Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!
In this episode we bring Rowan’s story – Asparagus Clogg and The Cursed Cathedral – to life.
When children start to lose their ability to speak after entering St Martin’s – The Cursed Cathedral, it’s up to The Adventurneers to work out what’s going on. Can Asparagus and his friends save the day?
If you have a story idea, you could be like Rowan and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!
That’s just what Rowan did. You can watch the story they suggested come to life below.
Listen out for brand new Story Quest episodes every Thursday!
Stories for kids and families from Fun Kids – the UK’s children’s radio station. Perfect for all ages – listen in the car, when chilling at home and before bedtimes.
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Read along to Asparagus Clogg and The Cursed Cathedral
You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.
Asparagus Clogg was an extraordinarily ordinary 10-year-old boy. He lived with his dad, Albatross Clogg, at the top of a green and white striped lighthouse in the peaceful city of Cheesemouth.
You may think that Cheesemouth might have gotten it’s name because the people who lived there were partial to the odd slice of Red Leicester, but you would be wrong. Cheesemouth was named so because it’s the place where the River Cheese meets the Quadratic Ocean.
But anyway, life for Asparagus at the top of the green and white lighthouse was perfectly pleasant, albeit a little…uneventful.
To pass the time when he wasn’t at school, Asparagus would invite his two best friends – Ember November and Mouse Montgomery – to hang out in his room to take turns telling each other outlandish stories.
Ember was a tall, pale girl with short, spiky brown hair that faded to a vibrant orange at its sharp tips, whilst Mouse was a small blonde boy with the thickest black glasses this side of the River Cheese.
Together, the trio liked to call themselves ‘The Adventurneers’, although in reality the most adventurous thing any of them had ever done is when Asparagus accidentally ordered a medium curry instead of a mild. He made sure to never repeat that mistake again.
As I was saying, The Adventurneers liked to take it in turns telling each other stories – stories about knights in shining armour, wizards and witches and even tales of aliens in flying saucers. But these amazing stories were never written down. Once they were told, they were gone forever. Only Asparagus, Ember, and Mouse could ever know the amazing world that existed within their imaginations, and they were absolutely fine with that.
This, however, is where this particular story actually begins. It wasn’t told by any of The Adventurneers, and don’t ask me how I know it, but I do. And you’ll have to trust that everything I tell you is the truth, okay? Right, let’s get started.
It was just another extraordinarily ordinary Wednesday morn-wait no, sorry, it was a Thursday wasn’t it? Yep, right sorry…my bad. It was just another extraordinarily ordinary Thursday morning in Cheesemouth. Asparagus Clogg was sound asleep, gently snoring as he dreamed of whatever ordinary 10-year-old boys usually dream of. Tap…Tap…Tap Tap Tap. “Ugh”, grunted Asparagus, his eyes slowly yawning open. “Not now, Steven.” The tapping persisted…tap tap tap. “Fine. You win. But my alarm isn’t supposed to go off for another…” Asparagus checked the bright green numbers on the clock beside his bed, “13 minutes! That’s 13 more minutes I could have been asleep.”
Asparagus made a point of looking displeased as he rolled out of bed, stood upright, stretched, and shuffled over to the circular window on the other side of his room at the top of the green and white striped lighthouse. Tap Tap Tap. “Alright Steven I’m coming, I’m coming,” moaned Asparagus as he creaked open the porthole.
In flew Steven, a seagull who Asparagus rescued from a gang of bigger birds when he was just a chick. “There’s some fish on the table. I have to go meet Ember and Mouse before school so you’ll have to be quiet whilst I’m out so dad doesn’t hear you.”
Steven squawked in agreement as Asparagus pulled his sky-blue t-shirt over his head without putting a single hair out of place. He bounced down the stairs and grabbed some toast on his way out of the front door.
“Morning A,” said Ember. She called Asparagus ‘A’ for short. “Morning Ember,” Asparagus replied. He called Ember Ember because that was her name.
“Have you seen the news?” Ember asked.
“What news?” Asparagus said, slightly puzzled.
“Oh boy…” Mouse chimed in. “There’s been another incident at St. Martin’s.”
St. Martin’s was the cathedral in central Cheesemouth. It was a big, imposing, structure with a long pointy steeple and was built in the 1600’s, so it was pretty old. In fact, it was so old, that around 10 years ago people were banned from setting foot inside it because it was deemed too unsafe.
“What type of incident?” asked Asparagus.
“Well, it seems like some of the other older kids at school broke in again and now they’ve all forgotten how to speak.” Replied Ember.
“I suppose that’s not such a bad thing,” joked Asparagus, “Maybe you should take a visit, Mouse.”
“Very funny.” Said Mouse, rolling his eyes, his thick glasses magnifying them made them look like two footballs rotating towards goal. “Are you not scared that St. Martin’s might be…cursed?”
“Cursed?!” Asparagus exclaimed. “This isn’t one of our stories, Mouse. This is real life, things don’t get cursed in real life, right Ember?”
“Umm…” contemplated Ember, “I don’t know, A. It does seem a bit…spooky. These are the twelfth group of kids to break into the cathedral and then lose the ability to speak. Is that not a bit suspicious?”
“I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation,” replied Asparagus.
“Hmm. I guess we’ll never know.” Shrugged Ember.
“I mean…we could know?” Mouse quietly suggested.
“What was that?” Asked Asparagus.
“Well,” Mouse said, clearing his throat, “why don’t we go and find out?”
“Don’t be so silly, we have school!” Ember protested, looking at Asparagus for support.
“Actually Mouse,” started Asparagus, “that’s not such a bad idea. At least then I can prove to you there’s no such thing as ‘Cursed Cathedrals’ and this is all some kind of practical joke or something like that.”
And after some short deliberation, Ember agreed to join her fellow Adventurneers to go and explore St. Martin’s Cathedral. The gang decided that if they quickly popped in on the way to school, they could still make it for break time and the teachers would barely notice their absence.
After what seemed like miles and miles The Adventurneers arrived at the tall, rusty, gate of St. Martin’s without saying a word. Asparagus looked to Ember on his left, nodded, then looked to Mouse on his right, nodded, and put his hand on the orange-tinted metal.
He pushed forward and the gate swung open with no real effort and the trio trembled through the knee-high grass towards the colossal wooden door of the church.
“What now?” asked Ember.
“Umm…I guess we knock?” suggested Mouse.
“Right, yes, good idea.” Asparagus said, reassuring himself that it was just a cathedral, and it wasn’t at all cursed. He reached out his hand, trying his best to keep it steady and not show his two best friends that he was incredibly nervous of what might happen next.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
KNOCK KNOCK KN-
And on the final knock, the door creaked open seemingly of it’s own accord.
“I’ll go first,” said Ember. She had always been the bravest of the group. She stepped inside the church and was frozen still by the freezing cold atmosphere in the air. “Hello?” She called out.
“Is anybody in there?” whispered Mouse from behind Asparagus in the doorway.
“Say hello again,” Asparagus urged Ember.
“Hello, is anybody in here? We’re not hear to cause any trouble…we just want to know…if…” Ember cleared her throat, “if the Cathedral might be…cursed?”
And as the word cursed left her mouth, gusts of wind flooded the room. Pages flew from the ground into the air and around the room. The sound of thunder attacked the silence and a singular beam of bright, white, light shot down from the ceiling.
“Cursed?” A deep, powerful, voice echoed from all four walls of the building. “I’m not cursed. I’m…alive.”
“Sorry to interrupt, and I don’t mean to be rude. But, who exactly are you?” asked Asparagus, who had made his way inside the church from the doorway, closely followed by Mouse.
“I am…St. Martin’s,” the echoey voice replied. “I am the cathedral.”
“Wait,” Asparagus interjected, “But you’re a building. Buildings can’t talk, can they?”
“I’m not just a building,” the voice of St. Martin’s cathedral continued, “when I was constructed back in 1623, the people of Cheesemouth used wood from trees in an enchanted forest the other side of the River Cheese from this. These trees possessed the power to heal, breathe, think, and talk. An agreement was made with the then mayor of Cheesemouth, Artemis Clogg, that they would be willing to form part of the cathedral as long as they were looked after.”
“Artemis Clogg?” asked Asparagus.
“Yes, why do you ask?” the cathedral replied.
“Well, my name is Asparagus Clogg. Nice to meet you. But, umm, I guess I was wondering if I must be related?”
“Ahh a Clogg! Pleasure to meet you. Artemis was a great man.” St. Martin’s explained. “So us trees in the enchanted forest agreed to become a part of the structure, as long as we were well maintained…and well, as you can see. That’s not happened.”
“But what has happened to the other people who have come to the cathedral?” asked Ember, slightly more relaxed at the prospect of talking to an omnipresent voice now.
“I have been trying to warn everyone, but as part of the deal to become a part of the structure, we lost our voices. So, I’ve been ‘borrowing’ visitor’s voices in the hopes that somebody might listen to me.”
“And what is it you want to say?” asked Mouse, also uncharacteristically calm in his manner.
“We just want to be looked after again. If we can be repaired and restored, I promise to return each and everyone’s voice that I have borrowed. I think that’s fair.” Said St. Martin’s Cathedral.
“I think you’re right,” said Asparagus, “I’ll see what I can do.”
And so The Adventurneers said goodbye to The Cathedral and set off to school, their voices intact, to come up with a way to repair the cathedral.
Asparagus said he would ask his dad, Albatross, to get a group of his friends together to start work right away. Albatross agreed and rounded up some merry men to get the job started.
A few years passed by until the renovations were completed, but by that time the Cathedral was confident that he was being looked after that he happily returned the voices of the naughtier children who broke in to St. Martin’s.
So, all’s well that ends well. And most importantly of all, The Adventurneers could finally claim to have had an actual adventure. The first of many…
Listen out for brand new Story Quest episodes every Thursday!
Stories for kids and families from Fun Kids – the UK’s children’s radio station. Perfect for all ages – listen in the car, when chilling at home and before bedtimes.Add a comment