What’s the best thing about living on an island covered with wild grapes?
If it’s not the fish stories, treasure hunts, clambakes, beach parties,
sandcastle competitions, seaside legends, lighthouse lookouts, sea
monster watching, or all the grape jam on graham crackers you can eat,
it’s got to be having the island’s only purple pig as a best friend.
Written from a child’s point of view, each Secret Vineyard episode centers
on how Martha, an adventurous little girl, and Mudwig, her pet potbelly
pig, turn their fears into friendships as they set out to discover their island
Designed to help children develop social skills, Secret Vineyard celebrates
the everyday magic of island life. With characters that live in a place where
people and animals respect one another, work together, and resolve
conflicts as they learn and play, Secret Vineyard understands the
importance of getting along with others – a model for children on how to
positively go out into and enjoy their world.
Never eat clambake soup without asking,
unless you like slurping up lobster bathwater.
Secret Vineyard’s one - and - only
purple potbelly pig…purple because
he ate too many of the island’s grapes.
Though not as adventurous as his
best friend Martha, you can count on
Mudwig to answer the call, especially
if there’s cake in the picture.
The audacious little girl who discovered
the Secret Vineyard on the other side
of her Granny’s garden hedge. Best
friends with Mudwig, the island’s only
purple potbelly pig, Martha can make
building an ordinary sand castle into
an epic adventure.
These two might seem like a strange pair, but as they say,
opposites attract. Fact is, Mudwig and Martha have been pals since
they were no more than a piglet and a pipsqueak. It happened
when Martha wriggled through her Granny’s garden hedge for the
very first time and bumped right into Mudwig’s purple rear end.
And that’s where their story begins. They vowed to look after each
other through thick and thin, and from that day on the two have
been like chocolate and hard candy coating – you’ll never find one
without the other.
That doesn’t mean they never get on each other’s nerves – like
the time Mudwig stopped speaking to Martha over a contentious
game of Chinese checkers (the winner is still undeclared) or when
the two argued for a week over who could spit grape seeds the
Comparing the two is like putting homemade ice cream on top of
beach plum pie – the perfect compliment. Martha has an abundance
of energy, Mudwig likes to take naps. Martha laughs at herself,
Mudwig gets embarrassed easily. She asks questions, he has all
the answers. Both of them leap before they look: Martha because
she lives life for the moment, Mudwig because he wrote the map.
The seagull with a wooden leg
known island-wide as The Great
Embellisher. Though his fish stories
always change, rumor has it Stubs
lost his leg when he had a rude
lobster for dinner.
The lighthouse keeper of Secret
Vineyard. Mudwig and Martha’s
favorite old salt, Captain Pokey
often needs help remembering, well,
just about everything.
Secret Vineyard’s not-so-scary
scarecrow and official greeter of
the Great Meadow. Although he
loves to entertain, Boo doesn’t
eat much at parties because he’s
The dwarf who builds all the rambling
stonewalls all over the island. But
with each stone he lifts Nobnocket
gets a little bit shorter. That’s why
he’s so hard to find.
The plus-sized toad often mistaken for the Monster of the
Haunted Pond. His taste for flies withstanding, Milo is quite
charming as far as amphibians go.
SIM & SOOK
Identical twin field mice that are
the traveling salesmen of the
island. Always looking to rook you,
Sim and Sook are best known for
finishing each other’s sentences.
Secret Vineyard’s friendly shark. And
I say ‘friendly’ only because his teeth
aren’t too sharp.
FLICK & FLACK
You never know when a couple of
fireflies will come in handy, like
when a nor’easter hits the island
and knocks out all the power or
you’re just out of candles for your
As little lost sheep go,
Lambert can’t even find his own tail.
To catch a blue crab,
you’ll need a long piece of string and lots of bait:
a cheese sandwich for the crab,
a cheese sandwich for your lunch,
and a cheese sandwich to keep your pig quiet.
The Island of
Cove W E
Meadow Cape Pig
Haunted Pond Beetlebung
™TM & C 2004 by Patrick McHugh. All rights reserved.
Sandy shores, deep blue water,
big green meadows and wide-open skies...
Secret Vineyard’s landscape is built by seafaring myth and legend.
No matter where you turn,
there always seems to be something magical
hidden amongst the familiar.
The place where Mudwig eats, sleeps and, well…eats. If you were
a purple potbelly pig, can you think of any better place than a
grape patch to wallow in?
It’s really her Granny’s cottage, but we never see Granny because
she’s too busy in the kitchen making beach plum pie, beach plum
preserves and beach plum pudding for Martha’s many tea parties.
CAPTAIN POKEY’S LIGHT
The island’s one-and-only lighthouse, and the place where
Captain Pokey rests his head. It’s also got the best view for sea
The sun always sets on Red Beach, that’s why we throw all of our
clambakes and beach parties here. Stub’s also keeps his bachelor’s
nest on these sands.
Boo the Scarecrow’s digs and the place to party for Chinese New
Year, Grand Illumination Night and the island’s annual Christmas
tree lighting ceremony.
Milo’s lily pad and Mudwig and Martha’s favorite swimming hole…
once they find out it’s not really haunted.
The coziest bay on the shore of Secret Vineyard. Enclosed by high
grassy-topped cliffs, it’s the perfect munching spot for Mudwig and
Martha’s wooly friend Lambert.
From fishing line to fudge, the Bait Shop can tackle just about
anything you need. So long as they stock plenty of red licorice
and graham crackers (for Granny’s famous grape jam), Mudwig
and Martha could careless about the rest of the merchandise.
In addition to offering sundries and squid, the Bait Shop also
functions as the post office – because a message in a bottle isn’t
exactly priority mail.
Do you hear that rustling in the leaves? Or the ‘crack’ of a broken
Beetlebung twig? Not to worry. It’s not a monster. It’s probably just
Sim and Sook dragging their rook sack through the woods.
The best fishing spot on the island and the waters where not-too-bright
shellfish choose to call home.
When hunting for buried treasure,
keep one eye on your map, one eye on your shovel,
and at least one eye on where you’ve been.
If you want a word for the way things are here on Secret Vineyard,
it’s timeless. We don’t have any fancy cell phones or laptops or
Blackberries – just beach plums and wild grapes. We like to solve
our problems the old-fashioned way.
And because this is an island, no need to worry about getting lost.
Like Granny always says, “If you hit the water, turn left…and don’t
be late for supper!”
Sure, it’s fun hopping lily pads that disappear underwater, but I’ll
take a good belly laugh over a treasure hunt almost any day. Now
don’t give me the old stink eye, we got plenty of action here on the
Secret Vineyard. You think Stubs got his wooden leg knitting with
Granny? I don’t think so.
Now it’s not all tea parties and dog paddling here on the island.
There’s always a little strangeness creeping into our waters.
Unexpected things are bound and determined to happen, like
wildflowers coming out to dance or runaway jack-o-lanterns or
Captain Pokey locking himself out of the lighthouse…um, scratch
that last one. He does that all the time.
I’ve heard plenty of fish stories in all my seafaring years, but I
can tell you this: you best set your noodle to believing anything is
possible – because just when you’ve decided it isn’t, a giant toad
as big as a boat will prove you wrong.
Stubs’ recipe for Raw Fish Salad:
catch a fiFish, toss in the air, and serve.
THE GRAPE ADVENTURE
Do you know what makes a clambake great? Take one curious little
girl, add a potbelly pig, squash in a bunch of grapes, mix with falling
stones, monsters and murky pond water, stir with a seagull’s
wooden leg, then serve. Watch this concoction come to a boil as
Mudwig and Martha set out to discover the island of Secret Vineyard
for the very first time.
When Captain Pokey’s Lighthouse goes dark it seems no one on the
island can go to sleep without their favorite nightlight, especially
the purple pig. So pack your blanky. It’s going to be an all-night
pajama party for Mudwig, Martha and the rest of the Secret
CAPTAIN POKEY’S PLUNDER
Captain Pokey socks away his booty the old fashion way. He buries
it. The only problem is he can’t remember where. Join Mudwig,
Martha and the rest of the Secret Vineyard crew dig up the island
as they try to help their favorite old salt un-blunder his plunder.
YEAR OF THE PIG
Spring is in the air on the island and that can mean only one thing.
Chinese New Year Party! Come celebrate the season on Secret
Vineyard with firecrackers, dragon dances and Mudwig’s famous
moon cake. Stub’s raw fish salad is optional.
BLUES AND STRIPERS FOREVER
The island’s annual fishing derby hits a snag when Mudwig is
swept away by high tide and becomes the biggest catch of the day.
All hands on deck. Martha’s favorite pig is overboard.
THE MAGIC LANTERN
Grand Illumination Night marks the high point of summer on the
island. The Great Meadow glows with hundreds of paper lanterns,
the Beetlebung Band plays old-time favorites, and one lucky
islander gets the honor of lighting the first lantern. But when the
special lantern gets stolen, it’s up to Mudwig and Martha to shed
some light on the party pooper.
MARTHA GOES ‘MOO’
If Mudwig can have four purple feet, Martha reckons she can have
at least one green thumb. Grab your straw hat and pull on your
coveralls. It’s going to get messy down on the farm.
PIG IN A PUMPKIN - A Secret Vineyard Halloween
What’s scarier than being alone on the spookiest night of the year?
Being alone on the spookiest night of the year with your head stuck
inside a pumpkin, that’s what! So far this Halloween is no treat for
SLOW TURKEYS - A Secret Vineyard Thanksgiving
If you’re a turkey, there’s no better place to be on Thanksgiving
Day than the Secret Vineyard. But if you’re a Striped Sea Bass
or Bluefish, I hope you like a belly full of cranberry stuffing. Join
Mudwig and Martha for an island feast big birds everywhere would
be thankful for.
GOOD SAINT FLICK - A Secret Vineyard Christmas
The annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony almost gets
cancelled when an ice storm hits and knocks out all the power on
the island. Luckily for Mudwig and Martha, Flick and Flack come
up with a bright idea to save the holiday.
MARTHA’S MENORAH - A Secret Vineyard Chanukah
Join Martha and Mudwig as they celebrate Chanukah on the
island. Also known as the Festival of Lights, this wonderful holiday
says, “Never lose hope!”, a sentiment shared by all who live on the
BUNNY TRAP - A Secret Vineyard Easter
There’s an Easter tradition on the island where everyone digs a
hole in their backyards in hopes of nabbing the bunny with the
goods. Usually, the most anyone traps on Easter morning are some
jellybeans and chocolate eggs, but this year something totally
unexpected is holding up in the hole.
The Grape Adventure by Patrick McHugh
“Cat? Ca-aaat? Where are youuu?!” cried Martha. “It’s time for
Chinese Checkers.” Martha searched high and low for her silly cat, but
he was fast asleep under the cottage porch. “You are getting on my
last nerve, Cat,” said Martha. “If you don’t come out right this instant
I’m going to find someone new to play with.” Martha waited, but her
cat just kept sleeping. “Fine,” said Martha. “If you want me I’ll be on
the other side of the hedge.” Of course, Martha had never played on the
other side of the hedge before or anywhere else on the island without her
Granny, but she was determined to show her cat she meant business.
With just a couple of wriggles Martha made it through her garden’s hedge
and the first thing she saw on the other side was the last thing she ever
expected to see: a potbelly pig’s rear-end, and no ordinary potbelly pig’s
rear-end it was. This potbelly pig’s rear-end was purple.
“Just in time,” said the pig. “Now you can help me eat a path through
Being outside her Granny’s garden
hedge for the very first time, not to mention meeting a purple
potbelly pig for the very first time, Martha naturally had lots of
“Why are you eating a path through the grapes?” she asked.
“To make a shortcut to Red Beach,” replied the pig.
“What’s at Red Beach?”
“Stubs’ annual clambake.”
“A seagull with a wooden leg.”
“What’s the clam bake for?”
“To welcome you to the other side of the hedge, of course.”
“What’s your name?”
“Mudwig? What kind of name is that?”
“A good name for a pig.”
“Why are you purple?”
“Because I eat lots of grapes.”
“Well, you seem to be a reasonable enough pig,” determined Martha. “I’ll help you, just as long as I’m back
home in time for tea.”
“Great, let’s eat!” exclaimed Mudwig. “By the way, what’s tea?”
“A good excuse to have cake everyday.”
Between many mouthfuls of grapes Martha learned quite a bit from Mudwig. First, Mudwig informed her
that they lived on an island covered with wild grapes. Mudwig called the island The Vineyard and said it
was the best-kept secret he knew of.
Second, if it weren’t for Mudwig eating a path through the grapes, the only way to get to the other side of
the island was to swim, and everyone knows pigs can’t swim. They just walk and waddle. And the third
thing Martha learned from Mudwig was that little girls can’t turn purple from eating lots of grapes. Only
potbelly pigs can.
Just when Martha thought she couldn’t possibly eat another grape, she and Mudwig found her nose and his
snout pressed up against a stonewall.
“I hope we don’t have to eat through this, too” said Martha.
“’Course not,” replied Mudwig. “Stones don’t taste good.”
Suddenly, a huge stone fell from the top of the wall.
“Look out!” cried Martha. She then pushed Mudwig out of the way a split second before they were going to
become grape jam.
As Mudwig rubbed his sore, muddy, purple rear-end and Martha
rubbed her sore, muddy, not purple rear-end, an earthy voice from
beyond the stonewall said, “Sorry about that.”
Then the shortest dwarf Martha had ever seen scrambled to the top
of the wall. Actually, it was the only dwarf Martha had ever seen,
but he was very short none-the-less.
“Now how am I going to get that stone back up here?” said the dwarf.
“We’ll help you,” said Martha.
“We will?” said Mudwig.
“Much obliged,” said the dwarf. “The name’s Nobnocket. May I offer
you two some Rolly Pollies?”
“We already ate,” said Mudwig.
“What’s the wall for?” asked Martha.
“To keep these pesky grapes out of the Great Meadow, of course,”
“I could’ve told you that,” said Mudwig.
After Martha and Mudwig helped Nobnocket replace the fallen stone, Nobnocket helped Martha and Mudwig
climb over his wall into the meadow.
“My wall’s finally finished,” said a proud Nobnocket. “Now what am I going to do?”
“You could come with us to Stubs’ clambake,” said Martha.
“He could?” said Mudwig.
“I know just what to bring,” said Nobnocket. “My famous Creepy Crawly Casserole.”
“Sounds interesting,” said Martha. “What’s in it?”
“Don’t ask,” muttered Mudwig.
“I best start digging up my ingredients,” said Nobocket, “so I’ll meet you two at the beach.”
“By the way, what’s the fastest way to the beach from here?” asked Martha. “I have to be back home in
time for tea, you see.”
“That’s easy,” said Nobnocket. “Head west through the Great Meadow, turn left at Boo the scarecrow,
take three giant steps into Beetlebung Forest, and swim across the Haunted Pond. Then you’ll be on Red
“You call that easy?” said Mudwig.
“Oh, and watch out for the monster,” added Nobnocket. “See ya’ at the clambake!”
And with that Nobnocket disappeared over his stonewall.
“What a nice dwarf,” said Martha. “Now which way did he say to head
through the meadow, Mudwig? Mudwig?”
Mudwig didn’t hear Martha’s question because he was too busy trying to
get his purple rear-end back over the stonewall the way it came.
“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Martha.
“Not to the clam bake,” said Mudwig.
“Three reasons. One, pigs don’t swim. Two, pigs aren’t fond of haunted
ponds and monsters. And three, PIGS DON’T SWIM!”
“But I’ve never been to a clambake before and I’d really like to meet your
best friend Stubs.”
“I never said Stubs was my best friend.”
“What if we can find a way across the pond without getting wet. Then
will you still take me to the clambake?”
“Alright. But one whiff of monster and this pig’s gonna’ fly.”
Martha and Mudwig set across the Great Meadow in search of the
Haunted Pond. When they got to the scarecrow, Boo pointed them
left. Three giant steps later, Martha and Mudwig found themselves
surrounded by a thick, creepy fog.
“Monster spray! Get your monster spray!” said a faraway voice in the fog.
“Very funny, Mudwig. I didn’t know you could throw your voice like that,” said Martha.
“Throw my voice,” croaked Mudwig. “I thought you were throwing your voice!”
“Monster spray! Guaranteed to scare monsters away!” said another voice in the fog, this time not so
“I’ve got a good idea,” said Mudwig.
“What’s that?” said Martha.
And that’s exactly what Martha and Mudwig did, smack right into each other.
As Martha and Mudwig lay dizzy on the ground, two field mice appeared
through the fog carrying a large suitcase.
“Sim and Sook at your service,” said the mice as they rummaged through
“That’ll be two bits for the Monster Spray,” said Sim.
“And we’ll throw in a pair of water wings for the pig,” added Sook.
“By the way,” said Sim. “What should we bring to the clambake?”
“How do you two know about the clambake?” blurted Mudwig.
“Nobnocket invited us,” said Sook.
“Well, the Haunted Pond is right over there,” pointed Sim.
“So I guess we’ll see ya’ at the clambake!” waved Sook.
And with that Sim and Sook scurried off into the fog.
“Geez, do you think Stubs is going to have enough food for everyone?” asked Martha.
“If we get eaten by the monster, he’ll have plenty,” said Mudwig.
An interactive website where parents and kids can talk to their
favorite islanders, play online games, and download island
treasures featuring the characters and adventures from the Secret
Art Work and Retail Extensions
Inspired by the characters and adventures from the Secret Vineyard,
a treasure trove of goodies for the smallest of beachcombers:
Itty Bitty Islandwear, namely tops and bottoms, headwear,
sleepwear and infant wear
Plush toys and games, namely board games, card games, party
games and puzzles
Home goods, namely furniture, bedding and decorative prints
Specialty books, namely pop-up books, ‘soft’ books, ‘bath-time’
books, coloring books, stickers, greeting cards, stationery and
Created by Patrick McHugh……
Patrick McHugh was born in Detroit and enjoyed his childhood
collecting comic books and Wacky Packs. A self-taught artist, he’s
been writing and producing award-winning children’s advertising for
over fifteen years. He is best known for his television commercials
featuring a tag-playing mountain lion, drag racing chimps, a couple
of kids with 20-foot-long lizard tongues, a horse and pig comedy
team, and a fairy godmother named ‘Lou’. He still lives in Detroit
and on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard with his wife and two
daughters, both of whom have curly hair just like Martha.
Want to learn more about Secret Vineyard?
Or how to throw a great clambake?
Or what makes a potbelly pig purple?
Write to Dear Mudwig:
Telephone: (312) 909-4496