This morning I did a couple of talks on Pot Plant Owl and her family to a primary school in Johannesburg - one for Grades 1-3 and another talk for Grades 4-7.
Not having (human) kids myself, I was reminded today just how funny and spontaneous children can be. In a question and answer session:
Me: Ok boys and girls. Can anyone tell me the type of Owl that you see here? (holding the cover of our book which has a big close-up of PPO)
Reply from a little girl: Pot Plant Owl (reading the name of the book)
Me: Can you tell me where owls normally nest?
Reply from a boy: In pot plants
Question from a 2nd grader: I know the egg comes from the Mommy, but I want to know
where the egg leaves the Mommy.
Me: Your teachers will answer all your question in class
It was funny, entertaining and rewarding. To see the kids' expressions when I showed them photographs of the chicks, was priceless. When I showed them the book, the 'oohs' and 'aahs' that filled the hall, made my heart sing.
Not one child showed fear of owls, or any kind of superstition towards owls. It shows that slowly the message is getting across. Owls are lovely and so is all the other wildlife around us. I left the school happy and comforted by the knowledge that these bright kids are going to look after our Natural Environment when they grow up.
(And I left happy, knowing that the 'harder' questions like the one I avoided above, will be answered by their teachers...teehee)