Sowing the seeds of hope – Jane Goodall

I put a great deal of credit for my mother because she was an extraordinary mother.

And when I was born I seemed to have an innate love of animals, I don’t know where it came from I just had it and

She always supported this so I was 18 months apparently

I don’t remember this, of course, but I was 18 months when she came to my room and found

I’ve taken in a whole handful of wiggling earthworms to bed with me and

She said: “Jane it looks as though you were trying to work out how they walk without legs” and

Instead of getting mad at me and throw these dirty things out of the window, she said:

“Jane they need the earth, they’ll die here” and together we took them back into the garden.

I was four and a half years old and a very exciting thing happened for me

We lived in London where there aren’t that many animals

And now we went to stay on a farm in the country and in those days

farms were farms and animals roamed around in the fields. One of my jobs was to help collect the hens’ eggs and

the hens were meant to lay them in these little wooden henhouses

I went around each morning and opened up the lids of the little nest boxes. If there were eggs there

I put them in my basket, and apparently

I started asking everybody: “but where does the egg come out of the hen? because I couldn’t see a hole big enough

And obviously nobody told me to my satisfaction, so I still remember seeing a hen move up

this little sloping plank into the henhouse and thinking: “ah! she going to lay an egg!”

So I crawled after her. Big mistake. Of course, squawks of fear, she flew out and

I distinctly remember thinking (remember, I’m only four and a half):

“She’s going to never come back to lay an egg here…

this is a frightening place.”

so I went into one of the other henhouses and hidden some straw at the back and waited and waited and

waited… which was fine for me, but my poor family didn’t know where I was

Imagine how my mother was feeling it was getting dark. She was out searching with everybody else

She sees this excited little creature rushing towards the house all covered in straw

And I know so many mothers who would have grabbed that child:

“How dare you go off without telling us? Don’t you dare do it again!”

Which would have killed all the excitement

But she saw my shining eyes and sat down to hear the wonderful story of how a hen lays an egg

and I tell that story advisedly because

If you think of that story in hindsight, is it not the making of a little scientist?

Curiosity, asking questions, not getting the right answer

deciding to find out for yourself

Making a mistake, not giving up and learning patience

it was all that and how easily my mother might have crushed that early curiosity and

that little scientist in the making might have gone in a different direction

She went on supporting my love of animals by

finding books for me to read about animals thinking: Will Jane learn to read more quickly? Of course I did.

We had very little money. We couldn’t afford new books. One day

I found this little book and I had just enough money saved up from my pocket money

to buy it. That little book, which I still have, was called: “Tarzan of the Apes”

I took it home, and I took it up my favorite tree, a beach tree, and I read it from cover to cover.

Well, little girls of 10 are often pretty romantic

and of course I felt passionately in love with Tarzan and

What did he do? He married the wrong Jane…

I was 10 years old when I started

My dream that I would grow up, go to Africa and live with animals and write books about them. And everybody laughed at me

So I say World War II was raging. We didn’t have any money, Africa,

you know, there were no planes going back and forth, we thought of it as the dark continent. We knew very little about it and

I was a girl and back then girls didn’t have those opportunities, those adventures were for the boys.

“Jane get real” “Dream about something you can achieve” “Forget this rubbish about going to Africa”, but not my mother

nor her family either

She used to say that: “if you really want something, you’re going to have to work really hard and

take advantage of opportunity and never give up.”

Acerca de yolajb
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