Thursday, March 13, 2014

The toucan flies again - São Paulo

Toucan is my co-pilot. Toucan in the freezer bag on the way to school.

Okay, as most of you readers know, I have been in possession of a frozen toucan for about a week. It's all explained in this blog about my BMIL but to summarize, a toucan was killed at the ranch in Ribeirão Preto last week. It made a wrong move near the electric transformer.  It is in perfect condition--seems that there may be a slight burn on one wing (it is a little browned) but the feathers are in great shape, the beak technicolor and it looks like it could wake up and wing off at any time.

So Toucan has been in the freezer here with the barbecue meat (who's coming over?) and today I brought him to the kids' classrooms for show and tell. (sorry, no photos because I have a policy about photos of kids and identifying my kids' school). 

I was there for reading mum with the first graders, and it was an hour of anticipation until I got free to support the presentation. I have to say again and again how much I love my kids' school. It is all about experience as part of learning. And of course, the last unit of the year last year was the rainforest--the classrooms split up into smaller groups to study certain animals. One of my sons was in the coral snake group and one in the jaguar group. There was a toucan group too.

In one son's classroom, the kids were amazed and excited by the bird. They all wanted to touch it. They all wanted to know more about how we got it. In the other room, the kids split into a large group who went crazy for it and wanted to pet it and hold it and then a much smaller group of (mostly girls. oh all right, to be honest, it was all girls) who yelled "How disgusting!". 

Let me make it clear that there were two girls in the toucan group who helped me tell about the toucan and they were not at all disgusted. They were excited to meet their research subject (albeit a dead research subject). They told the class about what toucans ate, that there were five types of toucans, and one kind was extinct--the green-beaked toucan.  Other kids piped up with more information about what they ate (fruit, lizards, eggs). 

As for the two girls who yelled about how disgusting a dead animal is, I met up with them in the girls bathroom as I went to wash my hands. They were still squealing and hugging because of a dead bird. I asked them if they ate beef. They said yes. I said, you do know that is a dead animal, right? So, sorry about turning your kids vegetarians, moms, but you need to buck them up a bit if you want them to get into Wellesley.

A few other teachers came by to see about the ruckus. It was a wonderful ten minutes out of a day full of chores (I am now home waiting for the painter, the security camera guy and the stove repair guy). Next stop for the toucan is yet to be determined. I am talking to a mom of one of the kids because she works for a NGO that works with saving the rainforest. I will also contact USP to see if they want it for their small animal museum.

For now, my frozen toucan is back with the barbecue meat. I might be as everyday crazy as the BMIL.

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