I’ve loved working with plants and animals, thinking about them, and the idea of working them for a lifetime goal, ever since I can remember. I think most children are attracted to critters of all sorts. You just see a two or three year-old child encountering a grasshopper or a caterpillar. Unless someone has frightened that child into not touching it, the natural thing is to express the curiosity that is inherent in most young things and check it out. I was very lucky I think. My parents used to bring frogs over for my brothers and me to get to know. But we were very carefully told always to put them back in the pond where they were found. Or to allow a caterpillar to gently walk across your hand, and not to disturb them, because you might get stung by some of their bristles. I learned very early on that if you show respect for other creatures, they won’t go out of their way to harm you. I grew up more or less fearless with respect to all sorts of things — spiders, squirrels, birds, mammals — because of the gentleness that both my father and my mother and my family in general expressed toward our fellow citizens on the planet. That empathy for living things became naturally expanded as I grew up into a study of living things. I became a biologist just following my heart, I suppose. I couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else.