The Classroom Package: Reading Fun

A Shocking Shower

The following is taken from 'The Culture Connection Newsletter' which was written by Paul Hurteau when he lived and taught in the Amazon Rain Forest.

Have you ever taken an ant shower?  I have.  Just the other morning, I was walking up the hill from the spring where I bathe when, all of a sudden, I got a case of the willies.  I stopped and noticed that there were some ants crawling around on my feet.  Then I felt some ants on my neck and on my arms.  Then I felt some crawling down my shirt and on my back.  Soon, there were ants in my hair,
and, you guessed it, I even had ants in my pants!  I started to pick them off, but looked up and realized that I was standing right in the middle of a shower of ants and ant-nest flakes.  There was a beautiful cream-colored woodpecker drilling away at a huge ants' nest attached to a tree limb about thirty feet directly overhead.  Little did the cream-colored woodpecker know that, while it picnicked
with the ants, it was raining on my parade.  Now that's a rain forest shower!

A Costly Meal

The woodpecker enjoyed its meal, but paid a considerable price.  As it attacked the ants' nest, the
soldier ants of the colony counterattacked.  Every fifteen seconds or so the cream-colored woodpecker would fly to another branch and try to scratch, peck and shake off the counterattacking soldier ants.  After a while, the woodpecker flew wobbly to the ground and walked around as if intoxicated, apparently unable to fly.  Finally, it seemed to regain its senses and flew off.  I theorized that the soldiers were using chemical warfare.  Was I correct?




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Amazon Rain Forest  
The Galapagos Islands

Latin America Classrom Travel Resources

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