Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2014 Contents August 31, 2014 • Page 2
We have two national birds here
in T&T: the Scarlet Ibis and the
The Scarlet Ibis makes its home
in the Caroni Bird Sanctuary in the
Caroni Swamp---an area set aside
by the Government for the pro-
tection of these colourful birds.
Several thousand Scarlet Ibises
nest in the sanctuary and are
often seen in large flocks during
the last two hours of daylight.
These birds feed mainly on crabs
which they seek out on the mud
flats exposed at low tide and on
the stilt roots of the red man-
grove. Their long, narrow, curved
beaks are perfect for digging in
the muddy waters for their food.
The Cocrico is a native of To-
bago and Venezuela but is not
found in Trinidad. It is often called
the Tobago Pheasant. It is about
the size of a common fowl,
brownish in colour with a long tail.
Cocricos go about in flocks of
about six and their quaint calls
can be heard in the early morning
and late evenings. They live in
trees and the bushy areas of both
the East and West side of Tobago
and feed on fruits, crops, seeds,
The Cocrico's loud call or singing
at dawn and during mating sea-
son is normally started by the
males sounding their (ka-ka-riko-
ka-ka-riko) which is then an-
swered by the females
One day, Monkey Polo and Mr Manicou
were chatting. Monkey Polo stretched and
yawned; he complained, "Boy, Manicou, I am
Manicou responded, "Well, Monkey Polo, if
you are ill, then you should hurry home while I
fetch the doctor. I am sure that he will give
you some medicine, after which you will be
Monkey Polo hurried home, while Mr Mani-
cou rushed away in the opposite direction.
Moments later, Mr Manicou arrived disguised
as a doctor. He wore a pair of eye glasses and
carried a bag. He knocked at Monkey Polo's
door and shouted in a strange deep voice:
"The doctor is here. Can I come in to attend to
From inside, Monkey Polo replied, "Oh! Yes
doctor, please lift the latch and come in. I am
Mr Manicou entered. He pulled up Monkey
Polo's eyelids and stared deep into his eyes.
He said, "Hmmm! You do look very ill indeed.
Dr Manicou then took out a mallet from his
bag, with which he tapped Monkey Polo on
the head and knees; and, shaking his head
thoughtfully, he said, "I have found your prob-
lem, and I do have the correct medicine for
From his bag, he took out a bottle of water.
He ordered, "Please open your mouth."
He then poured a gulp of water into Monkey
Monkey Polo swallowed. Mr Manicou said,
"That will get you better. I will charge you only
Monkey Polo paid the ten dollars to Mr
Manicou, who then took up his bag and hur-
ried away with a wicked smile on his face.
The next morning, Mr Manicou returned to
Monkey Polo's house and repeated the same
trick, receiving another ten dollars for the gulp
of water. Monkey Polo scratched his head in
thought, suddenly realising that the "doctor"
was not really a doctor, but Mr Manicou.
Monkey Polo resolved to himself: "I will get
Many days later, Monkey Polo heard that
Manicou had a fever. The cunning Monkey
Polo smiled to himself thinking:
"I will get back my $20 and give him a med-
ical lesson which he will never forget."
Without delay, Monkey Polo disguised him-
self to look like a doctor. He packed his bag
with needles, a hammer and a bottle of pep-
per sauce and hurried away to Mr Manicou's
house. Moments later, he called at Manicou's
"Doctor Olop is here. Is someone sick in the
Mr Manicou answered from inside, "Oh yes,
doctor, please come in, I am very ill; I need a
doctor." Monkey Polo entered. He took out a
hammer from his bag, with which he gave
gentle taps to Mr Manicou's head, knees and
Next he said: "Now, open your mouth very
wide so I may examine your tonsils. Ah-ha!
Now I see your problem, and I have the cor-
rect medicine for you; but first you must pay
me $20 before I give the medicine to you."
Mr Manicou paid him $20. Monkey Polo or-
dered, "Now, open your mouth again to re-
ceive the medicine."
In a wink, he poured the hot pepper sauce
into Mr Manicou's mouth.
"Oyoyoy! Oyoyoy!" screamed Mr Manicou as
the hot sauce burned him. At that moment,
Monkey Polo snatched his bag and scampered
away down the track.
He chuckled: "That serves you well, you
cheating Manicou. You will never again try
your dirty tricks on others."
Mr Manicou rushed to his water barrel,
where he hurriedly washed away the hot
sauce to ease his pain. Finally, he looked up
and down the track in search of the "doctor."
Then he wondered, "I know that medicines are
bitter, but boy, it seems to work well; for my
fever has gone and I now feel very well again."
Do you think Mr Manicou really learned a
lesson about his cheating ways?
Doctors of tricks
Our national birds
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