Animal Hugs

Animals can be wonderful teachers to us all


There are many stories of how incredible animals of all species are able to join in peace and harmony by befriending and protecting each other. For background to these stories, you might like to read this blog post.


Sharing Your Animal Hugs


If you’d like to share a cherished animal hug, submit your thoughts and a picture to . Your story may feature on this page!

Billie The Budgie


In my book Rainbow People, I mentioned my friend Jean Rogers and explained how she had suffered from polio for over 80 years while having to wear painful metal leg irons and crutches.


As a single mum of one she struggled but always saw the good in others and the beauty in nature. At one time Jean had a special companion called Billy the Budgie and he flew around freely in her tiny flat and chatted all day. Jean kept the feathers that Billy shed from time to time and made the design shown with them.


Jean also made artwork with plants and cut out birds or insects from old magazines to paste on to her floral art.


I used this idea when doing craft with the disabled and they took great delight in looking for attractive plants, as well as searching through magazines. It was an imaginative way for them to make personal cards or framed gifts that they gave away most proudly.

The Elephant Whisperer


We attribute a sixth sense to animals and this was highly evident when acclaimed African conservationist, Lawrence Anthony, died. Known as the Elephant Whisperer, Lawrence was a man well known for his work in rescuing elephants. So much so that soon after he died, two different herds of elephants trekked for hours to arrive at his home at the South African game reserve Thula Thula. They solemnly stood vigil for two days before quietly moving on.


This moving spectacle was summed up by Rabbi Leila Gai Berner, who declared “If there ever was a time when we can truly sense the wondrous interconnectedness of all beings, it is when we reflect on those elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart stops and hundreds of elephant’s hearts are grieving…they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”


Tiny birds, large elephants, humans – we all are one.

The Miner Birds


I recently heard the furious chirping of Noisy Miner birds in my garden. I rushed outside to  to see a neighbour’s cat taunting a tiny grey animal near the front door. I thought at first it was a baby bird, but soon realised it was a mouse trying to run.  I rescued it and as I did so, the birds were all very quiet, watching with keen interest. They flew away once the drama had ended.


The next afternoon I heard the same panic. As I rushed out, I saw the cat moving down the side of the house and watched as the birds flew in unison in its direction. The birds were hovering over where the cat was hiding, and I was surprised to see there was a mouse hole nearby. I shoed the cat home and the birds watched me secure the entrance to the mouse’s home, and then they left.


There is a background to the story as a few month earlier, I helped one of the Miner  babies that was trying to escape the jaws of another neighbour’s cat. The adult birds watched  from above as I carefully rescued their baby. Once I placed it in a high position they all flew to gather around it until the baby revived and flew away with them. How lovely (and hopeful) it is to know that we can all work together harmoniously.

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