Animal Tales visit Licking Elementary

Photo by Christy Porter -- Celia Armstrong introduces Elvis, a California king snake to third grade students of Licking Elementary.
By Christy Porter,

Managing Editor

Animals and insects from around the world visited the FEMA gym at Licking Elementary School Friday, Nov. 9. Celia Armstrong with Animal Tales brought a menagerie with her from Kingston Springs, Tenn. Armstrong educated and entertained the third graders beginning at 12:30 p.m. and then did a full assembly of kindergarten through third grade at 2 p.m.

There are a lot of very brave third graders attending Licking Elementary, which was important in that Armstrong needed the assistance of brave helpers. She brought with her representation of four of the six families of animals and the third graders shared their knowledge of the animal kingdom.

These were not just ordinary animals and insects; they were also famous with names such as Jaggar (as in Mick), Elvis, and Cash (as in Johnny).

Photo by Christy Porter -- Kara Charette, a local veteran bravely shares Lacucaracha, the Madagascar Hissing Roach.
Lacucaracha, a Madagascar Hissing Roach made the first appearance, along with friends. Several helpers introduced the roaches to the rest of the assembly. Said one student, “I touched it and it left white stuff on my finger; it was smooth, not slimy.”

Jaggar, a Sudan plated lizard met the children, followed by Elvis, a California King Snake. While not all the students and attendees choose to pet the snake or the lizard, the majority did.

Photo by Christy Porter -- “NO KISSES!” exclaims Shay when meeting Jeremiah, the African bull frog.
Armstrong then called for a princess and a magician helper. Shay stepped forward, being a princess and Michael came to assist. Shay was possibly hoping to find her Prince Charming, that is, until she met Jeremiah the (African) Bull Frog. Michael could work no magic to convince Shay to kiss the frog. She adamantly exclaimed, “NO KISSES!”

Cash, a coatimundi was introduced next. A coatimundi is a South American raccoon with a puppy dog’s face.

As a rousing finale, Taylor, a New Guinea Singing Dog, responded to the students’ howling. ‘Singing’ is a form of communication for this cousin to the dingo, a dog native to Australia.

It was an afternoon of entertaining education for the students, who were very involved with the presentation and were very brave.

 Photo by Christy Porter -- Fascination, excitement, wonder and distaste were emotions exhibited by students at the Animal Tales presentation.

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