Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

ABOUT Amelia Curzon

Amelia Curzon
Having been lucky enough to grow up in the Mediterranean, and having later lived and worked in various countries, I eventually settled in the United Kingdom.I am the mother of two fabulous grown children who provide me with much of my inspiration in life. My interests include horses and al More...



Set in a rainforest of an unspecified continent, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a tale littered with colourful and enjoyable characters, conspiracies and unlikely friendships between the species. Told through the eyes of animals the narrative explores the predatory world of deception and greed. The book carries an important missive: ‘Beware of predators in the guise of friends’.

Mungai, the central character, is a jungle creature of indeterminate origin, who creates a cunning master plan allowing him to find ways of passing through life without too much cost to himself and as little effort as possible and at the expense of others not as strong minded or as clever as he is.

He goes all out to achieve his objectives, regardless of the consequences, as he sets out to destroy the rainforest for personal gain.

On his travels Mungai encounters an equally ruthless and selfish creature, a boa constrictor called Goa, and together they go in search of innocents to use to implement their designs.

They subsequently meet, befriend and manage to convince all manner of creatures to join them in their venture with promises of great rewards in return for small labours.  The creatures believe their efforts to be beneficial to the environment and look forward to the promised bounty.  Before too long some notice their hard work continues but the rewards are not forthcoming and they begin to realise, with some input from the good outsiders they have teamed up with, the two legs, that what they are involved in is not good for anyone.

Dissatisfaction begins to burgeon and rebellion is imminent.

Mungai finds out, all too late, that those he shamelessly inveigled into his plans are not so naive as he first thought and eventually the tables are turned.

The perpetrators become the victims as Operation Equinox is devised and executed.

Why did I write this book! Why this particular story? I felt strongly enough about certain events to put them into words a younger person would recognise and enjoy. I had the idea for Mungai and the Goa Constrictor after seeing how many times my own children were fooled into naively attaching themselves to situations and people without realising the potential dangers - trusting without question and following without forethought. For me it was a warning, a way of understanding that if children, teens and young adults, did not show vigilance or did not appreciate the dangers, they could find themselves gulled into believing things which simply are not true; people do lie and they do mislead, as a result circumstances might arise which may not be beneficial to their well-being.

5.0 out of 5 stars "A Fable That Packs a Powerful Punch", March 3, 2012

By Claudia Moss "TheGoldenGoddess" (Clarkston, Georgia United States)

This review is from: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (Kindle Edition)

Kudos for Amelia Curzon and her impressive fable, "Mungai and the Goa Constrictor"!

Like the other reviewers of this work, I haven't read an animal fable in years. The last I enjoyed was a film of "Charlotte's Web" and a while before that, I read and taught "Animal Farm." Truly, Curzon crafts an unforgettable story that speaks to the soul, reminding us to think for ourselves, to look inward for inspiration that drives us in life and to fearlessly turn back if we find ourselves heading down a path that doesn't feel right.

Readers, this is a story for older children and, perhaps, keenly intelligent 12 to 13-year-olds. The vocabulary will send young readers running for a dictionary, although that is a good thing. The web of intrigue the mysterious Mungai and his sidekick Goa set for the charmingly sweet albeit gullible, two-legged creatures is what could happen Anywhere in the Universe, if people do not learn to look beyond slick words and ill-wrought intentions of those who want to slither through life looking to live comfortably from the fruits of others' labor.

I love the fate Curzon culls for both Mungai and Goa at the tale's end! Read it for yourself to discover the hidden treasures and subterfuge taking place under lush jungle and woodland foliage.

Great literature teachers are going to have a delightful time creating learning centers and novel maps and an array of writing assignments for this book! Well done, Curzon!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Animal Farm Story?, February 27, 2012

By T. Levesque "The Kindle Queen" (USA)

This review is from: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (Kindle Edition)

Although, the storyline is altogether different, this one reminds me of the characters & personalities found in Charlotte's Webb. I haven't read anything of that genre since substituting grade school students more than 20 years ago. The story is reminiscent of a modern day Animal Farm, but yet, not quite. I don't want to say too much more, as not to spoil the story.

It is in my opinion that this book is geared more for the adult than a child. I wouldn't neccessarily consider this a young children's book at all. Perhaps, for an older child of 12 or 13, maybe? Given the vocabulary alone in the the first two pages, is proof enough that it wasn't meant for little ones under age 5 or 6.

Regardless of the delightfully colorful, descriptive characters that any child might find visually appealing & attractive; the more critical part of this book, being the "moral" of the story, that is.....I feel, would not or, could not, be comprehended until a much older age.

I strongly recommend this book for ages 12 & up.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Cautionary Tale, February 13, 2012

By BookChatterCath

This review is from: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (Kindle Edition)

This book is aimed predominantly at children and so its not something I would normally read or review.

However, I have to say that I loved it and can not fault the story or the writing at all.

Not since reading Animal Farm as part of my year 7 English class can I recall reading anything from the point of view of animals living in a human like society.

And just like with that book, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor takes you on a journey of intrigue and quite self discovery. To a world that, were it not for the fact that the characters are jungle animals, it could be set in any school, town, business, or city near you.

Where the top dog is always looking for ways to be bigger and better with less effort, by taking more from the less worldly and more gullible underdog.

With great dastardly characters and lovable up risers, and set amongst the glorious, if disappearing backdrop of an undisclosed jungle, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a cautionary tale and a must read book for all.

An engaging and subliminally educational 5 Star read.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Environmental Allegory for Our Time, January 18, 2012

By Jason Sullivan (USA)

This review is from: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (Kindle Edition)

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor by Amelia Curzon is a wonderful story. It is allegorical in the tradition of Animal Farm, and I must admit I am a fan of allegories, but it is also a witty and fascinating story filled with a splendid collection of characters. There are important messages in this book. Themes such as responsibility, needs versus desires, and trustworthiness are woven into the plot. There is also wit and whimsy and a cast of thoroughly enjoyable animal characters.

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a fairly quick read and the action moves swiftly. There is never a dull moment. Many of the interactions between the animals will seem familiar as indeed they are insightful into human society. The animals have a certain irrepressible spirit that shines through, even in the worst situations, which is authentically heartening. One can't help but despair, however, at the damage Mungai and Goa inflict upon the others through their greedy and self-centered behaviors.

Mungai is a sneaky and manipulative creature. He is not quite lovable, but certainly unforgettable! I think we have all met a Mungai at some point in our lives! There are also many animals on the good side of things. I liked Caw-Caw the crow and, of course, the outrageously named Captain Gerald Rupert Horatio Peanuts Brice-Copperbottom! Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a charming story filled with much wisdom of the sort the world so desperately needs. I highly recommend it!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fable For All Ages!, October 24, 2011

By Patricia Paris (Annapolis, MD USA)

This review is from: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (Kindle Edition)

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a finely crafted fable that can be enjoyed by older children and adults alike. As in most classic fables, we live the bulk of the story through the animals, in this case those of the woodland and jungle, but there are a few two-legs, as the animals refer to them, rounding out the forces of good and evil. The reader never quite discovers what Mungai, the creature who sets the story in motion, is; we just know he's bad news. For purely selfish reasons, Mungai aligns himself with Goa, a boa constrictor, who for equally selfish reasons, conspires with Mungai to lie to, flatter, entice, and persuade the good animals of the woodland to follow them to the forest to do their bidding with promises of many rewards and an easier, better life.

The animals slowly become aware that the only ones their hard work appears to benefit are Mungai and Goa. Still, they are grateful for the meager scraps of food and flattery Mungai has given them, and rather than trust their own doubts and intuition, they continue to do his bidding, even ignoring a trusted friend who discovers the truth and tries to warn them.

When the animals finally do realize the truth, they band together with some of the good two-legs and devise a plan to stop Mungai, Goa, and the bad two-legs before they can destroy the forest.

Curzon deftly shows us how easy it is to be taken in by flattery and the promise of more for less, even when the voice in our heart and head is telling us something isn't right. She offers up the age old battle of good vs evil, right vs wrong, and the fine line that is straddled between them. We are reminded that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is, and that we need to trust our instincts because evil will always be out there, looking for its next victim. This is a quick read and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

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