The Hoggler's Tale
The magic of beginnings

The old year ends, and the new year begins


The old year closed with a flurry of festivities here in Chagford. There was drumming in the Square, Breton dancing in the village hall, a Solstice bonfire or two, and a great deal of music in all the village pubs...including a dazzling Sunday session in the tiny Northmoor Arms (down a green country lane between Chagford and Throwleigh), where musicans from Telling the Bees, Wod, Red Dog Green Dog, Krasa and others all gathered together, raising the roof with tunes and songs for a magical three or four hours.

Music session

Music session

Meanwhile, Howard and friends were brewing up some "hoggler magic" in his theatre studio, The Little Cabin by the Woods: turning a simple piece of old cloth into a living, breathing creature of myth. (Read the hoggler's story in the post below.)

How the Hoggler Got Its Name

And when the story was done, and we'd had a night's rest, it was time to prepare for the holidays.

Tilly helped me gather ivy, holly, and pines boughs to decorate the house for the Yuletide feast...

Gathering greenery... generations have done before me in this wood.

Out on the village Commons, we discovered a Wishing Chair...which seems just right for the season.

The Wishing Chair



We read all the wishes tied to the chair, and then added a few new ones of our own. No, I'm not going to tell you what they were -- but here's my turn-of-the-year wish for all of you:

May the year ahead be magical, transformational, and wildly creative, but also calm and thoughtful, harmonious and balanced. May your pathway lie clear, your desk clean and ready, with the tools that you need always right near at hand. May your body and mind and spirit be strong for the things that you know in your heart must do (and may this be the year that you finally do them). May your work go well, and your rest time too. May problems be fewer and friends be many. May old hurt soften and old grief lighten. May life, art, and love never fail to surprise you.

The gate to the woods


I've never heard a better new year's wish. For all of us. Thank you for that.
Gosh, think I've got something in my eye...

Bringing a Tea-cloth to Life

If you can bring a cloth to life,
you will be a god of puppets.
A simple task, the hardest,
There’s movement of course,
a swirl of cotton, a fall and rise.
of its soft breast.
But finding the breath of the cloth,
its reason for breathing, how it gave out
that first, soft birth cry,
that’s what will make it live.
Oh, a tea-cloth has its secrets.
You must discover them, uncover them,
as surely as a writer does when animating
the peoples in her tale.

--For Howard and the Hoggler

©2014 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

What a wonderful wish; thank you, and for this blog, which often provides so much lovely inspiration, thank you.


This is fabulous. Howard and the other puppeteers are going to love it!

I also just caught up with the poem you wrote in the comments yesterday (under the music post), and encourage other readers to go find it. A perfect poem for all of us who believe in the power of Story.

You're most welcome!

Oh Terri this was beautiful..thank you for the outward wishes...i love the wishing chair...and of course little sweetness at the gate...i feel it is my year to open that gate...biggest blessings to you and Howard and Tilly ever and ever

I so agree with Jessica, yours is such a generous wish for all. Thank you for the wish, the blog, the many many generous gifts you give.
Mahalo nui loa a pau,

Thank you and may this wish and it's magic embrace you also!

What a beautiful wish, Terri! I accept it and then return it to you fivefold, all aglow with love and gratitude for all you've brought to us in the mythic arts community.

I love their simple cloth hoggler!!! While beautiful and sculpted puppets are a sight to see, there is at times a more stunning magic in animating absolutely ordinary items; I feel it is even closer to child's play (and isn't that part of the goal for us puppet folk?)

And I welcome your inclusion of balance between creation and calm this new year. So much focus is put on the doing, I'm glad to see a wish for the restoration and introspection that is vital to the creation process. This is definitely close to my heart, thank you for your eloquent words. Happy New Year!

I agree with Shveta, Terri, I happily accept your wish, and return it many, many fold!

Such creativity, such magic. A beautiful inspiration to trust our creative power, that magic arises from us with patience (a balance between creation and calm, yes, just the thing).

Wishing you all that you've so generously wished us, Teri. Thank you, thank you for this nurturing blog.

Such a wonderful blessing, Terri, many blessings to you, too this year. Wishing you more than enough spoons to do all that you want to and much inspiration in all your days. Great to see the puppets and read Howard and the group's thoughts, fascinating.

Wonderful wishing! Thank you! I've sorely missed your posts. Good to have you back.

Oh my goodness, how I've missed Myth & Moor! So glad to start my day with Tilly's little puckish face again, and your words, and Jane's poems, and the conversation of the regular commentators here.

I love the wishing bench, and the Hoggler pics - and thank you for the link to Clive Hick-Jenkin's blog. It was great fun reading about his experience of seeing show - and meeting Alan Lee! - makes me so wish I had been there! - and I appreciate the introduction to Clive's beautiful art.

Happy New Year to you and your family, Terri, from me and mine.

Me too *sniff*

What a great post ,it all looks so exciting and your New Years wish is so apt,really lovely may your words rain blessings on you and yours. love Angela

This is the best New Year's Greeting ever. I have been to a puppet show and have had my worries and
kvetches changed to hope and contentment. I love the Hogglers, and send hugs to all I saw in the
pictures and all who comment and anybody who shows up in the coming days.

Now I'll go out and find a new name for something I know not yet.

Thank you for such an inspiring and empowering new year's greeting. After a long and busy day, your blog post is my dessert (along with a cup of tea and a piece of dark chocolate and peppermint), and tonight this is exactly what I needed. I loved the puppet show and will move on to the suggested blogs, and Jane Yolen's poem is so eloquent and such a perfect finale. thank you again and may your new year be filled with love and laughter.

What a great way to celebrate the New Year -- it looks like so much fun. Sending you the very best from the desert. xo

I'm back to reread the description of Howard's "showing" of their newly developing puppetry show. It struck me when I first read it how beautifully alive and fresh, like spring and nature is, to be showing itself in the early stages. It inspires me as that is what allows art to be as it is rather than fit into a kit or a box. I return to enjoy the JOY of it, and inhale the inspiration, having already read Rima's perspective on the process a while ago.


Wonderful! Same wish for you, Terri dearest. And many more.

I thank you for that wish, that mantra, that intention for the year. May it reflect of all of us and return to you thousand-fold.

( I think I may have to print it, and post it above my worktable... )

such beautiful words and pictures, Terri you & your village are a treasure on the planet!

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