My children are a little bit jealous that I’m going on an adventure to the Amazon without them. Totally understandable. To mitigate this somewhat, I’ve recruited both sets of grandparents and set in motion Spoil-a-palooza, which I have a feeling will be far preferable to them than anything I could come up with. Grandparents sure do know how to show grandkids a good time.
Once I got that under control, they became very interested in hearing what I would be doing in Peru. “Working with animals,” I told them. Enchanted with my tales of the magical rodent that I would surely befriend, they asked what else I would be seeing down there, so I decided to craft an “Amazon Alphabet” primer.
Unfortunately, while I was working on it my husband turned on that horrifying Animal Planet show I’m Alive- you know, the one that features story after story of people messily half-devoured by bears and snatched from the meaty jaws of death mere moments before the skull crushing commences, so I wrote it while becoming increasingly paranoid about the many ways I might die on the trip. Needless to say, this turned out more Gorey than Goodall. No matter.
The Amazon Alphabet
A is for anaconda, who’ll squeeze you so tight;
B is for bushmaster, bringing death with one bite
C is for caiman, who’ll snap you in two;
D is for Dengue, a plague worse than flu
E is for eel, who’ll shock you a bit
F is for finch, who’ll sing your obit
G is for giant otter, endangered and cute;
H is for heron, who wades in the goo.
I’s for iguana, who looks blue or green
J is for jaguar, who sneaks up unseen.
K is for kinkajou, who hides in the trees,
L is for leaf cutters, who snatch up the leaves.
M is for malaria, I’ll avoid it with DEET
N is for nematode, who finds your guts neat.
O is for ocelot, aloof, seldom seen;
P’s for piranha, who’ll strip your bones clean.
Q is for queen conch, blown to signal a meet
R is for river dolphin, one that I’d love to greet.
S is for sloth, who moves slow as molasses;
T’s for tarantula, which scares me off my asses.
U for ungulate, I love tapir babies!
V is for vampire bat, who’ll gift you with rabies
W is for wasp, who stings worse than bees
X is for x-ray, which I hope I won’t need.
Y is for yellow poison frog, they’re used to make darts
Z is for zebra though they aren’t in these parts.