"Good Morning Sam"

“Have you ever stroked a wild mute swan while it stood still, gently holding onto your pant leg? I have…it is an awesome happening that forever remains a vivid memory. This is only one of many unique events my husband Ralph and I experienced during a multi-year relationship with mute swans.” Phyllis M. Washburn

The book, Good Morning Sam, invites the reader to journey with Ralph and me on our twenty-four-year odyssey as we learned about mute swans and formed in-depth relationships with four particular swans.

Our first swan relationship began with a mute swan known locally as Sam. What started as a casual happenstance of tossing bread from the wharf evolved into a long-lasting relationship with this unique wild bird. As Sam’s level of trust in us grew, he accepted our presence in his natural habitat. Knowing of the mute swan’s aggressive behavior, we invariably let Sam decide how quickly the relationship developed. We observed that Sam displayed characteristics that were uniquely his; subtle differences in behavior from the other mute swans we observed. It was because of Sam’s acceptance of us that we also experienced close, intimate relationships with three other swans. Little One, Missy and Samantha each displayed little behavior mannerisms distinctively their own.

" 'Good Morning, Sam' is a remarkable real-life tale of humans befriending animals--without making them into pets or playthings. It reminded me of Jane Goodall and her chimps, in a way. The story is a rare one and the pictures are incredible. A must-read for animal-lovers."

--Lauren Daley, book columnist for The Standard-Times of New Bedford