The Classroom Package: Reading Fun
following is taken from The Culture Connection Newsletter, written
by OneWorld Classrooms Director Paul Hurteau when he lived and taught
in Limoncocha, Ecuador:
cockroaches in my plate when I eat
Tank-like tarantulas on my toilet seat...
Taken from the poem, In A Rain Forest House
In response to the lines of poetry above, a fifth grader from Utica, NY, asked Paul Hurteau: "Did you REALLY have tarantulas crawling through your house in the rain forest?"
"Yes. In fact, the line in the poem was inspired by an actual event. One morning shortly after I moved to the rain forest, I woke up and went to go to the bathroom. I lifted up the toilet cover and there on the seat was a big hairy black tarantula. I'm glad I looked before I sat down!
I also had a pet tarantula. I called it my pet, anyway. It lived under a broken board on the side of my house. I discovered it one day when I was walking down my steps on my way to school (like most rain forest dwelling places, my house was built on stilts). After that, I checked for it each day - and started calling it George. But when George started weaving a nest, apparently in preparation to lay eggs, I had to change her name - to Georgette. Sadly (sniffle, sniffle) Georgette disappeared shortly after she made the nest.
I really like tarantulas, but some of my guests didn't appreciate them quite so much. You've heard of 'ants in your pants?' Well, one morning while getting dressed, a visiting friend put on pants with a tarantula in them! He jumped around the house a bit - but didn't get bitten. Another time one of my visiting friends, unbeknownst to her, slept with a tarantula - and smushed it to death in the process! After she left, when dismantling my guest bed, I found the poor flattened thing under the foam mattress. The next time I saw her, three months later, I told my friend who committed the crushing crime what happened - and she was shocked even then!
I was never bitten
by a tarantula the whole time I lived in the rain forest - maybe because I
was kind to Georgette. I was bitten by a big black ant, called a conga,
once and that was very, very painful, but that's another story....."
Amazon Rain Forest
The Galapagos Islands