Thursday, January 5, 2012
The Three Royal Monkeys: Pictures and Poem
The Mulla-Mulgars' Journey Song
Who's dared, and gone
To seek the Magic Wonderstone,
Or black despair,
Shall heed until his journey's done.
The Mulgars' rose,
In valleys 'neath unmelting snows--
Shall pierce and see,
And walk unharmed where'er he goes.
The Three Mulla-Mulgars (or The Three Royal Monkeys, as it is sometimes titled) by Walter de la Mare is a wonderful children's book first published in the USA in 1919. It is full of adventure, beautiful poetic imagery, and magic. It is the story of three monkey brothers who, after the death of their mother, try to journey back to the fabled land their royal father came from and to which he had returned long ago. Along the way Thumb, Thimble, and little Nod face cannibalistic apes, fierce panthers, and harsh landscapes, aided only by their strength, wits, and the magical Wonderstone that their father left them. I'm surprised no one has optioned this tale for a movie yet. The illustrations are by Dorothy Lathrop.