The artefacts shelf

This shelf contains two of the first items from Alongame, before the game started in earnest.

A sculpture, of two figures both reaching to offer a gift and simultaneously receive one.

A note between two unknown individuals, featuring a traditional poem.


I hear your eldest is having a hard time adjusting to having a sibling in the same bedroom, and I thought I’d quickly offer a poem my granddad would use when we were young. The joy of it is that if the kidlings like it, you can share out the Gosherd and Goose parts between them!

Love always.

… Heed this gift, be all ears, hear my story little one
In the mountains, in the stream, in the hot winter sun,
Snow was leaving, rising steam, melting on balding rocks.
In gloaming hearth, geese had huddled, ‘neath the gosherd’s socks
Supped on oats, trapped in hills, near the water, way up high
“Spring has come, the journey calls,” full weary Gosherd sighed.
“HONK” said the geese! “HONK!” called again, playing round his feet
“WHEN can we go!  WHERE do we go! WHO are we to meet?”
The gosherd held them one by one, checking which was strong
Which was full brave, which was full fat, who could march full long.
Thinnest scaredest tiredest goose, who Gosherd could not choose,
“Don’t leave me here, I will keep up, what have you to lose?
Your feet are soft, soft as mine… can I not have your shoes?”

Gosherd laughed and pointed out: “My shoes? They would not fit!
I’d give you mine, they would not suit, not one little bit!”
Poor thin goose cried loud: “What can I give that you will take
How can I join the others? My heart is sure to break!
For spring fair, warm air, to market there, our down to share, 
I would walk through fire! I would walk through coals! all I’d bear.”
The gosherd heard the goose’s gift, its generous cry, and paused 
Smoke stung their eyes, guilt their heart, which recklessness had caused.“Your courage, goose, I’ll repay. I’m sorry for my haste. 
You’re right, you’ll join our market march, we will find a way.”
The goose ran across the hut, pitpatter went his feet
Into down-coated arms, fell the gosherd’s tears like sleet
But Goose had run through embers- orange webs red with heat!

The ashes mixed with gosherd’s hot tears – their guilt, fear, shame
Goose’s strength was not enough, the gosherd was to blame –
Goose cried out, but in surprise, as they cast down their eyes
Beneath the white down and rounded breast – was magic’s guise!
Two pitch-tar shoes, small goose sized, moving like wind-blown snow
Blackly soot as air, twirling out the door, primed to go.
The Goose’s gift of fear and trust, Gosherd’s trade of tears
Had done what neither lone could do. As springtime snow clears
To flow south down townwards each year, you’ll see two webbed tracks
Lonely prints, no traders near with sacks upon their backs,
They pitpat gooseless by the stream, Gosherd too long gone,
Born anew in springtime heights, when sun warms stones with song
To share true goose and gosherd’s gift – their ease to right a wrong.

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