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The legend of Ledmore & Migdale

This very special story has been written by Theresa Breslin and illustrated by Kate Leiper as a celebration of the link between the woods and the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Long, long, ago in Ledmore Wood
Nothing flourished, no green tree stood
The river was dry, the air was still
The land lay flat around Migdale Hill

At the Chambered Cairn the old stones stirred
A Giant awoke with a whispered word
The Giant stood up, the great chest heaved
And over the Earth the spirit breathed

Seeing the empty glen the great Giant cried
Tears spattered and splashed on the countryside
Filling spring, stream, river – all
Tumbling together in a waterfall

The Giant picked seven stars from the cloak of Night
Sowing them round in a ring by the dawning light
In the circled glade a shoot unfurled
Bringing bud and blossom to a waiting world

The Giant walked on in a happier mood
Taking steps as big as a big giant could
On the trodden path where the footprints fell
Wild flowers sprang up in a Fairy Dell

The Giant peeled a sliced from the gibbous moon
Folded it and moulded it and set it down
As a shimmering loch, far below,
Where the forest of Migdale began to grow
And so…

The Giant’s labours are over as is your Quest
And you, like the Giant, must now take your rest
If you look to the north you’ll see the Giant still
For where the Giant lies sleeping, is Migdale Hill