This week we're excited to introduce a blog series of interviews with children from around the world, sharing their perspectives on animals, plants and how to help the planet stay healthy. Today, we hear from 5-year old, Leith, who lives in Canada. As his mother explains: "Leith has always been an animal, never anything else. This Halloween he was desperate to be a squirrel, but couldn't find the costume, so he settled for a werewolf, but was too scared of the mask. So now he's going to be a dragon and wears his costume daily." True to form, Leith insisted on doing the interview while in an animal costume. Animals are heroes to Leith. "He isn't into superheroes, he's into animals, he imagines he's an animal superhero, Panther Man." If his mother's words aren't charming enough, we know you'll be charmed and inspired by Leith's ideas about plants and animals. What kind of animals live near you?
Squirrels, birds, pigeons, raccoons, bugs, chickens and cows, horses, pigs, goats, and bulls. What's the most interesting animal you've seen in real life?
A bull. What animals would you love to see in your neighbourhood?
Lots and lots of squirrels, panthers, peacocks, chickens, dolphins, bulls, cheetahs, and red pandas. Do you think animals play together?
Yes, obviously they play games! They play tag, hide and seek, have picnics together, and races. Do you think animals have families and love each other?
Yes, of course, because how would animals be there if there didn't have families? Also, how would they be born without a family? How would they play tag or make friends if they didn't have a family? What kind of food do you think animals would eat if they went into a store?
Nuts or meat, champagne or wine or water. Chocolate nuts for treats for Chuckanut (his squirrel friend), dog treats, lots of leaves for giraffes, bananas for monkey, seeds for chickens. Panthers would go to the meat counter. If you could be any animal what would you be?
A panther, because I could run really fast and jump really high. A squirrel, because I could run around and climb things. A pigeon or a robin or a falcon, so I could fly and land on things, like really tall buildings. If you could speak an animal language which would you choose?
Mountain goat, so I could talk to other mountain goats. Also panther, so I can talk to other panthers. Squirrel, so I can talk to my friend Chuckanut, and so I can just say hi to all the squirrels. And pigeon, so I can say hi to them too. Some humans are animal doctors, do you think animals have their own ways of healing and helping each other?
Sometimes. With dolphins, if another dolphin is drowning and can't breathe, another dolphin will bring it up to the surface. Any kind of animal, actually, like, any kind of animal can help itself or an another one of itselfs, like, help its own kind. What kind of plants grow near your home?
Ferns, raspberries, blackberries, flowers, strawberries, tomatoes, gardenia, lemon, fig, hydrangea, lilac, flowers, trees, any kind of plant that can live here. What is the most beautiful plant you've seen in real life?
A palm tree, peonies, tropical plants from Mexico. Absolutely ALL the plants in Mexico. What plants do you love to eat?
Berries, but only blackberries in England, not from the grocery store, raspberries, strawberries, bayberries, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, basil, thyme, blueberries, and fennel. Are there any plants you don't like to eat?
Eggplant, carrots, jalapeños, and every other veggie that I don't like. What is your favorite thing to do?
Go to the park, play, exploring, swimming in the ocean, but also the river. What do you want to do when you grow up?
Be a police officer or a Mountie (a special police force in Canada, the police officers get to ride horses). Do you like to play outside?
Yes!! Where is your favorite place to play?
Outside in a forest, by the river, the play structures at school, in the sand. Do you do anything special to keep the planet healthy?
Harvest things, plant more things. I clean up trash. Leith's mother adds: "Literally, he picks up garbage and holds it in his hands or pockets until we get home or to a garbage--it's the reason I put a basket on his scooter, so he can put garbage in it and has both hands free to steer".
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