Ashleigh the Crescent Goose.
(Ashleigh Crescent, Barnstaple, Devon, UK.)
Ashleigh had had it hard from the start! Being called “The Crescent Goose” by his mother, and without an explanation, was no everyday thing. Poor Ashleigh would go through days on end, just asking and asking and ASKING his friends….“Why oh why oh why oh why!? Why ’Crescent Goose?!!!”.
Even with the occasional worm, before the eating of…. he would ask the fated creature, whispering.. “Do you know why I am called ‘The Crescent Goose’ ???” …. One wise worm, sensing its impending fate, replied “Does it matter!!!?” But, while munching, Ashleigh softly replied “Yes! Yes it does!”
One day, a tired and miserable Ashleigh, was lost in thought; wondering about his name, and in this state, he wondered and wandered and walked and wondered and wondered!!! Eventually he looked up from the ground and found himself in a very strange country indeed. He wondered if it was the Holland that his Pa had talked about. A country of clogs and windmills. Actually, he was in Newport, a nearby local district of Barnstaple. He had never strayed out of the Garden where he lived before… and only twice outside of the wire pen that Mrs Campbell kept him and his Mum and Dad, and countless brothers and sisters in, for some time.
So here, in Holland, so he thought, Ashleigh was lost. A terrible feeling of sadness and fear came over him and he wobbled his white feathery chest down to his orange feet and nestled into the floor as if to sleep. Then he sobbed and gently looked up to the wispy white clouds in the sky. “Mum!!!” he thought to himself loudly with such a deep longing for home. As he thought this, the wispy cloud cleared a little and revealed a white light in the sky. This bright, bluish white light was the same shape as the blade Mrs Campbell used to cut the grass around the pen. He sensed a mystery and wondered…."Is the is the “CRESCENT” ?" He felt sure….
As he was gazing and thinking he heard a voice. “Ashleigh???” He turned to see the familiar sight of Scrunchy the neighbourhood Hedgehog.
Hedgehog spoke to him: "Ashleigh, you know, we Hedgehogs usually roam around 13 or so back-gardens distance at night, and not far at all during the day…. And never do we walk off in straight lines. If we do, in a ‘search to become more than just a hedgehog’, we often get squashed by the metal rolling rubbers wheels! So here I am at the end of a long straight line walk….many more than 13 gardens long. Every car has stopped or swerved to miss me… in this dreamy daze that I have been walking in. I was feeling distant, wondering why on Earth I was drifting for so long and so far.
And now I stop, and I find you here at the end of my walk. I am so tired and cannot go home today. I will have to rest.
“May I rest with you Scrunchy, please?” Ashleigh asked the little, prickly, flea ridden, wizened and dear, little chap.
“Yes, lets rest here in the grass verge, the grass is thick and well protected from the main road..”
So, there they rested through the rest of that day. Through the night they slept and woke, and slept and woke and talked, and Ashleigh asked Scrunchy about the stars and the white, blade shaped, light in the sky. As dawn was breaking, Ashleigh asked Scrunchy about that light… “You mean the Crescent Moon Ashleigh?” answered Scrunchy. Of course, this answer was an amazing and electrifying revelation to Ashleigh, the Crescent goose….having stumbled, calling out for help, lost and needing home and his Mum so much, and all this at the moment he first ever saw the Crescent Moon!!!
But from that day on, after having walked home, guided by the very lucky Hedgehog, and been reunited with his Mum and his Pa, and his brothers and sisters… he knew something special had happened that he could not talk about, he knew this when he saw his Mothers smile. Through seeing his mother’s smiling eyes he understood the magical mystery or time, which is love. And so he lived out a much longer than normal life, loved by his family and especially Mrs Campbell…..here in Ashleigh Crescent, Barnstaple, Devon.
He could still not understand why he was called Ashleigh ‘The Crescent Goose’! Well, he could understand, but goose brains are not great thinking, conceptualising brains….so from then on, instead he just smiled whenever he was called “The Crescent Goose”, he felt unique and as special as all creation… like you and like me…quite magical really.
The photo of Ashleigh and Scrunchy was taken by
Adam Wentworth of Ashleigh Crescent on his way home his school sports day. His Mum would never have believed his story without his having taken this photograph. Shown here by kind permission of Adam’s parents.
By Simon Groves July 11th 2011