Our Stories - Animal Man

More than 100 schools in Scotland have now made the acquaintance of Charlie the Cockerel – thanks to the Teddy Bear Foundation.

Charlie is just one cast member of an amazing show put on for children by Kevin McMillan, otherwise known as Animal Man.

The Teddy Bear Foundation initially paid for the show to visit just a small amount of schools in Glasgow but the number mushroomed when its popularity became apparent.

Courtesy of the charity, Animal Man has now ventured as far east as Falkirk and Edinburgh and now has a queue of pupils waiting to be entertained.

“It is magic to see a smile on kids’ faces,” said Kevin, 30.

“Sometimes you hear teachers remark that they can’t believe a particular child is smiling so much.

“You find that some kids are naturally cautious when I open my box of tricks but before you know it, they are getting stuck in!”

His mobile mini zoo swoops into classrooms - introducing kids to such characters as Patch the guinea pig, Michelle the tortoise and Julio the tarantula.

Ratatouille the rat is prone to escape his cage and teachers have been known to jump onto chairs whenever anyone mentions the phrase ‘spider’s on the loose!”

At Middlefield Residential School in Glasgow’s Partick, acting head teacher Ann Houston watched as the kids threw themselves into the show.

The school cares for children on the Autistic spectrum, aged between five and 16.

Ann said:”The children are enjoying a whole new experience they would never otherwise get.

“Because of their condition, many of our children don’t get out much – so we have to bring adventures to them.

“We try to keep things like this a secret from them because some children can get over-excited just looking forward to something.

“Sometimes, it’s nice just to surprise them with a treat like the Animal Man.”

Animal Man

I know I put that rat somewhere.....

Animal Man

You would have to be Quackers to dislike the Animal Man's duck.

Animal Man

Not entirely sure this animal lark is a good idea....

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