From the Author: I first learned what it was to observe animals in the wild when I was five years old and my dad took me squirrel hunting. He carried the rifle I saw him leave with when he went hunting with our bird dog, Lady. And I thought every little girl had squirrel and rabbit and quail and pheasant and catfish for special meals after her father went hunting.

But on those Saturday morning walks alone with him, and later with my sister, Judy, we never shot a squirrel or even heard the rifle fired. This one was too young, that one was a mother, this one was too old, etc., etc. But I did not really care because even then I preferred my animals live and active. I learned the lore of the woods during those walks and developed a love and appreciation for all living things.

So, here in my 80th year I find I still love those animals in the wild as well as at the Denver Zoo. Many of the exhibits seem wild and I like that. My whole family likes that, including four grandsons whose Christmas stocking always included a year’s pass to the Denver Zoo.

I have written six books for Sea Turtle, Inc. on South Padre Island, Texas, a book about the rescued farm animals on friend Mary’s farm, and am completing the third book in a WWII trilogy of the V-mail cartoons of my mentor and friend, Harry E. Chrisman. All are about animals and people I care for.

And to think it all began with a Saturday morning walk in the Kansas woods!