Map of Molodi
The first illustration in “Flame and Hope: An African Adventure ”
Note the red-roofed farmhouse with its large porch, boundary wall, windmill and pond as well as Marie’s sanctuary and the Molodi railway siding to the south. This area houses the parallel world of Flame and his furry and feathered friends – an area which they call Fauna Park. Sometimes misunderstandings occur when the animals and birds do things which the humans in the vicinity do not understand. So, often these misunderstandings lead to hilarious confusions or serious confrontations. How the bush creatures and porch animals deal with these situations is told by an elusive bird that perches in a tall acacia just outside the porch. His name is Hope. Who knows? When the time is right, he might even tell us who he really is and relate the events which brought him to the farm.
This is the original painting of the red-roofed farmhouse done by my daughter, Lionilde-Claire when she was 12 years old. She gave us this painting as an anniversary gift a few years ago. This picture inspired many of the stories in FAUNA PARK TALES – some are pure fiction and others are based on fact. Hope’s life story is based on fact as told to me by his original rescuer. (Hope tells his story in Book 2, “Friends: An African Adventure“.
The first tale happens in a fictitious, semi-desert which the furry and feathered friends call the Kalughari. Here the reader is introduced to Lera and Kgabo – a nomadic couple who sets up a temporary kraal there every year. (This painting is done by Holly Sellors of Project Lumino).
Their light-brown dog, Bibi has a litter of five pups – two are poorly – and Lera especially cares for them. One of these pups is nick-named Mokgerwa – a skinny, frightened and hungry dog – could he ever become anything more than his nickname?
This painting shows Bibi at the kraal with her five pups. The mokgerwa is one of the poorly pups. The others are mostly light-brown like Bibi, but he has large black spots on his back, which cover his left ear and half of his face. The rest of his coat is wavy and yellow-brown. He is big-boned and has a gentle nature.
A serious event stops their idyllic life in the Kalughari and the male pup finds himself all alone on a cold and frosty night. Fortunately he is found in time and his master, Kgabo asks his friend, John James to adopt the mokgerwa and take him back to his free-range cattle farm in Molodi – an isolated valley somewhere in Southern Africa.
Thank you so much for visiting Flame and Hope’s world today! Should you wish to do so, please leave a comment and follow. Remember too, children’s books need your reviews to make young, prospective readers’ parents aware of their stories. Thank you for caring!