Skip to main content

The Venomous Worm.

From McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader.  Guess the name given to this animal by the author.  I'll publish the results Thursday morning.  This one's harder.  Let's see if anyone comes close!

**

Who has not heard of the rattlesnake or copperhead?  An unexpected sight of either of these reptiles will make even the lords of creation recoil; but there is a species of worm, found in various parts of this country, which conveys a poison of a nature so deadly that, compared with it, even the venom of the rattlesnake is harmless.  To guard our readers against this foe of human kind is the object of this lesson.

This worm varies much in size.  It is frequently an inch in diameter, but, as it is rarely seen except when coiled, its length can hardly be conjectured.  It is of a dull lead color, and generally lives near a spring or small stream of water, and bites the unfortunate people who are in the habit of going there to drink.  The brute creation it never molests.  They avoid it with the same instinct that teaches the animals of India to shun the deadly cobra.

Several of these reptiles have long infested our settlements, to the misery and destruction of many of our fellow-citizens.  I have, therefore, had frequent opportunities of being the melancholy spectator of the effects produced by the subtile poison which this worm infuses.

The symptoms of its bite are terrible.  The eyes of the patient become red and fiery, his tongue swells to an immoderate size, and obstructs his utterance; and delirium of the most horrid character quckly follows.  Sometimes, in his madness, he attempts the destruction of his nearest friends.

If the sufferer has a family, his weeping wife and helpless infants are not unfrequently the objects of his frantic fury.  In a word, he exhibits, to the life, all the detestable passions that rankle in the bosom of a savage; and such is the spell in which his senses are locked, that no sooner has the unhappy patient recovered from the paroxysm of insanity occasioned by the bite, than he seeks out the destroyer for the sole purpose of being bitten again.

I have seen a good old father, his locks as white as snow, his step slow and trembling, beg in vain of his only son to quit the lurking place of the worm.  My heart bled when he turned away; for I knew the fond hope that his son would be the "staff of his declining years," had supported him through many a sorrow.

Youths of America, would you know the name of this reptile?

Comments

  1. By the way, I did NOT get this one. Probably because the name of the reptile is at the end of the lesson, and I didn't have to blank it out in typing out the passage.

    Maybe everyone else will be a better guesser than I was, but D also read it and didn't get it. Hm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is it a worm or a snake or a reptile? Are snakes really reptiles? I don't have a clue, but I shall guess...what are those poisonous water snakes called? Water Moccasins?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I thought water moccasin as well! But I was wrong! :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

 All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap! 

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.  

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D! 

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: