If you know me, you know I take my job as Capybara Ambassador pretty seriously. And I should, it is a very important position. I have a big responsibility to capybaras and rodents throughout the world to represent them well and to make sure people like us and appreciate us. There couldn’t be a more appropriate day for that than Earth Day, especially this year since it was the 40th anniversary of the dedication of a day to our beautiful planet.
I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the Earth and to promote capybara awareness than to visit an elementary school to teach tomorrow’s leaders, environmentalist and consumers. They always say that the children are our future and they really are. If they grow up loving the Earth and its inhabitants then there will be room on this planet for all of us, otherwise…well, it’s my opinion that the world won’t be a nice place to live without animals and wild places.
My owner and I had to get up super-early to get to San Antonio for our 8:30 am appointment at Sinclair Elementary School. The drive is about one hour and forty minutes, which is farther than we’ve ever gone before. And we didn’t have Sheldon to accompany us this time so it was just me and my owner having some quality time together in the car. The day was misty and overcast and constantly threatening to rain but we just pretended that wasn’t going to happen.
We got to the school just in time to get everything set up for our first few classes. My owner put my bed down along with a bowl of guinea pig food and some grass, both of which I ignored. I liked the bed though, it gave me a spot to call my own. Ms. Tena Pilcher, the school librarian, organized the whole thing and she did a great job! The kids all came and sat down in rows, then Ms. Pilcher introduced me and my owner. My owner basically did all the talking, the kids weren’t really quiet enough to hear anything I said because my voice is not very loud and it is hard for elementary school kids not to be noisy. So my job was just to be cute, which I excelled at, if I do say so myself. I sat or lay on my bed a lot but occasionally I would walk up to the kids and lick someone’s face or chew on their hair. You should have heard how loud they all got when I did that!
Oh my gosh, those kids had so many questions! And all of them really good ones too. Plus my owner asked them questions. Like if capybaras have four toes on their front feet and three toes on their back feet, how many toes do capybaras have altogether? It’s pretty hard to do that kind of math in your head! Every time she asked it I had to think of that dumb song she made up about me. She also made the kids stretch their brains by trying to figure out what kind of terrible predatory animals eat capybaras in the wild. The kids got really excited about that but it made me nervous.
We took a break between each group of students and a really nice woman took me for walks in the yard while my owner gave copies of our book and pawtographs to kids and teachers who had bought them. It is so great to think of all those kids reading my book! And they’ll already know more than Celeste the Cat does at the beginning of the book because they’ve seen me in person and know just how big a “giant hamster” really is! Gosh, I hope they all read the book and love it!
We had about six or seven sessions so that almost all the kids in the whole school got to come spend some time learning about me. Ms. Pilcher said that was about 600 kids! That’s more kids than I have ever seen in one day. That probably would have been good enough but guess what! I let every single one of those kids pet me! Yup, it’s true. After my owner finished talking–actually after Ms. Pilcher told her she was out of time–the teachers lined their classes up and each kid got to walk by and pet me.
I didn’t even bite anyone, even though they sometimes kind-of mobbed me! Not that I would. I did step on one girl’s feet though. Sorry about that.
We were at the school from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm and had a great time. I was pretty tired at the end of it. After the drive home, my owner and I both took a nice, long nap.