Alice’s class did an assembly for the Mums and Dads today. They talked about the things they have learned this term, and all the places they’ve been. This includes a school trip to the local Wildlife and Wetlands Centre, on which I came along as a volunteer. We saw ducks and geese and swans and otters. But we didn’t see the resident beaver, which was typical of the solitary, nocturnal, buck-toothed, wood-eating bastard.
We did receive a most ridiculous presentation by the Education Officer of the centre, who, faced with the audience of urban-based 5-year olds, held up a beaver skin and said “Now can any of you tell me what adaptations this animal has developed in order to survive their environment?”, to which she received an entire room full of blank looks; not just from some of the kids, but also from some of the adults. Personally, I would have spent time explaining the concepts of evolution, adaptation, survival, and environment to reception-class Primary school children, before launching into such a discussion… but then, I’m not an Education Officer. What do I know?
Anyway, in the assembly, some of the kids stood up and said which bit of the trip was their favourite. When it came to Alice, she stood up, pointed at me, and in a loud, clear, ringing voice, in front of all the other Mums, shouted: “I really like stroking beaver hair with my Daddy!”