Most magical creatures are quite easy to identify. A creature with scaled skin and a tendency to breathe fire? A dragon. A bird that is re-born from its own ashes? A phoenix. An immortal horse with a pointed horn on its forehead? A unicorn.
But there is one magical creature which is almost impossible to define. But for those truggers (moontrug fans) who have written in and asked what on earth a moontrug is, I’m going to do my best to explain it to you. Well, ish – because the most magical things of all usually live outside the frames of explanation. So in terms of personality, the closest thing to a moontrug is David Almond’s Mina (from Skellig and My Name is Mina). A moontrug’s mind is not full of useful information like dates and plans; it is full of wonder, feathers and stars. Just like Mina’s:
A moontrug’s mind doesn’t waste time longing for loads of money and fancy cars; it spends its days thinking about how cool it would be to be a bird. Just like Mina:
When most people are doing sensible things like passing exams and completing homework, a moontrug will do strange things without even realising it. Just like Mina:
So who is this Mina and why is she so moontruggy? Mina first appears in David Almond’s award-winning book, Skellig, as a free-spirited, home-schooled girl who helps the part-owl, part-angel creature, Skellig, with Michael. She is full of wonder at the world around her – she loves nature, birds, drawing and William Blake’s poems – and she defies school and all its rules. Within pages readers fell in love with Mina but they had to wait another ten years to see her re-appear in the prequel, My Name is Mina (Click here to buy it on amazon).
Almond reveals, ‘For the 10th year anniversary of Skellig, my editor asked me whether I would write another Skellig-style book. I remember standing in the threshold of my kitchen and just as I was trying to back out of writing another Skellig book, a white feather drifted past the kitchen door. Immediately I thought of skylarks, owls and blackbirds – everything Mina cherished. I knew it was her calling to me and that I had to write her story this time. And after that nothing could stop her – she was banging on about William Blake’s poems all over again – and then she was writing all over the page before I could get a word in edgeways:
So a moontruggy personality is a Mina personality – wild, free, full of wonder and strangeness.
And a moontrug’s appearance? Some days it’s mer creature with silver scales. Other days it’s a unicorn with mighty wings. Other days still it’s a loud-mouthed goblin with a massive grin. And sometimes – just sometimes – it’s a miniature elf with ridiculous stripy leggings. Because that’s the thing with magic: it never stays the same…