Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Circle of Life

Warning: This post is not for those with a queasy stomach – which actually includes myself. I do admit to gagging once through the whole series of events!

The instinctively curious minds of my little monkeys always ensure we are never short of learning opportunities. A prime example of this occurred last weekend while the whole family was out doing a bit of yard work. Hubby was zipping around the yard with his trimmer, whacking away the long weeds around the edge of our home. Over the buzzing and whirring of power equipment, I suddenly heard squeals of excitement. Wide-eyed Chi-Chi was screaming, “I found a snake! I found a snake!”. Sadly, his grand discovery was in sorry shape. The little garter snake he found had been badly wounded by Daddy’s trimmer. We watched with dewy eyes as the slithery little guy took his last breath.

Though the death of the snake was a sad event, we approached the situation as a learning opportunity. The big bulge in our little friend’s belly was an obvious sign that he had at least enjoyed one last hearty meal before his “accident”. I suggested that Daddy (not I) perform investigative surgery on Mr. Snake. In a blink of an eye, Daddy assembled his make-shift dissection centre comprised of an exacto knife and an old board. He slit open the tummy of the snake and out popped a complete, full size salamander! He must have been just freshly eaten as he was not yet digested. My curious little Chi-Chi immediately instructed Daddy to find out what was inside the salamander. The dissection continued. A quick incision in the salamander’s abdomen revealed two large beetle bugs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember Biology 101 providing this level of excitement! A great preschool lesson in the circle of life for all of us.

I found myself humming “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly….” for the remainder of the afternoon!

1 comment:

Becky said...

My Mum used to do dissecting with the 3 of us kids when we were younger. I specifically remember stopping to pick up fresh, dead roadkill, bringing it home and storing it in the freezer until one of us needed an interesting science project. I still remember the bluejay that had an intestine of 30 cm or somewhere around there.

We grew up in a four bedroom house in Halifax, but the three of us shared a room until we were teenagers, so we could have a common 'lab', with desks, aquariums and forest finds, complete with an animal poop collection (sanitized on cookie sheets in the oven).

Dissection will remain with your kids forever, and gives them an appreciation for the animal world that books just can't! No to mention make you the coolest Mum on the block/road!