Underground animals slither and jump into Windsor Locks Public Library
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Jul. 17, 2013
With a children’s summer reading program theme of “Dig into Reading,” Windsor Locks Public Library has been making every effort to hold events that tie into a subterranean theme. On Saturday, July 12, an animal expert from the Children’s Museum in West Hartford arrived carrying several plastic crates full of ground-dwelling creatures.
The curious crowd looked on as presenter Jonah Cohen took out his first animal, an amphibian named Pac-Man. The South American horned frog sat in Cohen’s hand as he explained what its surprising diet consists of: the usual insects and sometimes even other frogs. This prompted a little boy in the crowd to ask, “Why would he do that?” Cohen responded that this frog’s mouth was bigger than the average frog, and anything that would fit inside it was a potential meal.
The second animal to come out and meet the crowd was the yet-unnamed female tarantula. This hairy spider, once someone’s pet, sat gingerly in Cohen’s hand as he explained that they will protect themselves by violently shedding their fur. Most people in the crowd sat uncomfortably, and didn’t really want to even be in the same room with the tarantula, but one young lady actually said it was “cute.”
Definitely the biggest hit of the morning’s events was the hole-dwelling, 13-inch white ferret. A squirrelly, somewhat affectionate female ferret named Corey squirmed in Cohen’s hands as he explained what a fearsome predator she is in the wild. He has to wash her scent off of his hand before even picking up another animal – she is so dreaded by other creatures. She definitely won the heart of the group, though, and some parents were probably having a “Can I get a ferret as a pet?” discussion on the car ride home.
Most of the animals the Children’s Museum uses in shows like this were once pets and were donated to the museum to be used for educational purposes. This particular program, called “Zoo Station,” is a popular, on-site class which the museum offers to groups.