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This story belongs to Sammy and Daddy Gerard.
It's a tiny tale about Daddy Gerard and the things he used to do.
Are you ready?
Here you go, hey, well done.
Now it's time for him to share his memories
and take Sammy on a journey of discovery.
Sammy and Daddy Gerard live in a very special place called
the Masai Mara in Kenya, which is in Africa, far, far away.
Their neighbours are elephants,
and big cats.
Oh, there are little cats too.
-Did you have pets when you were little?
-I had a buffalo.
-And a zebra.
-We also had some warthogs.
-And a mongoose called Peep.
-Was he nice like Socksy?
Oh, no, Peep was a real rascal.
He used to chase your aunties around the garden
and one day he bit Auntie Amanda on the bottom.
-I've seen lots of wild animals.
-Well, you're really lucky.
-You know, when I went to school in England?
My friends there, they didn't believe me that we
had lions and leopards and elephants in our garden.
We're very lucky to have this family history
and live where we live, aren't we?
But why do Sammy and Daddy Gerard live beside wild animals in Kenya?
Well, a very, very long time ago Sammy's Great-Great-Grandpa
Duncan left his home in Skye, which is an island in Scotland,
and travelled all the way to Africa to live and work.
His son, Ken, Sammy's great grandpa, was born in Africa.
When he grew up many of Kenya's wild animals, like elephants and rhinos,
were in danger from people who wanted to harm them.
So national parks were set up in Kenya to help to protect
A national park is a big area of wilderness which is protected
so that wild animals can live there safe from harm.
Great-Grandpa Ken became the first game warden of Kenya's
national parks and spent many years taking care of the animals.
The Queen visited the national parks many years ago
when she was still a princess.
Here is an old picture of Great- Grandpa Ken with the Princess.
It was taken when he accompanied her on an African safari.
An African safari is a trip to see wild animals in their natural home.
People have been going on safari in Africa for a very long time.
This man is a safari guide.
He takes people to different places and tells them
about the wild animals they see.
Safari guides have to know a lot about wild animals.
This is Sammy's Grandpa Ron with Daddy Gerard when he was little.
Grandpa Ron worked as a safari guide.
He grew up around wild animals in Kenya just like Sammy
and Daddy Gerard.
So then Daddy Gerard takes Sammy to a big pond called the watering hole.
Here they talk some more.
Sam, you know this watering hole is very important.
-This is where the animals drink.
And Grandpa Ron came to this water hole many years ago
on a walking safari. That's why he decided to build a house here.
That's why we live here today.
But Daddy Gerard didn't always live in a house.
I grew up in a tent for the first four or five years
of my life in the Masai Mara.
And when I was your age, Sammy, one night an elephant came
running in between Grandpa Ron's tent and our tent and made a huge mess.
Luckily, nobody was hurt, including the elephant.
Look at these old photos of Daddy Gerard.
Sammy, when I was growing up there weren't many schools
here in the Masai Mara, so when I was 13 years old
I had to get on a big plane and go over to England to go to school.
That was really different for me
and it was really tough leaving all the animals.
-This is my Grandpa Ron when he used to be a safari guide.
Grandpa Ron is going to test Sammy and see
if he knows enough about wild animals.
Sam, I'm going to ask you a few questions about wildlife.
Why have some giraffes got darker spots than others?
Because when they get older their spots start getting brown.
Very good. And what is the fastest animal in the Masai Mara?
-It's a cheetah.
Can you name me two gazelles?
There's a Grant's, there's an Impala.
Fantastic. You're going to be the best safari guide in the Mara!
Sammy knows another safari guide.
This is Jackson, Sammy's godfather.
Jackson belongs to a tribe called the Masai.
The Masai tribe are a group of people who have
lived in Kenya for a very, very long time.
Look at them jumping up and down! They are performing a special dance.
Jackson was the first person from the Masai tribe
to become a safari guide.
Jackson and Daddy Gerard have been friends for many, many years.
Sammy, I've known your godfather Jackson for a very long time.
I was only just older than you when Jackson came into our family.
We share the same interests.
He loves animals, he loves looking after the wilderness
and so we do that together today in our jobs.
Jackson is going to help Sammy to learn to be a safari guide.
Sam, to be a safari guide, you need to learn all about the wildlife
and the footprints that they leave behind.
-Would you like to come on a backyard safari with me?
All right, let's go.
Right here, you can see why the Impalas love here. Look,
this is an Impala footprint.
An Impala is a deer-like antelope, very gentle.
Sam, this is a buffalo footprint.
It's a very big animal, bigger than a cow.
Buffaloes are very slow animals.
Safari guides find wild animals by looking for the things
that animals leave behind, like footprints.
Or something else.
Ah... Sam, what do you think this is?
-This is an elephant poo.
And they did find an elephant! Well done, Sammy.
So where next? Well, Sammy, Daddy Gerard and Jackson
are off to visit a local village.
Sam, I live in a village just like this one here.
We are about to go and see
and meet a special lady who lives in this village who does not
know how old she is because we Masai do not know how old we are.
Sammy, once, when I came to visit this lady, I asked how old she was.
She said she was 300.
And that's because the Masai measure how old they are
according to how many times it rains.
So it's rained 300 times?
Let's go and meet this lady and see how they celebrate their birthday.
Sam, this is the lady I've been telling you about.
Her name is called Enteli.
-Shall we dance?
THE CHILDREN SING
Wow! They're singing in a language spoken by the Masai tribe.
Sammy is wearing a special Masai cloth called shuka.
Look at how colourful it is.
And they're still jumping!
That was so much fun.
Now, Daddy Gerard has another special treat for Sammy.
Sammy, I used to be a safari guide a long, long time ago.
I used to take visitors to look at the wild animals.
-Shall we go and have our own safari adventure?
Let's get in the car.
Look, Daddy, there's some zebras!
-Do they all look the same?
-They do, but actually they are different.
Every single zebra has different stripes, like a fingerprint.
Some are black with white stripes and others are white with black stripes.
Don't be silly, Daddy!
You know, Mama, one night, in the camp, woke me up in the middle
of the night and there was a leopard right at the end of your bed.
-Why was it there?
-Because you were crying
and the Leopard came to see why you were in trouble.
-Did it go away when I stopped crying?
-Yes, it did, don't worry.
When I was a little boy we used to drive around this valley with
Grandpa Ron and we used to see lots of rhinos here in the bushes.
Black rhinos used to come round the corner
and we'd have to drive away really fast.
Sadly, there are very few black rhinos left in the Masai Mara.
And other wild animals are still in danger too.
Which is why the national parks are still very important.
-Sammy, what are those?
-Have you seen how big that male is there?
-Yeah. How big?
He's as big as this car.
-Do you think he looks funny?
-Because he has curly horns.
This is my favourite place.
I used to come up here with Grandpa Ron and watch the sunset.
-Thank you for my big safari adventure.
-It's my pleasure.
Can you remember all the things we did?
We played cricket...
We played with the kittens...
-and visited Grandpa Ron...
-Jackson took me on a backyard Safari.
-This is a buffalo footprint.
I danced at the village...
..then we went on a real safari.
-What was your favourite part?
-Dancing at the village.
-What was your favourite thing, Daddy?
-Spending time with you, Sam.
That's always my favourite thing.
What a fabulous heap of fun!
That was Sammy and Daddy Gerard's tiny tale about the things
Daddy Gerard used to do
and why their family lives in the Masai Mara.
Daddy Gerard has shared his story with Sammy
and now Sammy is starting his own story.
Do you know someone with a story to share?