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...

Friday, 7 May 2010


Tell me, O Octopus, I begs
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

Ogden Nash

Why octopuses? They aren’t cute or furry, they aren't an animal I get to see very often and I live about as far from the sea as you can get in England. Not to mention the thought of scuba diving makes me hyperventilate. I wish it didn't because however you look at them, there is something magical about the octopus. It could be the eight legs, the talent for mimicry, their obvious intelligence or their insatiable curiosity.

Octopus investigates Diver

My interest in these creatures started when I caught a brief glimpse of David Attenborough’s ‘Life’ on television last year. The image of the giant Pacific octopus guarding her eggs stayed with me and I made an effort to find out more about these amazing beasts.
At the same time I saw the Bridge House call for submissions for their animal anthology, and decided to combine the two. The more I found out about octopuses the more charming I found them. They have the intelligence of a dog and the curiosity of a cat. They are prey to other sea dwellers, as well as being efficient predators themselves. They lead short and solitary lives and end their days giving birth to, and protecting the next generation. There are hundreds of different varieties of octopus, of all sizes and colours

Over the next few days I'll tell you a little more about octopuses, their life, their biology, their position in art and literature, and their relationship with humans.
Neiraketo, the heroine of my story, is a female Giant Pacific Octopus, and with more luck than judgement, she survived the many perils of marine life to reproduce herself. This is an amazing feat considering that for every 100,000 eggs laid, only one or two will survive to breed themselves.

Giant Pacific Octopus

I've always enjoyed animal stories and there are many amazing ones for children, but far fewer for adults. I have fond memories of 'Tarka the otter', 'The Story of a red deer', and others like them, so it's been fun to try and write one myself. I only started to write seriously a couple of years ago and most of my attempts have been in Scifi, and modern urban fiction, so I was thrilled when my story was accepted by Bridge House.

I'm a member of the local wildlife trust feel it's very important to preserve the environment that wild animals live in. The marine environment is especially fragile, the recent oil leakages off the southwest of the USA have brought that to the worlds attention recently, and I'll say a bit more about marine conservation later in the week.

I've always lived with animals and at the moment I share my house with a cat.

more tomorrow......


  1. Thanks Anne- interesting stuff- I am looking forward to these posts as even though I studied ecology I have to confess I know very little about the octopus- should be interesting!
    Debz :)

  2. Interesting!
    But I also love the picture of your cat.

  3. I couldn't resist putting him in...he gets in everything.
    There are two swans building a nest on the stream opposite my house at the moment. They made me think of your story, as it's not the most secure place.

  4. I loved your story Anne. Beautifully written and very unusual. Looking forward to more posts.

  5. I loved the story as well Anne, and the blog is fascinating - I never knew they were intelligent - great stuff. (Nice cats as well!)