"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

The Docile Dinosaur

>> Thursday, February 21, 2013

On February 14th we (all the students, the educators, and a few adventurous crew members) set out onto Saint Eustatius to hike the Quill. The Quill is a dormant volcano- it looks like a mountain that someone took an ice cream scooper to the top of. The hike was beautiful, but a little too hot for my liking (I guess that's what I get for taking a trip to the Caribbean). The trail wound back and forth up the lucscious mountainside and was littered with exotic wildlife. At least every few minutes, I spotted another dry land hermit crab. They are peculiar little buggers about the size of a golfball and all red and purple. I also saw a red bellied racer snake and some unidentified local insects all blue with orange tentacles. The most astounding animal I encountered, however, was a rooster. He was at the very top of the mountain, a good 45 minute walk. He was certainly not the least bit shy, and seemed friendly enough. That is, until we pulled out our lunches. The instant he saw our food, he channeled his inner dinosaur and turned into the most tenacious food thief I have ever seen. He could give my dog lessons. In his attempts to steal our delicious PB-n-J sandwiches, he went so far as to hop onto Cameron's lap and try to peck the sandwich out of his hand (Happy Birthday Cameron!). Soon, however, we developed a strategy to repel his assaults; any time he came near, we would show him the underside of our feet in his face. This carried on for a few minutes with him approaching each of us in turn to find a weak link, until Mira arrived. Mira, who had been admiring the wonders of the rain forest had lagged a little behind, but when she arrived she approached our feathered terrorizer and without hestitation scooped him up in her arms. In a matter of seconds, she turned the fearless theif into a docile lap-pet. Then, calmly as ever, she ate her lunch with the lttle bugger tucked under one arm.

Joe Newlin


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