The Dragon of Loschy Wood

We started with a North Yorkshire dragon, so here is another one!

A grey stone church.
Church of All Saints and St James, taken by Maigheach-gheal at and re-used under cc-by-sa licence.

In the church of Nunnington, in North Yorkshire, is an ancient tomb. It is topped by the figure of a knight in armour, lying prone, the legs crossed, the feet resting against a dog, the hands apparently clasping a heart, but no inscription to determine to whom the monument belongs.

The locals tell that it is the tomb of Peter Loschy, a famous warrior, whose last exploit was killing a huge serpent, or dragon, which infested the country, and had its den on a wooded landmark now called Loschy Hill.

They say that having determined to free the area from the pest, Peter Loschy asked why no-one else had yet succeeded in destroying the serpent. Even the strongest and bravest warriors had failed, as it seemed able to recover from any wound inflicted upon it, shaking off a strike from a sword like we would a bite from a gnat.

Peter, therefore, made extra plans, getting a suit of armour prepared, with every part of it being covered with razor-blades set with the edges pointing outwards.  Thus defended, armed with his sword, and accompanied by a faithful dog, he went forth to seek the dragon, which he quickly found in a thicket on the Hill.

The dragon, glad of another victim, pounced upon the armed man, ignoring a wound from Peter’s sword, and folded itself around his body, intending to squeeze Peter to death, and afterwards to devour him at leisure, but in this it was disappointed.

The razor-blades were sharp, and pierced it all over, so it quickly uncoiled itself again. To the surprise of the knight, as soon as it pulled away from him, and the razor blade coated armour, its wounds instantly healed, and it was strong and vigorous as ever.

A long and desperate fight ensued between the knight and the serpent, without either gaining much advantage over the other.

With Peter tiring, and fearing he could never inflict a fatal injury on the serpent, he swung his sword once more and chopped a segment from the end of the dragon’s tail.

His faithful dog saw his chance and quickly snatched up the beast’s flesh and ran across the valley with it for nearly a mile. He left it on a hill near Nunnington Church, and immediately returned to the scene of combat. Snatching up another fragment, he took  it to the same place, and returned again and again for other fragments until they were all removed, the last portion taken being the poisonous head.

The knight, now rejoicing at his victory, stooped to pat and praise his faithful dog, who looked up and licked the knight’s face. Sadly, the poison of the serpent was still on the dog’s tongue, and both fell down dead within an hour of their victory.

The villagers buried the body of the knight in Nunnington Church, and placed a monument over the grave, on which were carved the figures of the knight and his faithful dog, to witness to the truth of the story.

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