The Old Sky Woman *

* Suitable for a bedtime story


 Wintertime, the snow fell in huge fluffy flakes. The little children of North Cornwall looked up into the sky. They had been told a tale about the snow, high above them, the Old Sky Woman was plucking her White Goose and scattering its feathers. As more and more snow fell and it covered their boots, the children began to wonder about the size of a goose with so many feathers. One boy asked his mum if he could visit the goose,

‘Where are the sky stairs? I would love to climb them and see the amazing goose.’

‘I don’t know where the sky stairs are,’ said his mum.

‘Where does she keep her goose?’ another boy asked.

‘In the sky meadow,’ his mum said.

‘What will the Old Sky Woman do with her goose?’ a girl asked.

‘Stuff it with onions and sage,’ her Granfer said.

‘What will she really do with such a big goose?’ the girl asked.

‘Have it for Christmas dinner,’ her Granfer said.

‘Poor goose,’ the children gasped.

‘She isn’t plucking her White Goose,’ the girl said. ‘The White Goose is moulting and the Old Sky Woman is sweeping the feathers with her sky broom. White Goose’s feathers are floating down to keep our Cornish flowers warm.’

‘Perhaps you are right,’ her Granfer said.


retold by Anna Chorlton

from Enys Tregarthen ‘Legends and Tales of North Cornwall’



  • Camelford