Lost Souls in Dewerstone Woods
Teri, the dogs and I climb the stone track through Dewerstone Woods above the Plym. This is the place where the river hurtles down the valley from the moors towards Plymouth and the sea. It’s nippy, green-gold and shimmering beneath the cold, grey slab of the Dewerstone which looms above us in stark contrast. It’s easy to imagine the horrifying legends associated with this rock even in the late summer sun. ‘Old Dewer’ is the Dartmoor name for the Devil, and he has been known to drive lost travellers over the edge with his Whisht Hounds, headless dogs who live in Wistman’s Wood. Any lost souls would land right on top of us in this lovely little pool where we are wallowing. A couple of climbers wave to us; they have ropes, luckily.
We slide and dawdle and float and chat and listen to the birds and the gentle tinkle and rush of the water. Honey has found a tennis ball and amuses herself by dropping it in the river and retrieving it; Devon, Teri’s Jack Russell follows us, hopping from rock to rock in deep concern for our welfare.
We arrive at the big slide, and shoot off the edge into the pool; then we struggle to the cascade to the side. Teri goes right in and gets ice-cream head. Devon is stuck; she is lured into sliding down the rock, small wings of water behind each foot like a doggy Hermes. She plops into the pool and swims flat out to the edge before Old Dewer steals her soul.
Thanks to Teri Cox for the fab photos – still having camera issues…