Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Bunny Whisperer

Marilyn Mansdorf  holds the honorable title of  "the bunny whisperer."   I met her a couple of years ago because she is an author.  You get to meet a lot of interesting people when you're an author.  She had written a children's book, "Bunny's Busy Day," and used photos that showed wild cottontails coming over to her house to play.  In fact, after they started coming to her house 7 years ago, she began to buy little toys for them to enjoy.  And they have come regularly ever since, bringing along relatives and the younger generation.
     Technology is a double-edged sword.  It can be extremely helpful in becoming known if you know how to network and use it properly.  On the other hand, the photos could have been photo-shopped.  Even though she wrote that they were very wild cottontails and in no way trained or enticed, how to prove it?  Before taking pictures digitally, she had taken hundreds of photos with the negatives to prove that they were not altered in any way.  But how to get someone to really listen to her that these were WILD cottontails?
     Being an author myself who is constantly frustrated by not being able to attract much attention, I understood her frustration.  While I wanted very much for people to understand through my book, "Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird," China's emergence  into stardom over the last two decades beyond anyone's expectations,  Marilyn was on a mission to teach young children tolerance and respect for the little wildness still left in our world.  Along the way, she had some encouraging false starts, but they faded away.  She kept asking herself, and me, "Why doesn't anyone care?'
     Marilyn has always been attracted to animals, and they to her.  She can't explain the last 7 years of these wild bunnies continuing to visit her without fear.  But telling other people about it became her passion.  With one book self-published, four books are awaiting publication until she knows how to reach markets for them.
   Although lacking skills in computer technology, Marilyn has an abundance of energy and passion to cultivate an audience that cares about the bunnies and their continuing desire to have a human friend.  Some friends helped get her website started at  And recently, a beautiful article with many pictures appeared in the Orange County Register by Pat Brennan, Science and Environment Reporter.  He doesn't understand either why the rabbits come to visit her, but he believes her bunny friends and her mission is newsworthy.   The article is reprinted on her website.
     In the mission statement on her website, Marilyn hopes "that introducing children at a very early age to the mutual kindness depicted in my stories will help them grow up to be happy tolerant adults. My love of nature and photography has melded into a mission to educate us all on how to do the same. I have managed to capture on film the ultimate example of humans living in harmony with nature." Well said, Marilyn, and very well done.
Suellen Zima

1 comment:

  1. Brings back fond memories of reading Watershed Down...