Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A must read for children & adults - The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl - First Purlings

A must-read for children and young adults –– The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl 

A trilogy of illustrated novels by Paul Thornycroft 

Volume Two: ‘First Purlings’ 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

Children –– you ARE changing the World! 

Mya-Rose Craig’s second interview with the author: 

Mya-Rose: Before we talk about ‘First Purlings’, Paul, I want to recall ‘Little Humans’, the first book in the trilogy, with Mowzl’s stories of his home world and his mysterious arrival in the human world. He’s upset to discover how much humans are harming Nature, and he invents surprising ways to show people what is happening. Mowzl somehow helps us to feel more deeply, and he encourages us to find out more. How does the story develop in the second book, “First Purlings’? 

Paul: Mowzl finds new ways to entice young people, and grown up’s too, into seeing nature differently, looking sideways at the ordinary, as it were. It’s not always easy, and Mowzl calls it being ‘re-knitted’, an expression he uses after watching LuLu unravel some knitting only to re-knit it slightly differently. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

Mya-Rose: That sounds like a riddle, or mystery code! Is Mowzl a Wizard? 

Paul: He’s more shamanic; he loves simply being part of the wild web, and his generous heart empowers him to invite children to be immersed in deep Nature. 

Mya-Rose: It sounds like the ‘re-knitting’ changes the way we see things, is this what purling is about?

Paul: Yes. Mowzl is able to purl, which means he can fly through air, water or empty space in his pouch of magic wool. The humans who are drawn to him find that they can talk with animals and experience deep Nature, but only when they are 
with him. It’s so wonderful, they want to learn purling for themselves! Little do they know how hard it will be, for some anyway, to change their ‘settings’ enough to succeed. Mowzl insists on this resetting, or re-knitting. He knows that humans need to become more sensitive in order to see how Nature really is, and what part they play in Nature’s distress. He knows, too, that this is a rediscovering of long-lost wisdom. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

Mya-Rose: How do people learn to purl? 

Paul: A lot of that happens by being with Mowzl, listening to his stories and being in Nature. But there are also specific tasks to be done: wool, gathered from moorland hills, is washed, carded and spun on a spindle; then crocheted into Mowzl sized pouches. These gentle, repetitive tasks weave a beingness, or receptiveness wherein the children, and some of their parents, may dream into purling. It is a rite of passage, it happens only when they are ready, when they are fully re-knitted. And yes, when the children are purling, they are the size of a mouse! 

Mya-Rose: That sounds wonderful! I’d like to do that myself. I spend a lot of time in Nature and make a big effort to go to wonderful places. But I do see Nature being damaged or destroyed by development and industry. It’s upsetting. Won’t purling make people feel this distress even more and make them feel more vulnerable and powerless? 

Paul: Ah! Exactly so. Becoming attuned, purlers see deep Nature, and marvel at it and love exploring the world. But they will also see that life on Earth is wounded by human activity and continues to be depleted ever faster. It is hard to bear. They are upset and angry, feeling this wounding in their own being. Feeling as they do, they release a heartfelt cry: ‘What can we DO?’. 

Mya-Rose: You’ve left that question hanging . . . What’s the answer? What do we do? 

Paul: Even Mowzl has no compass, but his passion is infectious, and the children are inspired to attract ever more people to purling. The first thing to do is to become aware of the state of Nature, and for everybody to join in! This is what you are already doing in your own life, Mya-Rose. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

Mya-Rose: Does the answer to the question ‘What can we do?’ get answered in Volume Three? There’s got to be more to it than lots of people jumping up and down crying out ‘what can we do?’. 

Paul: Volume Three is called ‘The Great Rising’. As the children become more experienced in purling and discovering the state of Nature worldwide, it becomes clear that whatever it is they must do, it won’t be rooted in the beliefs and stories of the past, but in lifeforce arising now, in their young hearts; a force that has no weapons but love and belonging. 

The rising is already happening in the real world, as we speak. 

It is my hope that these books will help to encourage and sustain what has already begun. 

Mya-Rose: That’s a very positive vision; Mowzl is more ambitious than his size might suggest! Thank you, Paul. 

Paul: Yes, that’s his lion-sized heart! Thank you, Mya-Rose, for this interview and for all that you do bringing people to Nature. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

For more information about Mowzl, visit www.mowzl.co.uk

Review of ‘First Purlings’

Amazing! I slipped right into it and simply DEVOURED, I was hungry for more all the way through! The story is deep, full of feeling and it made me think and sympathise more as the book went on. The book felt so real to me that it was a shock to be pulled out of it to find that I was not purling with the others, chatting with the animals in the glade. 

Leela (A.K.) Age 10

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

About the Author

Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 16-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, conservation and environmental issues  from around the world. 

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown. This is an interview in New Statesman.

She was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer-songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people

She organised four narure camps for children and teenagers since 2015 and is helping to run four more in 2019. She also organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans two more in 2019. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Visible Minority Ethnic people and is President. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. 

She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-online

She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist.

She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see 5000 birds in 2019 age 16 and is looking forward to visiting Brazil birding in 2019 and hopes to see half the birds in the world there. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk.

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