Kapiti Island
New Zealand


Home of the
Motley Crew


our home





Ginger and Phantaloom recommend you read the following sections before joining them in the adventures of the Motley Crew

Dedication 101A


Introduction to Magic and Mystery 101B


Cast of Characters 101C


Action happens here! 101D

Dedication 101A

The Motley Crew family, are animals just like your family companion pets. You know they often do wonderful things with and for people, and for each other. They are our therapists, guides and trusted friends.  We learn all sorts of things from these cats and dogs, chickens and ducks, goats, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and frogs… and yes, I had a frog friend for years, and his name really was Captain Plathyghe. He is a hero – clever and resourceful, and you may read a little of his ingenuity in Te Motu Ch 48 ‘To Forestall a Battle.’ But this is only a foretaste, and in book two ‘Tane Mahuta’ the Captain and his frog family take their action up a notch. And what about rats too! I’m sorry to say we don’t meet the clever, resourceful and friendly rat in Te Motu. Champions like Ratty of Wind in the Willows, and the rascally Templeton in Charlottes Web. The rats dealt with in Sooty’s Ratmania get a pretty bad rap – but that’s because rats like people come assorted – some it’s nice to know and others, well, you’re glad they’re not neighbours!

The exciting action chronicled in, ‘The Amazing Adventures of the Motley Crew Family’ is all based on real events, things that actually happened in my childhood, or when I worked on farms. The stories also come from our family life spanning more than 30 years at Te Horo, on the Kapiti Coast in Aotearoa New Zealand. For example Basha really did break her leg, and Gus actually crossed five properties to ‘go a courting.’ And as you will imagine, there are many more stories that my family and I invite you to share, as you read and enjoy our memories.

In these romping adventures there are some big words and complex ideas, as well as allusions to famous literature. There’s other ‘stuff’ too… and some of this you may come back to in the future. Meantime it is well worth reading through and past the ‘stuff’ for here is magic indeed. And while there are no dragons, witches or wizards you will find spell binding, and smoky fire breathing and perhaps a Taniwha. The Maori people of Aotearoa New Zealand have among their words for the mythopoeic foundation of all creation, purakau, which may be translated as ‘incredible story.’ My grandchildren call me Fafa and that’s because it is what I called my granddad, on my dad’s side of the family. An Internet search tells us Fafa has roots in South Africa, and Scandinavia. Why do I tell you this? Because FafaAl invites you to come adventuring with his family and our purakau.




Introduction 101B

Why not?
Magic Realism – otherwise known as fantasy for adults. 
Why not?

From The Arabian Nights, it’s a magic carpet ride to adventure with the animals of the Motley Crew - see the cast of characters below @ Radical Animals Rule OK! 101C.

You and I are authorised to live in this world, where we may believe anything we like, and everything we fancy. Be-ing there, all that follows is not only likely, but also most probable. And the natural world of our collective unconscious, and the consensus reality we know, is topsy-turvy.

Te Motu is the first in a planned series of five novels, chronicling The Amazing Adventures of the Motley Crew.

In Te Motu a ‘bunch of animals,’ the Motley Crew, are called to a mission. They are to save the world. From whom or what: you ask?
Aha! Read on. In Te Motu, the action takes place around Kapiti Island, an internationally renowned natural-life sanctuary in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Te Motu:The Island, holds the possibility of undreamed wealth, a Queen’s ransom in $ $ $’s – for Arannita’s human gang of smugglers. Wonderful, crazy ideas develop, as The Motley Crew battle the gang at times ‘to the death’. The Motley Crew are visible and choose to interact with people from time to time. However, much of their life is a secret one… away from mankind, they plan and plot, make and act. Eventually the Motley Crew’s ingenuity meets one aspect of human nature in confrontation. Scandalously risking their own lives, the Motley Crew explore and develop deep magic, which calls, informs and aids them. In Te Motu you’ll meet a special rock and light discs. Have fun with Sickle Claw and Down Trousers, Ratmania and Stoatscapade, leading to Drive-drive and the Lightning Bolt. So just imagine, and come journey together on this auspicious adventure, travelling mystical paths. Until the ablative Raptor falls… and in the ablation ‘things’ are worn away, and melted to nothing! Suspend disbelief. Accept and know that many things are possible… including animals that think and talk intelligently, dress in clothes, wear hats and things like that… just like you and I. In another time and place, in a parallel world, it’s quite possible this is how it works. Perhaps “somewhere over there” mankind is subjugated to animals, just like these. Now, FafaAl invites you to come join Gypsy, our feline seer and her friends, as we explore places where understanding is less important, than a free-wheeling mind and a heart ‘feeling the spirit.’





Radical Animals Rule OK! 101C

This is the cast of Character Animals

Cattle: Gus, Whitey-Black, Molly.
(Gem, Salt & Pepper… guests)

Chooks (i.e.) poultry: Phantaloom, Book-book, Dunk, Sighing Angeline, Twerking, Snowshoe, Hamburglar.
            (The ‘Six Pack,’ Girlie-girl… guests)

Pigs: Mac, Porky, Petunia.

Sheep: Lucky the sheep, Clara, Lambie.

Ducks: Paddles, Monty, Myrtle.
(Samantha and other guests)

Horses: Larry, Prince, Bella, Maid.
(Diane, Ermentrude & Darky and other guests)
Goats: Stanley, Billy - and guests…

Frogs: Captain Plathygy, Leopold, Henrietta.

Cats: Jo, Smudge, Gypsy, Pippin, Winky, Sooty, Babs, Ginger, Hermit, Orca, TJ, Raow, Lucky S F.
            (Tinkle, Goldie, Freckles, Fluff and other guests)

Dogs: Rusty, Johnny, Ben, Bess, Basil, Joy, Patch, Terror, Basha, Ziggy, Scoobie, Boss, Blue.
            (Beau, Titch, Hash, Zed, Jock, Judy, Mac the dog an other guests)

Web Spiber, a spider joined by friends.

Trees: Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere, Kairaru.

Animals, fauna, and flora indigenous to the setting appear in all books as appropriate… as guests, advisers, compatriots and stuff…

People… as necessary. Just kidding. Arannita and her ‘gang’ of men Mystery, Colin, Sharky and Hank.





Action Happens Here 101D

Te Horo on the Kapiti Coast of the North Island of

New Zealand is the home of the Motley Crew






Contents of the book of the adventures are found here