Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2014 Contents Anteaters are edentate animals---which
means they have no teeth. But their long
tongues are more than sufficient to lap up
the 35,000 ants and termites they swallow
whole each day.
The anteater uses its sharp claws to tear
an opening into an anthill and put its long
snout and efficient tongue to work. But it
has to eat quickly, flicking its tongue up to
160 times per minute. Ants fight back with
painful stings, so an anteater may spend
only a minute feasting on each mound.
Anteaters never destroy a nest, preferring
to return and feed again in the future.
In this August 5 photo, a baby giant
anteater clings to his mother at the zoo in
Providence, Rhode Island. The baby was
born July 25. AP PHOTO
September 21, 2014 • Page 2
It was silent that night as little Judy and her
mother slept. Suddenly, there was a noise in the
house. Judy and mother got up. "Look!" cried Judy.
"It s a mouse in the house. It ran behind that box!"
"A mouse!" exclaimed Mother. "Oh no, we can-
not allow that mouse to stay in this house! It will
soon bite holes in our clothes and eat our bread! We
will go naked and hungry. We must catch that
Quickly, they removed the box and caught the
little mouse. The angry mother took up a stick to
strike at the little creature. With tears in its eyes the
mouse looked sadly and helplessly at the woman,
who dropped the stick.
She looked at Judy, who cried, "Please Mother,
do not hurt him."
"I cannot," said Mother. "It seems so cruel; but I
will put it in a pill box. In the morning when you are
on your way to school you may throw it into the
That morning, Judy took the pill box with the lit-
tle mouse; but she did not throw it into the river;
instead, she took it to school. At lunch time she
took it out of the box and fed it with some of her
own lunch. Judy discovered the mouse to be quite
a cute pet and so decided not to throw it away like
After school, she lingered until all the other
pupils had gone home. Alone, she wandered down
the village road towards her home with the pill box
in her hand. On reaching the river, she took out the
mouse from the box. She threw the box into the
river. She held the mouse tenderly in her hand. The
little creature looked up to her with beady little
The girl took the mouse to a tree which grew on
the bank of the river. Gently, she placed the mouse
on a branch. She told the mouse, "You stay here
and live in this tree. My Mother and I are very poor.
We do not have much to eat, but every day I will
share my lunch with you.
To her surprise, the little creature spoke,
"You are a very kind little girl. I am glad that you
saved me. Some day I will repay you for your care
That night as Judy went to bed, she cried for the
little mouse. The rain came down. Judy looked out
through the window. It was dark and frightful and
Judy cried for the little animal.
When Judy and Mother were up the next morn-
ing, they opened their eyes wide in surprise to dis-
cover that the kitchen cupboard was filled with
groceries; but more surprised were they, when they
saw the mouse on a nearby chair.
It said, "From now you will never be without
food. You have been very kind to me. Now I will
forever be kind to you. I am the Magic Mouse."
At that moment the mouse disappeared. And as
the magic creature promised, Judy and mother
were never without food as they lived happily to-
A mouse in the house
Giant anteaters lap up thousands of
ants and termites every day with their
long tongues, but never destroy the
insects' hills or mounds.
These animals find their quarry not by sight---theirs is
poor---but by smell.
Anteaters are found in Central and South America,
where they prefer tropical forests and grasslands. There
are four different species which vary greatly in size. The
Silky Anteater is the size of a squirrel, while the giant
anteater can reach seven feet (2.1 metres) long from the
tip of its snout to the end of its tail. Some anteaters, the
tamandua and the silky anteater, ply their trade in the
trees. They travel from branch to branch in search of
Anteaters are generally solitary animals. Females have
a single baby once a year, which can sometimes be seen
riding on its mother's back.
Anteaters are not aggressive but they can be fierce. A
cornered anteater will rear up on its hind legs, using its
tail for balance, and lash out with dangerous claws. The
giant anteater's claws are some four inches (ten cen-
timetres) long, and the animal can fight off even a puma
Only 5,000 giant anteaters are thought to remain in
the wild. (National Geographic)
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