“Wispy beard and eyes like coals
Bony M fingers grasp the stone heart
the chasm of distraction bends light around a pastry shell
the flowering onion essence pervades…”
These words, carved into the sandstone at Alderley Edge, have bewitched and befuddled generations of explorers who scaled this iconic peak which rises like a leviathan breaking the calmed crust of the Cheshire plain. As children we wandered there, blind to the mysteries etched into the sediment, and without heed or reverence we danced amid the stones, burrowed into the caves and lit herbaceous fires, the smoke cloaking our ignorance.
We read the words thrice and backwards and still nothing would reveal, while the wizard’s calcified gaze drove through our layers until we were the onion, peeled and sliced, fried and then mixed with a lovely cheese and potato mulch, and then poured into a dwelling, somewhere we could be as one.
So we heard of the legend, how two great wizards had stood on opposing stones (Alderley Edge and Beeston Rock) and faced each other across the olde county of Cheshire. A battle of magics, for thirty days and nights, a landscape torn by sorcery as the northern magus Gregg the Usurper (occupying the rock at Beeston) and the local necromancer Spink the Bald cast their spells and comestibles across the terrain until it was crushed and smoothed like dough. Then a storm from the west, darkness fell and the Wizards, so the legend tells, were sucked into the heavens through a great swirling vortex and then, nothing, silence, no birds did sing and no trees did grow, for seven ages the land was stilled.
The legend tells that the battle still rages in the firmament and on every full moon in the arachnid phase (13 May to 9th June) strangeness abounds in the Cheshire region, it is said a white powdery substance falls mysteriously from the sky around the Wizards rock and some report a disturbing odour of onion and cheese around the sacred sites at these dates.