Nanolomo: Mog in the Dark
Mog sat in the dark and thought dark thoughts.
It strikes me as interesting that one of my favourite books as when I wasn’t even 10 was published the year I was born (1983 – which additionally is when another favourite, So You Want To Be a Wizard, was also published – that’s coming later this month).
But that’s by the by.
Mog was a series of children’s books created by Judith Kerr. I had two when I was a child; Mog and the Baby and Mog in the Dark. The latter was always my favourite – I suspect to the chagrin of my mother, whose tastes has always run more to realism than my leanings towards the fantastical.
Basically, Mog is the family pet who has been left outside in the dark. Hence, Mog sits in the dark and things dark thoughts. Dark thoughts that involve giant mice and big birds with teeth, all out to get poor Mog who just wants to be inside with her people and her supper. As Mog’s imagination and sleepiness start to grow, we find ourselves in a world of Mousedogbird’s and Mog finding the ability to fly, until… she wakes up, and finally gets her supper.
It’s hard to know why exactly I loved this. I think it was partly in Mog flying, partly in her wild imagination that grew her prey into her own predators. I think also the way the words were placed on the page, how the words told the story. (It was intended for very young readers, and I think it has a vocab of only about 50 words.) The repetition and rythmn of it is something that has stayed with me, and on hearing it again recently, it brought back lovely warm feelings, not just of childhood comfort, but of an awakening imagination (which I’m now inflicting on all your poor sods. 😉 )
Hearing? Well, if you have a bit of time, a lovely lady has read the book on this YouTube video. Radiohead fans might be especially interested…