display | more...

According to Lancashire mythology, Alder and Aphin loved the same girl. Except she wasn't a girl. She was a nymph - Rimmon was her name.

Now, Alder and Aphin should really have known better. Why would a beautiful nymph be remotely interested in two men in excess of a hundred feet tall? Not only that, they were rough Oldham types. They didn't stand a chance.

Rimmon's father had other ideas, though. He insisted that she choose one - even a nymph isn't immune to the stigma of being a spinster. So she took a good hard look at each of them. Alder lived in a forest, called Chew Valley. Aphin had a whole hill to himself - Pots and Pans Hill, it was called. So, being a lofty type, Rimmon chose Aphin.

Alder was heartbroken - utterly grief stricken. And he did what all men do in this situation - he started a fight. But when two giants fight it's something to behold. Aphin chucked a rock from the top of Pots and Pans Hill. Alder chucked a bigger rock back up. This went on for centuries, during which time Rimmon grew to love Aphin quite deeply (though she did sometimes wish he'd stop chucking rocks about and get on with the business of marrying her).

The tragedy of the story, of course, is that Alder was a better shot. After quite a few aeons of this, he gets Aphin square in the forehead with a massive boulder. Aphin groans. Aphin falls to his knees. Aphin rubs his head. Aphin dies. It all gets a bit melodramatic at this point. Rimmon goes and chucks herself off a cliff (because spinsterhood threatens after all). Then Alder roars with grief, rips up all the trees in his forest, and stabs himself through the heart with one.

And Alder and Aphin are still there, up on Saddleworth Moor to this day. Only they were turned to stone. You can find them on maps - they're known as The Giant's Rocks. A stoney testament to what happens when two best friends fall in love with the same girl.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.