With a fresh new voice, and yet in the most beautiful tradition of the novel for the young, Josip Čekolj tells the adventures of his marauders – four friends on the verge of adulthood. The town they roam about and the dialect they speak might be completely made up, but their loves and confusions, conflicts and fallacies, as well as their need for safety and warmth, are very real indeed. While they go through “deep sludge”, they encounter some, more or less reliable characters, mainly from the margins of society. Most important among them might be the old lady with the cats and ear for poetry. As it usually goes in coming-of-age novels, wandering through mud eventually becomes a step toward adulthood. The young author started writing this story after attending Dominik Vuković’s exhibition called “Marauders and frogs”, where this talented illustrator reminiscences his childhood. Dominik has illustrated the story, which has resulted in a special connection between the text that depicts the marauders’ endeavors and the drawings that follow them.