Animal Adventures, Out With Animals

New Adventure: Out With Animals


Welcome to Out With Animals!

On my blog, Ok Then What’s Next, I took part in a Christmas project for Post Pals. Post Pals is a charity where people can send post to children with severe or life threatening illnesses. As an adult with a chronic illness, I know how much it lifts my spirits to receive fun post- and I’m an adult! So volunteering to pretend to be a reindeer and send post in December seemed like a lot of fun and I knew it would help lift someone’s mood.

I love knitting and I have to spend a lot of time at home due to illness. So I decided to knit small animals, send them out on adventures, and write short stories about them. Then post them on to one of the Post Pals children, who can read the story, take the animal on an adventure of their own and write their own story and share their photos if they want to. They can also see what other animals have been up to on this blog, Twitter or Instagram.

Because I have a chronic illness too, it might take a while to get up and running, and there might be some time delays if I’m having a bad spell. I might also need some help taking the animals out and taking photos of their adventures- so let me know if you want to be involved!

Twitter: @OutWithAnimals

Instagram: @OutWithAnimals




Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Maurice the Manta-Ray


My name is Maurice the Manta-Ray and I’ve just got back from an adventure in Bali. Bali is an Indonesian Island in SouthEast Asia, and is well known for its culture, history and marine life. Marine life is very interesting to me as a manta-ray because I love water and swimming! Susie, my friend who took me, said there might not be much time for swimming in the sea, but she promised we’d see lots of interesting things.

To get to Bali, we had to fly on an aeroplane. I was a bit nervous, but lots of the animals have been on aeroplanes now and they said it was really fun.


Planes look huge! But I guess some animals think boats look huge the first time they see them. I’m pretty used to boats now because of all my time swimming in the sea.


It’s a long flight to Bali so I got comfortable in my seat. I had lots of space and fin-room but some of the taller people were grumbling a bit about leg room.

When we landed, we checked into our hotel and had a look around.


The pool was lovely! Nice and clear water, and very warm. It was surrounded by lots of statues and plants, which you don’t usually get in the sea.


Some of them are hidden in the walls and plants, some are given a special platform to sit on.


Lots of the statues are of monkeys, because monkeys are sacred in Bali. In the UK they’re seen as cheeky characters up to mischief, but Susie said in Bali they’re to be treated with respect and not harmed.

Our hotel had a lovely view looking out over the forest.


The next day, we went to explore a temple. Because Bali is an island, there’s lots of water around. I like this island!


I was tempted to swim across, but neither me or Susie were sure if that would be respectful so we decided it wasn’t a good idea.


The closer we got, we could see how intricate the temples are. There are lots of carvings and etchings on the buildings. Susie said it was to show that they’re important buildings and make them different from other buildings.


There were more statues as well, but not just monkeys this time.


This is a shrine. I’m not sure what it’s a shrine of, but the elephant is the spiritual being and people have left offerings to it.

Susie had promised me a bit of swimming, so we headed to a baths.


Baths aren’t like baths in the UK- it’s a big pool of water where people go to bathe rather than a small bath tub. I wanted to swim though, so asked Susie to take me somewhere where I wouldn’t disturb people.


Susie took me to a boat and gave me some scuba gear. I was a bit confused to start off with, but realised the gear was for her, not me- I can swim underwater for a long time! We jumped off the boat and swum around in the sea together, looking at the underwater marine life and plants. It was really cool! I saw some new animals and fish you don’t see in the UK, plus it was a lot warmer than the sea in the UK. The only problem is, you can’t take photos underwater, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!


We got back in the boat and sat on deck to dry off. All too soon, it was time to head back to the UK. It might look a bit dull in the photos, but it’s very warm in Bali! Not like the UK where grey also means cold and damp. I quite enjoyed my adventure in Bali. Thank you to Susie for looking after me. I’m looking forward to my next adventure!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Geoffrey the Giraffe


My name is Geoffrey the Giraffe, and I’ve just finished an adventure with Dave who worked backstage on a pantomime. He invited me along to learn how to be a member of the sound and light crew in a real theatre.

The night before, we had to check to make sure we had all the equipment. I was a bit worried that someone might steal the laptop, or break it, so I guarded it overnight!


I did a good job because everything was still where it was meant to be and working. We set off for the theatre and Dave told me that the pantomime we would be working on was called ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.


First things first, we had to make sure we knew where all of the songs, sound effects and lights were in the script. It’s not good if everyone is stood on stage in the dark! It’s all very complicated and I’ve not got a very good memory! Luckily Dave knew what he was doing and showed me what to do.

Before the fun of the rehearsal started, we had to do the boring bits! This is apparently something to do with digital audio, but I don’t know what that is… I’m only a beginner after all!


My first proper job was to make sure all the microphones have batteries. It would be very embarrassing if they ran out during the show- No one would hear anything!


This is my friend Emma. She looked after the microphones and some of the props on stage and I got to help. Behind us is the giant costume! It’s soooooo big!


Before we started the dress rehearsal, I met some of the cast members. This is Simple Simon getting into his costume and stage make-up.


This is Ellie, she plays one of the villagers and sings in some of the songs.


This is the beautiful princess. Unfortunately she gets kidnapped by the Giant!


Once everyone was in costume and on stage, we started the dress rehearsal. A dress rehearsal is where we do a complete run through of the play to make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing, the costumes all fit, and the sound and lights all works properly. It’s like a performance but without an audience, because once it starts, you’re not supposed to stop! It was my only chance to see the show properly as the rest of the time I worked back-stage, so I was quite excited. It all looked pretty impressive!


Here I am sitting on the sound desk… It’s very confusing but I like all the flashy coloured lights!


This is called a follow-spot… It’s a really big light which has to be pointed at the actors… Unfortunately it was a bit big for me to use on my own!


It all gets a bit much at times for such a small giraffe! Thankfully I found these headphones and they’re the perfect size for a quick nap!


Back to work again! Here I am talking to Dave in the sound control room- one of the microphones broke so we had to let him know we were changing to a different one! I’m glad this happened in the rehearsal and not the actual performance!


I was beginning to get hungry, so I left the sound and light desk and went backstage to see if I could find something to eat. I found the beanstalk – we need it for tomorrow’s show, but I’m sure they wouldn’t miss a few leaves!


Except I had forgotten about the giant! He somehow managed to creep up on me even with his big clumpy shoes!


He got me!! Thankfully he was actually quite friendly!


Uh oh… Maybe I spoke too soon!


Thankfully he fell asleep, so I made my escape!


I got to take a look around inside the giant costume. It’s all very clever, the actor in here has to pull strings to make his mouth and eyes move!


With the rehearsal finished for the day, there was just time to make some more notes on the script before the performance the next day.  “Stay away from hungry giant…”


I had a quick chat with Daisy to see how her day went.


And then it was performance night! Dave and I checked all of the equipment again before the show. That’s when we realised we’d already used hundreds of batteries!


We had a good audience turn out and they all seemed to really enjoy the performance.



I think I did a really good job- all of my sound and light cues were spot on and you could hear and see everyone and everything perfectly. Thank you very much to Dave and all of the cast and crew at the theatre for showing me around and letting me take part- I had a really good adventure! I’m looking forward to seeing what my next adventure will be!



Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Lottie & Dottie


My name is Lottie the Leopard, and I’ve just come back from a very special adventure with my new friend, Dottie the Dalmatian. Dottie writes to the Postpals children regularly about her adventures, and asked if I wanted to join in- of course I said yes! Here’s what we got up to- written by Dottie the Dalmatian

I was thrilled to find a very special friend was coming to visit me for a few days. Her name is Lottie and she is a Leopard! She has lots of spots like I do, but instead of black spots on white like me, her spots are black on orange!


Lottie was very keen to go out adventuring. I found that she had never seen snow because there isn’t usually snow in Africa where leopards come from, so I decided I had to take her out to play in the snow.


We found a great place where there was lots of soft snow. I showed Lottie how to roll the snow up into a ball and we each gathered a pile of snowballs and then it was time for a snowball fight! I missed, but Lottie didn’t and I ended up with a snowball in my face!


Perhaps something else would be better. Hide and seek was our next game. Lottie was so easy to find as she stood out so much against the white of the snow.


I was much better at hiding. Lottie looked for me for ages but didn’t realise where I was until I threw a sneaky snowball at her!


We chased each other around in the snow and then decided to make some snow angels by lying on the snow and moving our arms up and down.


All too soon it was time to head back inside. We were getting very cold after being out in the snow for so long and Lottie had to get ready to head off on her next adventure. She is going to a lovely new home where I’m sure she’ll have lots more fun!

I had so much fun playing with Dottie in the snow. I’d never seen snow before! Thank you very much to Dottie and Katherine for making me feel so welcome and for looking after me so well. It was great to learn some more about Postpals too- I’ll be heading to one of the pals very soon.

Dottie has sent our story to the Postpals in her newsletter so they can all see what we’ve been up to.


Story written by Katherine Thomas as part of the Dottie Dalmatian newsletter for the Postpals charity.  You can also find Dottie on Facebook (@dottiethedalmatian), Instagram (@postpalsdottie) and twitter (@dottiedalmatian)

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Logan the Lion: Kent


My name is Logan the Lion and I’m currently waiting to board a ship to go to Dominica to meet my new friends there. I’ve been on an adventure already in Cyprus, but I was annoying Brenda with my roaring practice so she sent me to her friend Katherine to have one last adventure in the UK before heading to Dominica next week.

Katherine took me for a long walk up a hill called Windmill Hill in Kent. I saw some cats climbing trees and thought I’d like to give it a go. Katherine said lions don’t tend to climb trees, but I thought lions and cats were related so I should be pretty good at it too!


Turns out it’s a lot more tricky than I thought and I got stuck! She said that while I was up there I may as well take in the view.


I had a look around and could see over the River Thames and as far as the next county- Essex!

Once I’d climbed down again, we headed to one of the largest Sikh Temples in Europe. It’s called Guru Nanak Marg Gurdwaras.


It had lots of elaborate decorations. We didn’t take pictures inside though because you have to be respectful of the people praying there.

This part of Kent has lots of history to it, I learnt. This is a statue of Pocahontas, who was a native american lady who came to live here. She died 400 years ago in this place. At that time, people couldn’t travel around as easily as we do now, so it was quite an accomplishment for her to travel from America to here.


Once we’d finished walking about, we went back to Katherine’s house where she taught me how to sew. She had a machine, but I wasn’t able to reach the pedals to make it work! I decided to leave it to the professional!


I had a lovely time exploring Kent and learning about some of the history there. I’m now really, really excited to be heading to Dominica really soon! Thank you very much to Katherine for taking care of me!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Benito the Bear

Story written by Rhiannon Monckton


My name is Benito and I went on some adventures in Japan. I went to a big city called Sendai in the North of Japan. It’s very cold in winter. Usually, we bears hibernate in winter, but I decided it would be more fun to go sightseeing this year. It was very cold, but I had lots of fun and even met some new friends!
Day 1
My first stop was to visit a temple and a monument in the hills. The monument commemorates the founder of Sendai, a man named Date Matsumune (“dah-tay mat-soo-moo-nay”). He was a strong and intelligent man, and lots of people respected him. He only had one eye, so people called him “the one-eyed dragon”! Here’s the monument to Date Matsumune. It’s very grand and colourful, with lots of gold all over it.


After seeing the monument, I decided to go to the temple. It was a long walk up to the temple, but eventually we arrived and saw the grand gate.


In Japan, you have to wash your hands and mouth with fresh water before you go in to the temple. I used one of these long-handled spoons to catch water from this dragon’s mouth.


This is the temple. You have to be very good inside the temple and not take photographs. It’s a holy place for Buddhists to pray, so you have to be very quiet when you walk around.


I decided to wait outside the temple while my friends looked around. Luckily, I met a friendly snowman. In Japanese, snowmen are called “yuki-daruma”, which means “round snow doll”. This one certainly has a very round belly!


I told him what I’d learned about Date Matsumune and the building of Sendai city. He was very interested.
After a cold day visiting the temple, my friends and I were in need of warming up with a nice dinner. We decided to have “katsudon” which is a piece of fried pork on top of a bowl of hot, steaming rice. We had some miso soup too. I tried my best to eat with the chopsticks, but I think I’ll need smaller ones next time!


Day 2
My second day in Sendai started with even more snow. We went up into the hills and made footprints in the fresh snow.


We walked along by a forest. We saw this sign, warning us about bears living there. Of course, I’m not afraid of bears, being a bear myself, but as we weren’t sure if these would be friendly bears, we took care to stay on the paths!


When we arrived at our destination, we were greeted by this stone fox statue. Foxes are very important in Japan. Some people believe they can take messages to the Shinto Gods. This fox was welcoming us to a whole village full of foxes. It was fun to see them playing in the snow.




After playing with the foxes in the snow, my last stop was in a local village that makes traditional Japanese wooden toys with big heads, called “kokeshi”.


The village had a lot of shops selling these dolls. Some of them had workshops in them, so people could paint their own or even watch someone making them from one piece of wood. I didn’t make any wooden dolls of my own, but I did have a go at playing with some wooden toys: a game where you catch a ball on a wooden pin and a type of number spinner you can use instead of a dice.


After all of my adventures, I was glad to get back to warmer weather and a nice cosy bed. I had so much fun in Sendai. I can’t wait to see what my next adventure will be!

Thank you to Rhiannon and Logan for looking after Benito and taking him on his Japanese adventure!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Tammy the Turtle


My name is Tammy the Turtle and I went on an adventure to learn about where turtles come from. In the UK, the only turtles tend to be ones which people have as pets, or ones who live in the zoo.


So I went to Cape Verde to see how it’s different being a turtle there. Cape Verde is quite far away, so we had to spend a bit of time travelling there. First by car…


Then we had to check-in at the airport. Normally animals aren’t allowed in the passenger bit, but the lady said that she’d make an exception for me since I’m very small and as long as I promised to be quiet!


We had to drop our suitcases off to be loaded onto the plane.


We had a bit of time before our flight so we had some breakfast.


I was a bit too excited to eat, so I went to watch out for our plane instead.


Soon we were called to board the plane and got ready for take-off!


The pilots heard there was a very special turtle on board and invited me into the cockpit to see how the plane worked, which was super exciting!


After leaving the wet and windy UK, we arrived in sunny Cape Verde. What a difference! I asked my friends why a lot of the buildings were yellow or white or made out of stone and they said it’s because it helps keep it cool on the inside. Not a problem we have in the UK!


After a quick coffee to recharge after the flight – which we could drink outside because it was so warm ….


… we headed down to the harbour and the sea.


It looked so peaceful and calm! The sea around the UK tends to be grey and a bit murky, whereas this was a lovely light blue colour.


They also have different plants from what I’m used to in the UK. There were lots of spiky ones like this one. I have to say though, I do like the flowers we have back home.


However, we don’t have anything as exotic as lemons growing on our trees! I was beginning to get hungry now, looking at all the plants (which is what turtles like to eat), so we headed to a restaurant to find some food.


Obviously I had a salad. Or ‘salada’ as they call it here. We explored the town a bit more.


This to me looked like someone had forgotten to do their washing up, but apparently it’s art and history!

The vehicles here are sometimes a bit… odd as well.


It looked like a giant motorbike with a tent on! But the streets are quite narrow so I bet it comes in useful.


I got a bit of a shock when we went around a corner and saw this giant red bull! But he turned out to be friendly and showed us the way to a castle where we could take in a beautiful view.



The last place we went to in Cape Verde was the beach. The beach is my favourite place in any country, because it’s the way us turtles get into the sea, which is where we live! Sometimes they have pebbles on, which make it really hard work on our flippers, but this one was incredibly smooth and sandy.


I didn’t fancy being washed away by the giant waves though so I agreed to escort my friends back to the UK and see where else my adventures might take me.

Thank you very much to Liz and Dean for taking me on this adventure. I’m looking forward to carrying on exploring on my next one!


Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Christmas Adventures, Out With Animals

Out With Animals Turns 1!

On the 6th February 2017, Kenny the Koala told his story about his trip to Leamington Spa. He was the first animal to go on an adventure for Out With Animals, and went to a Postpals child. Now it’s been a whole year! Since then:

  • 115 animals have been made and sent to seriously ill or vulnerable children.
  • 41 animals were sent to postpals or their siblings
  • 13 were sent to Dominica through Help for Dominica
  • 4 were taken to Nepal to children in an orphanage through Keta Keti Avenir.
  • 76 separate volunteers have been involved- and some of those have taken out more than one animal for me- thank you!

    (the other animals are still out on adventures or I’m waiting for them to come back to me if you’re wondering why my maths doesn’t add up 😉 )

  • Three of the animals’ stories were published in a children’s book, the Animals Try Acting, to help raise money for materials and postage- which sold out! Book number 2 is on its way!
  • The animals have (almost) 200 likes on their Facebook page, 158 followers on instagram and 80 followers on twitter.
  • 23 donations of wool/contribution to materials and postage costs were made. Thank you so much!
  • The animals and I made some new friends. It started off with me persuading my friends to take animals out, but it’s now grown so that people I don’t know are taking part, which is great! Thank you to everyone who has been involved.
  • Caitlin the Cat has had a whole series of adventures as a travelling cat.
  • 6 animals went on special Christmas Adventures

The animals have been on some awesome adventures in the UK before heading off to their charity buddies, and have managed to visit lots of different countries around the world:

where the animals have been feb 2018

Some of them had a little party and a cake to celebrate while they were waiting to be posted off to their new friends.


Clarence the Cow perhaps over indulged…


The animals are super busy organising their travels, so they couldn’t hang around for long and had to get into their envelopes!


Thank you very much to everyone who has volunteered or made a donation to help the animal adventures to continue 🙂

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Flora the Flamingo


My name is Flora the Flamingo, and I’ve just got back from an adventure with Ciera. Ciera is a student, so I got to see what it’s like to be a college student. I was quite excited to see what she got up to!

We travelled there on a bus

Animals aren’t usually allowed on buses but Ciera managed to sneak me on- don’t tell anyone!

We went to check out the book exchange on campus. It’s a pretty cool idea if you like reading. You can take whatever book you like as long as you replace it with a book you’ve brought with you. It means you get to read lots of different things.

I also met a friend while we were there!

Teddy told me about all the different books he’d read. Some were fiction and some were based on history or real life.

I got a bit of a shock at one point when I thought I’d spotted another Flamingo- Ciera had told me that I was going to be a VIP on campus because I’d be the only Flamingo so I was a bit put out when I saw another beak mooching around the book exchange! It turned out to be a duck though, so my feathers weren’t to ruffled. Ducks are cool but flamingos are better!

Ciera had some classes to go to so I went too.

I felt like a movie star! Ciera and the other students in the class were studying Media Studies where you get to create, plan and film your very own movie! I was very excited. I’m not sure if my scenes will make the final edit but I’ll keep my wings crossed!

With classes over for the day, we headed into town and had chips for lunch. I love chips! Especially with salt and vinegar! Much better than when people feed the ducks bread- everyone assumes flamingos like bread too, but I personally prefer chips.

We headed home and Ciera said I could help her with one of her hobbies- baking.

We decided to make cupcakes. I helped put them into the cake cases and Ciera let me lick (well, peck) the bowl.

Ta-da! Finished cupcakes! I had to test one to make sure they tasted good, which they did!

I had great fun being a student for the day- it’s a lot of hard work but there’s still time for fun! Thank you very much to Ciera for looking after me and I’m looking forward to my next adventure!

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

David the Dragon

Michelle took David the Dragon on an adventure to Wales and produced a picture book of his travels, which will be posted to a Postpals child along with David the Dragon. Story also written by Michelle.

Animal Adventures, Charity, children's story, Out With Animals

Logan the Lion: Guest in a Hotel


My name is Logan the Lion and I went on an adventure to a 5 Star Hotel in Cyprus. I’m the first animal to stay in such a luxurious hotel- 5 stars means it’s the best hotel you can find, and it feels a little bit like being a King in a palace! We traveled to the hotel by car, which was also very nice and comfortable.


When we arrived, the receptionist gave us a information folder which told us about the facilities available and who would be able to help us if we needed anything.


Then we got to check out the bedrooms!


The beds were really comfortable. I decided that I needed a lion-nap to recover from our travelling there.


Then I watched some television while I waited for the rest of the people I was with to get ready.

They were taking a long time (I think they took an even longer lion-nap than me!), so I watched the waves from the balcony. Lions don’t really like water because it gets our fur wet, but I do like watching the waves come in and out.


Plus the sea is very blue, meaning you could see some of the fish swimming around even though we weren’t actually anywhere near it!


Finally my friends were ready!


We headed down to the beach and chose a place to sit in the sun.


Lions like the heat, and our fur means we don’t get sun burnt. One of my friends is a nurse though, and he said I had to make sure I drank enough…


… and wore my sunglasses to protect my eyes.


I tried reading the newspaper. Lots of other people seemed to be reading so I thought I should do the same.


I don’t really like cricket though and all the running backwards and forwards looks like hard work, so I decided to have another lion nap in the sunshine.


It started to get really hot- the hottest part of the day is the middle of the day around lunchtime- so we headed back inside to the cool air-con and decided to check out the spa. They made us a drink and told us to choose what options we’d like.


They even gave us fluffy dressing gowns to wear!


A spa is somewhere where people go to relax. Some people have massages and others use facilities like the sauna or the swimming pool. There were lots of statues around the place.


I didn’t really get why some of them were there- this one doesn’t look like it’s useful for anything! You could maybe fit one flower in it?!


On the other hand, some were religious statues. This is a Hindu statue.


Some of the spa treatments were spiritual based or used as part of spiritual rituals as well as relaxation.


Lots of people associate religion as a peaceful practice, hence the statues in the spa area.

Soon it was my turn for my massage!



Afterwards, I had to plunge myself into ice. Brrrrr! It felt very cold after the heat outside! And I’d been nearly falling asleep and was really relaxed- suddenly I was wide awake again!


I also had to drink some lemon water. It’s supposed to cleanse my body apparently. I think I liked the idea of a spa more than actually being there- it was relaxing, but I also didn’t appreciate having to be really quiet! Lions like to roar!


My friends took me back outside for a walk along the beach.


They went for a swim in the sea, but between the ice and the lemon water, I wasn’t keen on anymore water today. So I watched.


And fell asleep by accident. Oops! Maybe the spa had been a good idea and helped me relax after all!

Staying in a 5 star hotel was an exciting experience but I don’t think they were used to having on of the Kings from the animal world staying in their hotel. I did enjoy the fact that you could pretty much ask for anything you wanted and they were able to provide it! Thank you very much to my friends for looking after me, and I’m looking forward to sharing part 2 of my trip with you!