Stray: An Anthology of Animal Stories and Poems Edited by Helen Moffett and Diane Awerbuck

19 Aug 2015

A deadbeat printer wakes up to discover a most unusual pet – a sphinx – in his home; a hijacked taxi full of sleeping baboons leads to a riot in a shopping mall; a python handler engages in a war of wits with Soweto police; a fire on Chapman’s Peak reveals an impossibly rare creature; a very feisty cat gets mixed up with a drug-smuggling ring; a trickster trains his dog to masquerade as a service animal – and more.

Suitable for animal-lovers of all ages, there’s something here for every reader – funny, quirky, fantastic, sad, reflective and exciting, these stories, extracts and poems will leave you purring.

Royalties from the book will go to TEARS Animal Rescue.

Stray includes journalism, fiction, humour, poetry and memoir. It’s a blend of classic works and fresh new material written especially for this cause.

The following authors have generously contributed or written stories and other works for free to help raise funds:

Arthur Attwell, Diane Awerbuck, Gabeba Baderoon, Robert Berold, Margaret Clough, Mike Cope, Colleen Crawford-Cousins, Gail Dendy, Richard de Nooy, Isobel Dixon, Nerine Dorman, Finuala Dowling, Tom Eaton, Justin Fox,Damon Galgut, Robyn Goss, Michiel Heyns, Colleen Higgs, Jenny Hobbs, Liesl Jobson, Rustum Kozain, Jacqui L’Ange, Sarah Lotz, Sindiwe Magona, Siphiwo Mahala, Julia Martin, Joan Metelerkamp, Niq Mhlongo, Thando Mgqolozana, Helen Moffett, Mmatshilo Motsei, Paige Nick, SA Partridge, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Bev Rycroft, Alex Smith, Fiona Snyckers, Ivan Vladislavić, Zukiswa Wanner, James Whyle, Makhosazana Xaba.

Date of Publication: September 2015
Publisher: Modjaji Books

Read the preface:

“TEARS Animal Rescue is thrilled to be part of this project as the recipients of the royalties from this great collection of stories and poems featuring animals. TEARS was established in 1999 as a pro-life, non-profit organisation. Our core aims are to rescue, rehabilitate, reunite and re-home lost, abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats. We strive to reduce the number of unwanted animals by providing free sterilisations in underprivileged communities, and by creating awareness through humane education of the responsibilities we have towards the animals with whom we share our lives.

TEARS does not receive government assistance, so we rely on donations to fund its work, and while funding for sustainable operations and future growth is an ongoing concern, the generosity of individuals like yourselves makes all the difference.

At any given time, TEARS kennels and cattery are safe harbour for an average of three hundred dogs and cats: rescued, abandoned, surrendered or brought to us for help. Our focus is on veterinary and psychological rehabilitation.

Our veterinary service focuses on low-income communities, primarily in the southern Cape Peninsula, where we provide:

  • primary veterinary care including vaccinations, deworming and other parasite control
  • free sterilisations
  • a daily mobile clinic offering basic health care and nutritional support
  • a working relationship with community members to protect the rights of animals and empower people through education, guidance and support
  • a registered veterinary clinic offering care for pets suffering from any condition, illness or injury.

With the support of projects like Stray, TEARS can reach even more animals in need. We’re very grateful to all the writers who donated their work, and to you for buying this book. We know you’ll enjoy it, with the added bonus of knowing that you’re helping to relieve the difficulties of animals and owners in distress.

Visit for more ways to support the cause!”

Read the beautiful letter of thanks sent to Helen Moffett from TEARS:

“Dear Helen

A deep and heartfelt thank you to the authors, publishers and artists who donated their creativity and talents to the Stray anthology and for choosing TEARS Animal Rescue as the royalties beneficiary.

For TEARS, the anthology goes far beyond receiving much-needed funds for our organisation. The book also raises our profile, thanks to our logo being in a place of honour on the back cover, and the entire preface dedicated to the work we do to help animals in distress. Another aspect of this book that we so love, is the way it places animals front and centre in its stories and characters. Stray captures so beautifully the fascination and mysticism of the creatures who so closely share our lives but remain unfathomable to our human minds.

Even on the more practical side of things, there is a certain magic that takes places, as each book sold and carried off in exchange for a fistful of rands, turns into a warm blanket to comfort a shivering cat, a meal to fill a dog’s empty stomach, or a small op that will end litter after litter for an exhausted mother whose body and emotions are worn out even though she is little more than a pup or kitten herself.

In short, for those of us who love books and adore animals, Stray is a particular thing of beauty.

Thank you writers, editors, publishers and artists for sprinkling more than a little literary magic on our rescue group. It is our sincere wish that the partnership continues to spark.

Our deepest gratitude,

Tracy Gilpin
Public Relations Manager

Keith Evans
Chief Executive Officer”