The Wiblets of Oldpark Wood

Tank Green/ January 6, 2024/ Writing Walking

Photo of a woodland floor with leaves. There are lots of thin 'twigs' growing upwards which are partially covered in green moss, like a jacket around each 'twig'.

Photo of a woodland floor with leaves. There are lots of thin ‘twigs’ growing upwards which are partially covered in green moss, like a jacket around each ‘twig’.

They’re called the Wiblets of Oldpark Wood, but as I am sure is obvious to a knowledgeable reader like you, they are really from AlphaZenturianSix. Their claim to be from Oldpark Wood is simply a ruse to lull us into a false sense of security. For if they belong to an earth locality, then we may be less inclined to monitor their behaviour. But monitor we should, fellow earthling, monitor we should, as there is more to the Wiblets than meets the eye.

The Wiblets first came to earth forty-five years ago, when the M25 had burnt a hole in the soul of parts of southern England. The Wiblets spied it from space and saw their chance to begin their slow colonisation of a new planet. As the M25 had damaged, deaded, or dispersed a great many of the indigenous natural powers of certain parts of Surrey and Kent, the land was ripe for the taking. So, in the middle of one July night, the Wiblets dropped, one-by-one, from the Ship of Limescale, softly landing in the middle of Oldpark Wood.

Unfortunately for us, as the spirits of the land had died from distress over the din of the M25, there was not much of a commotion about the Wiblets’ arrival. In addition, almost every tree which remained standing had its metaphorical hands over its senses to avoid going mad from the noise and commotion of the millions of humans doing mostly needless things in horrendously loud metal boxes. The birds had already gone deaf due to not being able to close their ears and fly, the insects had moved on, as had the badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits, and foxes. There was only one family of deer remaining, but they had turned over to the darkside and so posed no threat or challenge to the Wiblets.

Luckily for us, the Wiblets underestimated the effects of the M25’s pollution on their growth and reproductive capacities. As such, and so far, they have not penetrated outside of Oldpark Wood. However, evolution works on the Wiblets in the same way it does us, so they are slowly evolving ways to increase their reproductive powers. Once they do, I assure you dear reader, we’re fucked.

As it happens, the Wiblets aren’t really dastardly, but merely opportunists. Due to their lack of ears and soft and comfortable blanketing, they are not bothered by the din which is the M25. They simply saw an area without a thriving ecology and took their chance. However, the simple truth is that it is the way of the Wiblets to swallow the world in their incredibly-cute-but-deadly green blankets, thereby causing all and sundry to suffocate under their soft and vibrant charms. If this occurs, then the M25 will be free to raise its ugly hell throughout more of the otherwise beatific countryside. We must resist.

Thus far, only one brave race of arboreal warriors have mounted a challenge to the Wiblets: the Dandag Sisters of Horse Shaw woods. I say “have mounted” but they are still at it – their efforts are thwarted by a lack of natural energy outside of their great and ancient sisterhood. Try as they might to awaken the sleeping giant of the North Downs, they have so far only been able to tickle his teres minor region. However, their plan is good, so I will share it.

As the history buffs reading will confirm, the first people to come to this land were a race of giants from Africa. They carried with them the magic and majesty of the megaliths such as Marvin, whom we met earlier. Time passed, the giants became tired, and lay down for a rest. Having not invented alarm clocks back then, the big giants had a big sleep and in the end, we mistook them for hills and mountains. It is one such giant—Doondari—whose deep and thorough slumber causes us to mistakenly refer to him as the North Downs.

The Dandag Sisters hope that by awakening Doondari, they can appeal to his immense, mystical powers and get him to arrest the advance of the Wiblets. Their hope is that Doondari will agree the M25 is a sin, and then take his giant, megalithic hand-club and smash the M25 into the centre of the earth. After which, the Dandag (and I) hope, Doondari will fill the area with milk, thereby creating a moat to contain the ever sprawling metropolis. The Dandag Sisters have received promises from the Supreme Queen Bee, 42 of the Hedgehog Kings, 13 Badger clans, and all of the Fox families that, once peace and quiet has returned to the area, they too shall return. In doing so, their presence shall create an environment inhospitable to total Wiblet domination. The balance of nature will prevail!

My personal view is that this is a pretty good plan and so I would encourage you, dear reader, to assist the Dandag Sisters where you can. Like all beech trees, the Dandag are a profoundly sociable wood, and draw some of their power from the love and affection of human walkers. Why, I myself, just last month, walked the circle of their perimeter, telling them how much I loved and appreciated them. In doing so, they were able to reach Doondari’s teres major too, and are thus a micrometer closer to waking him up. I implore you reader, take out your biggest and best earplugs and all your best friends, and go walk in Horse Shaw woods. That way the Dandag Sisters can draw from your love and affection, and stand a greater chance of awakening Doondari who will, in turn, save the earth from total Wiblet domination.

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Photo of a woodland floor with brambles, dead bracken, and other detritus. There are a couple of thin ‘twigs’ growing upwards which are partially covered in green moss, like a jacket around each ‘twig’. In the background is holly.

Photo of a woodland floor with brambles, dead bracken, and other detritus. There are a couple of thin ‘twigs’ growing upwards which are partially covered in green moss, like a jacket around each ‘twig’. In the background is holly.

UPDATE:

Terrible news, dear reader: the Wiblets have penetrated into Leith Hill! I found these rogue urchins there on Saturday. However, note their lighter green colouring which indicates a less vociferous reproductive energy. Nevertheless, I urge you to go forth and brave the utter horror of the M25. I beg of you to venture into Horse Shaw woods so that you might fortify the Dandag Sisters efforts to awaken Doondari. Time is running out!