Thursday, 12 August, 2021

Wally: the lockdown busting lamb; Messi’s French kiss; pizza in space; and the gentle art of rat tickling.



Wally the lockdown busting lamb:

Space pizza: 

Rat tickling

Paralympics Q+A

A two-minute introduction to goalball: 

Tyan Taylor’s training routine and support crew:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]

Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas





Amid the grim news yesterday that Melbourne’s lockdown would be extended by another week …. Sorry Melbourne … that Greater Sydney had recorded more than 340 new cases of COVID and that NSW regional centres like Dubbo, Bourke, Coonamble, Walgett and Narromine would be sent into lockdown too – one little lamb in the regional Victorian town of Warnnambool did his level best to lift everyone’s spirits. 

His name is Wally – and his story of survival against the odds has provided a glimmer of sunshine in a news week that’s been otherwise full of climate change warnings, catastrophic fires and more COVI-inspired misery.

When Wally was born he was about the size of a can of Coke – he was so small and so frail that his farmer owners didn’t think he’d survive. But so tired were they of bad news everywhere, they threw everything into the effort of making Wally strong and healthy again – getting milk from his mum, hand feeding him, keeping him inside and even making a set of special lamb nappies for him to wear about the house.

Now he’s hopping about the farm like the happiest lamb alive – and bringing comfort to the whole family. Daughter Hannah, who’s in high school and home schooling, says Wally sits on her lap during lessons and makes her feel calm. 

Now if only they could clone Wally and make one available for all you Squiz Kids in home learning. 

There’s a link to a video of Wally in today’s episode notes. You’re very welcome. 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in France … my favourite … where the biggest soccer team in the French capital of Paris has just snared the best footballer in the world.

I’m talking about Lionel Messi – and the fact that after 21 years with Barcelona FC, the Argentina football legend has just signed a two year contract with Paris St Germain.

It means Messi will join his former Barcelona team mate Neymar and the ridiculously-talented French striker Kylian Mbappe in a forward line that will be practically impossible to beat. 

Speaking excitedly about the move yesterday, Messi said he couldn’t wait to run onto the Parc des Princes – which is PSG’s famous home ground. 

Meanwhile, the people who make Paris St Germain’s merchandise – including their blue, white and red jerseys, have gone into overdrive – producing what is expected to be the most sought after new piece of soccer merch in the world … a Messi number 30 jersey. 

Oui, oui, oui!




Two very special deliveries are set to arrive at the International Space Station today: pizza for seven… and slime! A cargo ship carrying 3,700 kilos of supplies blasted off from America on Tuesday, and is due to dock today. And it has some tasty treats on board: fresh tomatoes, kiwi fruit,  and… the supplies to make pizza. All the things you might crave when you usually have to eat dehydrated space food.The rocket is also delivering slime mould, for a French educational experiment called Blob, which is being conducted by astronauts and hundreds of thousands of French school kids back on Earth. The slime mould has mystified scientists for years, because they haven’t been able to classify it as a plant, or an animal, or a fungus. For one thing, it’s made up of just one cell that doesn’t divide as it grows, but keeps on getting bigger. It has no mouth, but it can eat. And, it has multiple nuclei at the centre of the cell—typically, cells only have one nucleus. The experiment will compare how the Blobs grow in zero gravity, with how they grow in classrooms all over France. I’ve popped some pictures of how Blobs grow on Earth in your episode notes.  



And so we turn our attention to the nation’s capital Canberra … where Australia’s federal politicians make all sorts of very important decisions in Parliament House about the running of the country… while across town a bunch of scientists are busy tickling rats. Rats are often used in scientific research. It’s a contentious practice – which is a fancy way of saying there are people who are opposed to it – but many important scientific breakthroughs that have helped humans have occurred thanks to exactly this sort of research. And the scientists in Canberra want their lab rats to be as happy and stress-free as possible. So they’re mimicking the natural play that rats engage in together by tickling behind their ears and on their tummies. There’s even an online course you can do to learn how to become a verified rat tickler.. And who wouldn’t want to learn that? There’s a link in today’s episode notes explaining all ..



The Olympic Games that just ended in Tokyo saw swimmer Emma McKeon emerge as Australia’s most successful Olympic athlete ever. But who is our greatest Paralympic athlete? We wanted to know, so we’ve invited three-time goalball Paralympian Tyan (tee-ahn) Taylor to take the Squiz Kids hotseat before she heads to Tokyo this weekend to compete in the Paralympic Games starting on August 24. Get your questions in to her by lunchtime tomorrow, at [email protected] -and don’t forget to check out the cool goalball explainer video in the episode notes. Plus a big thanks to all of you who’ve sent questions in already – they’re excellent. 




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What’s the name of the lamb bringing joy in lockdown?
  2. What’s the name of the soccer star who’s just signed with Paris St Germain?
  3. What awesome foodstuff is being delivered to the International Space Station?




It’s August 12 … World Elephant Day … if you’re near one today, give it a hug …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Koji, Flynn, Jaimee & Jesse from Abbotsford, George from Balmain, Isabel from Cannon Hill, Opal from Clare, Donald from Cooladdi, Annabel from Engadine, Naishia from Glen Innes, Oscar from Gordon, Rachel from Hornsby, Mahnoor from Kalgoorlie, Sophie and Rose from Kensington, Peyton from Marayong, Ari from Melbourne, Benjamin and Ruby from Moss Vale, Charlotte from Pottsville Beach, Georgia from Pullenvale, Millie from Sydney, Kaitlin from Taralga, Nina from Thirroul, Koby from Wallaroo and Sienna from Walpole. 

Belated birthday shout outs go to … Rysharni from Jindalee, Zariah from Wallaroo and Jude from Orange.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Melbourne and Sydney are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …

Lockdown shout out to all the kids in class 3C at Hampton Primary School in Melbourne and a big happy birthday to their teacher Mr Ross.

Another herogram to Mr Wright and Mr Ridgeway at Balgownie Public School – from students Malani and Jack – who want to thank their teachers for all their hard work.  

Also to the Grade 2 students at Birmingham Primary School in Mt Evelyn who continue to smile as they smash out their lockdown 6.0. 

To Grade 2/3/4 Millfield Public School in Cessnock and to all the kids and teachers who have been in lockdown – stay strong!

And one last herogram to Huxley from Wollongong for always working hard at home during the lockdown – your mum is proud!

Plus a couple of classroom shout outs to those of you not in lockdown…

To the year 6/7’s and Miss Leonello at Balaklava Primary School in South Australia and to all the students in Grade 5 & 6 at St Pius X Primary School in Warrnambool who have just come out of lockdown and are listening to Squiz Kids every morning! 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Wally
  2. Lionel Messi
  3. Pizza