Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

An Auk's Drift

Part One

STORM grey fades to frozen white and the great feather pillow of huddled emperor penguins breaks apart. At its centre and greeted by a loud fuss stands a stranger, more squat and with a thicker bill, yet similar to those around it.

“Sorry to intrude,” the stranger says.

“What are you doing here, you fat, ugly penguin!” the colony leader snaps.

“I’m not a penguin,” says the stranger, “nor am I a razorbill, though I share similar characteristics with both. I’m a great auk.”

“You’re still fat and ugly.”

“Charming. I’m here because I’m the subject of a short story and a blog about animals. I have no idea what this means.”

“We’re proper penguins here, my friend,” the leader says. “We’re Attenborough penguins, March of the Penguin penguins. Not those stupid rockhoppers from Surf’s Up. Not Pingu. I mean, really! Pingu! How condescending is that?”

The auk shakes his head. “You’re too stuffy.”

“I’m an emperor. It goes with the job.”

“Bet you don’t even know where the word ‘penguin’ comes from.”

“I don’t need to know.”

“Yes you do. It comes from me. The Welsh called great auks ‘pen gwyn’ meaning ‘white head’, on account of the white patch above my eye. When European explorers discovered you lot down here, that’s what they called you, because they thought you looked like us.”

“They did?” The colony leader prodded a flipper at the auk’s belly. “But we didn’t answer to the song, ‘Who ate all the squid?’”

“You know nothing. We great auks knew nothing. We trusted humans, like you do. Now we’re extinct. And that brings me to the other reason why I’m here. I have to warn you.”

“About becoming extinct? But humans love us! We’ve nothing to fear.”

“Come, waddle with me. I’ll tell you what happened to us. And then I’ll tell you what could happen to you. You must understand. Catch my drift.”

The leader thinks for a moment, then nods. “OK, Mr Auk. But make it quick. I need to go and fetch some tea. And that’s a 60-mile waddle.”

To be continued…


  1. Very original! Looking forward to reading more! Debz :)

  2. Love the pictures as well....