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7 November 2016 ·

Rhinoceros poems and strange things writers do

I always love hearing from readers, but some requests are more unusual than others. I received this letter from Germany on Friday.

They also enclosed copies of verses they’ve received from Doris Lessing and Patrick Modiano, both writers I particularly admire (as well as the minor detail of being Nobel prize winners). Obviously this has been going for some time, as Doris Lessing died three years ago – and equally obviously, I could not have said No even if I’d wanted to!

I wrote a little verse, and then remembered that I had a picture of giving a baby rhinoceros a mud bath on a Behind the Scenes tour of the Australia Zoo, the day of the Return to Nim’s Island premiere. So I wrote another verse about the baby rhino, and am now trying to decide which one to send.

Now I have to choose one to send off with this bonus photo – which one would you vote for? Let me know in the comments below.

I presume they knew me through these rather lovely editions of Nim’s Island and Raven’s Mountain.

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio