Hugill’s Message

by Wendy Mills

Hugill Macauley is an organ-grinding monkey from a long line of organ-grinders. Since birth he has constantly been on the move with his family from country to country, living through great wars, poverty and trial as well as through grand adventures. Now, at an advanced age, Hugill goes on his last adventure to Africa in search of his roots and thus, he hopes, his final resting place. On this journey he makes the greatest of discoveries and wishes the world to know so he invites his dear old friend Grandfather Darwin of Leicester Square Underground (Piccadilly Line) to come and find him. After all, what better creature in the world would help him tell his story than his beloved and wise Grandfather Darwin?

The Soul Travellers

Spiffing Author

Wendy Mills was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Cape Town when she was seven years old. She later studied Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Cape Town (UCT), followed by a postgraduate degree in Philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch. She taught Philosophy at UCT and later moved to England where for a period, she taught Philosophy at A Level and for the European Baccalaureate.
Both of Wendy’s grandfathers were refugee children from Eastern Europe who fled to South Africa with their families. The resulting instabilities that this caused for successive generations, coupled with growing up in a society fractured and torn apart by the Apartheid regime, led her to a lifelong quest for truth and meaning. For Wendy, such a quest was beautifully illustrated in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (The Republic) which became for her one of her deepest and long held metaphors and guides for life. For her, all of these concerns coalesced in a search for roots and a deeper sense of belonging on this planet, both of which themes lie at the heart of Hugill’s Message and the next story to come, A Tale in the Wind. They are ‘wisdom stories’, mythological tales which follow the Quest genre, because for her that form of narrative is the model for human life: a journey in search of deeper meaning.
Wendy has now retired from formal teaching but in a world where spiritual values are increasingly subsumed by materialism, she continues to encourage her children to give Philosophy a central role in their lives. She now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband and three dogs.