MOORING COVE, N.L.
A small white house sits nestled away under a hill just off the road in the community of Mooring Cove. Inside, knickknacks and paintings of all shapes, sizes and colours line the walls.
The home belongs to local artist Bridie Jenkinson. The paintings are her work.
The sounds of afternoon stories make up much of the background noise as the 77-year-old talks about her latest project, a children’s book entitled “Bertha Bunny in tales from the Black Spruce Marsh.”
Jenkinson told The Southern Gazette she wanted to take a break from painting and was looking for a new artistic outlet.
“I remembered my mother talking about the Black Spruce Marsh (that was) down behind her home in Mooring Cove,” she said.
Jenkinson felt the location would make a good setting for the fictional adventures of Bertha Bunny and the many animals she encounters throughout the book.
“I finished the book and it was a while before I decided to get it published because I went back at my art work,” explained Jenkinson. “One day I took it all and sent it to my sister in St. John’s and she wrote it over for me — she got it published for me.”
All 50 of the books printed during the initial run sold, and, “I could have sold more.”
Jenkinson said one of the best things about writing the book were the memories it brought back for her.
“When I thought about the marsh down behind me mothers, I remembered going in there when I was younger picking berries for my mother, and every now and then you’d see a rabbit running past you,” she recalled.
It was also those memories that inspired Jenkinson to use animals for the characters in the story.
While the stories in the book all come from the mind of Jenkinson, she did enlist the help of her sister Jean to help with the illustrations.
“I had the illustrations done…but I could not find them,” she explained.
Jenkinson said she already has an idea in mind for her next book.
“I have another one muddled up in my head to do about the tall lanky fellow that lived on a farm.”
She’s already chosen his name: Big Billy Beanbag.