This morning, I got to go over to the Tribal preschool and do a brief presentation about birds.
I wanted to speak to them specifically about the birds that are regularly seen on the reservation; Killdeer, Meadowlarks, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Owls, Crows, Bald Eagles. I brought some things from home and went around the office gathering items (most of offices in this building have more dead animal parts than any taxidermy). I had several bird skulls, some feathers, a couple of sets of talons, a nest. I also brought a new book I'd recently purchased for Anna, so that I could show them pictures of each bird and play the sound for them.
Now, as I mentioned, these were preschoolers, so I knew to keep my talk short and very focused. My plan was to stun them into silence with my brilliant and fascinating presentation. There would be epiphanies! I would create mini-conservationsists! They would re-think their career-paths! Lives would be changed, people.
Here's how it went:
Me: "Do you know what birds use to make their nests..."
Boy #1: "They use sticks and mud and then THEY TAKE THE MUD AND THE STICKS AND THEY GET SOME OTHER STUFF AND THEY TURN INTO TRANSFORMERS!!!"
Me: "Today when you go outside, you might see a Killdeer or a crow or..."
Boy #2: "Did you know that once my big brother saw a crow in our yard AND IT ALMOST TOOK HIS TRANSFORMER!!!"
Me: "Look at this feather. What kind of..."
Boy #3: "I got new tennis shoes and they're brown JUST LIKE MY TRANSFORMER!!!"
Me: "Have any of you ever seen a Bald Eagle flying overhead? Let me show you how big their wingspan...."
Boy #4: "Once, a Bald Eagle flew over my dad's truck and I climbed out the window and got on the eagle's back JUST LIKE A TRANSFORMER!!!!!"
I'm sure I made a difference in the life of at least one of the little girls.
She liked my pierced nose.