury - to find out more, click here.

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