The Doze Goes Wandering

Peter E Taylor ©2006

Please print this page if you wish.


Can you imagine what a doze, a chickamungus, a kangadat, a long-maned croc and a wambadool look like?

How about a froshy-fish, a turple, an eeliger, froge plants, a zeblig, a wobble-cat, a giranny, mudlins or a flubbo-bird?

This book is about animals which don't really exist, and which have all these 'made-up' names. You will see, later, that I have started to draw some of them. I have got ideas for the way I plan to draw the others, but I am going to keep them hidden in my sketch-book for a while.

If you would like to send me a picture of what you think any of the creatures that I haven't yet drawn might look like, I would love to see your ideas. I will put up a 'Gallery Page'. I will tell you more after you've read the story.

The text for this book is complete, and I have started illustrating it using gouache paint and gold leaf. The drawing style is, I believe, rather 'different'. I describe it fully in a section of this site devoted to 'illustration techniques', on a page called Celtic Art. If this book doesn't get accepted by a publisher, I hope someone will like the pictures and I can use the style to illustrate someone else's words.

Here's an introduction to the book, the first illustrated page, and the text.

The Doze Goes Wandering


I was first shown the ancient illuminated manuscripts in the British Museum when I was aged 9. Gold and bright colours shone and sang from the pages. The letters were drawn to perfection. I was completely entranced. My journey to become a professional writer, calligrapher and illuminator had begun.

All the books were masterpieces, but one in particular captivated me more than any other. It was the Lindisfarne Gospels of the 7th century - and I am still awestruck each time I study its strange fictitious beasts and intricately patterned pages.

As new monasteries were founded in Britain and Ireland through to the end of the 8th century, bibles, missals and other books required were borrowed for copying by specialist craftspeople. Many books from this time, therefore, have features in common, but the finest of them all is the Book of Kells, now held in Dublin's Trinity College. Its pages dazzle as if covered with jewels, and the brightest blue paint really was ground from the enormously expensive gemstone lapis lazuli, which was imported for the purpose from Afghanistan.

The masterful writing and wonderful colours are not the only features that set the Book of Kells apart. It is treasured for the unbelievable quantity, complexity, variety and quality of its decoration, and no artist since has come close to having the same level of skill or inventiveness.

Very few books from the period remain. Most were lost, along with the artists' secrets, when Scandinavian invaders destroyed the monasteries at the end of the 8th and 9th centuries.

This book, 'The Doze Goes Wandering', is written in a modernised calligraphic version of an 8th century script, with illustrations inspired by the unique decoration style of these early manuscripts and the imaginary birds and beasts which they depict.

...and the right hand half of the page...

The Doze Goes Wandering

Through dangly woods the wandering doze

A dripping and a dribbling goes,

While in the groves of dragon fungus

Lives the mysterious chickamungus.

The doze is searching for his hat.

"I'll ask a friendly kangadat."

He finds one by a forest pool

With a long-maned croc and a wombadool.

"A turple found your hat and flew

Through bottle trees to the river blue."

At the water's edge the doze stares down -

The froshy fish looks like a clown.

"Have you seen a passing turple?

They fly and swim, and are coloured purple."

An eeliger says, "He flew away

To where floges flower and zebligs play."

"Have you seen a turple wearing my hat?"

"The hat fell off his head near the wobblecat.

The wobblecat's cuddly and has green teeth,

Fur to his knees and blue toes underneath."

The wobblecat says, "For me it was small.

I gave it to giranny standing so tall.

These mudlins will take you to him, I know.

He can't have gone far for he walks so slow."

"I used it to warm a sore lump on my head,

Then hung it up on the end of my bed.

A flubbo took it to use for a nest.

She's got spots on her wings and a fluffy red crest."

"I have so many babies they will not fit in.

Would you like this hat?" flubbo asks with a grin.

With his hat on his head, the doze gives lots of smiles,

"Making new friends was worth walking for miles."


I hope you liked the story of the doze.


I will be thrilled to receive your ideas for the creatures I have not yet drawn.

I cannot return artwork, so you may prefer to send a colour photocopy or inkjet print.

Please make it no bigger than 22 x 30cms, or 8½" x 12"

To make sure it reaches me undamaged I suggest sending it in a mailing-tube. Sandwiched between thick card usually works well too.

Please include your name, age and address.

Send to :

Peter Taylor
57 Remick Street
Stafford Heights
Qld 4053

Unfortunately viruses from email attachments have been very costly to me recently - hence I would prefer snail-mail.

I will put up a large number on a Gallery Page, but I cannot promise that all pictures will go there - I'll have to see how many I receive.


I am wondering at what age children can read this story in calligraphy - and if they can, do they still enjoy the story at that age? (Maybe this resolution and size make it too hard?)

I am considering, at some stage in the very distant future, producing the text and little bits of the drawing, in black only, so that children can add their own animals and colour inside the letters if they wish.

Your comments will be appreciated.