Hag O' The Gump

There was a woman in the village of St Just  everyone knew as The Hag. She had another name once, but nobody could remember what it was…

So begins the tale of The Hag O’ The Gump.

Here at The Caterpillar’s Boots we’re proud to present our latest Cornish Folk Tale. A story of greed and gold and the curse of the Spriggans…

The Hag O’ The Gump 


Love this ‘Cornish Litany’. From a quirky 1920s book of Cornish proverbs.

Cornish Litany

You can find more pearls of Cornish wisdom over at the Inspiration Bookshelf.

Hello! We know things have been a little quiet around here on The Caterpillar’s Boots for the past month. We’re still here! Behind the scenes we’ve been busy working away on some new stories. Here’s Fran working on the illustrations for The Pendour Mermaid, the magical story of the mermaid who falls in love with a fisherman’s song. More to come soon…


What a fantastic weekend in the sunshine at Port Eliot Festival. We even got to read one of our new stories, The Pendour Mermaid, in the fabulous Round Room.

Port Eliot Festival

Reading ‘The Pendour Mermaid’ in the beautiful Round Room at Port Eliot Festival.

Watch this space for some of the new tales we’ve been working on…

Stories run deep in the soil, the stone and the sea in the Cornish landscape.

St Michael's Mount

The sun shone yesterday, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather to go on a trip to St Michael’s Mount.

They say the Cornish giant Cormoran lived here. If you look carefully, you can still see his heart.The giant's heart

We’ve added more photos of the stunning St Michael’s Mount to the Cornwall Album.

Collected Folk Tales, Alan Garner

‘There is something of the national treasure about Alan Garner. He has been writing excellent books for more than 50 years. He was, I suspect, the first person to write what now we would describe as urban fantasies.’ – Neil Gaiman, The Guardian

Alan Garner’s Collected Folk Tales has just arrived through the letterbox! After reading Neil Gaiman’s review in The Guardian, we knew we had to have it:

‘So many of the tales lack explanation for the events in them, as if the stories were the lyrics of folk songs, and the true meaning is in the music…This Collected Folk Tales is, by definition and by temperament, a patchwork, and reading it is like entering a rag and bone shop in which every object has been polished up and repaired and made fit for use, while always leaving in the cracks and dents that show that the goods have had years of use already. With the exception of some of the poems, there is nothing new or shining here, and the book is all the better for it.’ (Neil Gaiman, Collected Folk Tales by Alan Garner review)

The kettle is on. Everything else is just going to have to be put on hold while we have a read of this beautiful purple-and-gold-gem of a book.

It’s taken a while, but we’re very excited to have our first children’s story up online! You can read Jack the Giant Killer here. (Click on an image to see it larger, or scroll down to see the slideshow).

It’s the story of a little boy who sets out to defeat Cornwall’s tallest, strongest, meanest giant.

Cormoran the Cornish Giant
was the meanest in the land.
He was so tall and strong and mean
he could crush you in his hand.

Happy storytime! Jack the Giant Killer

The drawings for Jack the Giant Killer are finished!

Watch this space for the finished version of our first illustrated children’s story.

jack the giant killer

More of the marvellous Maise Meiklejohn’s illustrations

But Billy's legs were too short

But Billy's legs were short.

Billy Chenoweth, the little boy who made friends with the Cornish Knockers down the tin mine. (Love the caption  – it manages to be both to the point and oddly cryptic at the same time.)

The Giant of St Michael's Mount

She talked to him until the tide went down again.

And the Giant of St Michael’s Mount getting a telling off  by old Aunt Nancy from Gulval.

Wild Boy

He seemed so wild she wondered if he had lost his reason.

The Mermaid of Zennor

Love this illustration! It’s by Maise Meiklejohn (great name) from this 1946 book of Cornish Tales by Eileen Molony.

Great storytelling and wonderful, lively, fun illustrations. What a brilliant find!