Amazing Kids! Magazine

Walking through the Rain Forest

By Jack Santillo, Alexandria, VA, Grade – K


I had no idea why they were standing there. In front of me were a toucan and a poison dart frog. Following their gaze,  I figured out that they were not looking at me, they were looking behind me. I slowly turned around and found a fierce jaguar. Fearing for my life,  I took my bow and arrow that my parents gave me a long time ago and I tried to shoot him, but I missed. With no more arrows, I searched the ground and found a stick and a sharp piece of glass. I quickly fashioned them into a spear. The jaguar was sharpening his claws. With a quick aim, I let the spear fly through the air to stop my attacker. Before the strike, the jaguar jerked to the side, making the spear fall to the ground. Thinking quickly, I had an idea prompted by the nearby poison dart frog. I grabbed the arrow that had missed the jaguar and dragged it along the poison dart frog’s skin. Hoisting up by bow, I placed my arrow in position and pulled back the poisoned arrow. Ready, aim, fire! The jaguar froze in its spot, shuddered and fell to the ground.

Waking up from my dream. I was so scared that I was shivering, but I knew I had to go to the rain forest. I got my shoes on and I was ready. Then I hiked to the forest from a nearby town in Brazil. I lived alone, so nobody was with me. I had to hunt to survive because there were no farmer’s markets near me.

While I was walking through the hot and wet forest I saw hog plums that looked like grapes; that’s what I thought they would taste like, but I would not taste them. I knew about tonka beans, though; they are for fevers. Custard apple was also for fevers. Tobacco, I knew what that did; it was for rheumatism. Neh-da-am-we, I knew was for ant bites. I learned these things from the shaman that lived in my town.

I was staring up and then I saw a porcupine, a golden lion tamarin, and a two-toed sloth. The porcupine is really protected because of his spines. I wish he was climbing, but not today. The golden lion tamarin’s jump is nimble and very quick. The two-toed sloth looks really old; it looks like he is taking a nap. The only time he moved was when he was scratching his back.

Meanwhile, the jaguar was resting in his cave. The jaguar knew where I liked to hunt, but I did not know that.

A Yanomamo boy came upon the jaguar’s cave. It’s like the jaguar had a built-in x-ray machine and he saw that a bone had been jerked out of the boy’s thumb. The boy had a little infection and it grew, and now he had a fever.

The jaguar scooped the boy up on his back and said, “Hold on, I’m going to take you to someone who can help you.”

The jaguar found me and said, “I just want you to heal him.”

I turned around, startled and scared, and aimed my bow and arrow at the jaguar.

The jaguar said, “Don’t shoot, please just heal him. I brought him to you because I don’t know how medical plants work.”

I did not know that jaguars were actually nice. I thought to myself, Should I heal him, or not?

I decided to heal the Yanomamo boy. I worked really fast. I collected tonka beans and used them for the Yanomamo boy’s fever. Then I went to a nearby lake and collected some water to wash out the boy’s infection. I rubbed the boy’s thumb with ukupuru leaves and made a cast with armadillo shell, tree stems, and vines. To build the cast first I took a few tree stems and used them to straighten the boy’s thumb; then I used a little bit of armadillo shell to keep his thumb still; the final part was to use vines to rope them on.

While the jaguar was waiting for the boy’s fever to go away, he sat by a nearby tree.

Once the boy’s fever had gone, the boy thanked me for healing him.

“You’re welcome, but who are you?”

“Thank you for asking. I am a Yanomamo boy, but not just that. I am the King of Egrets and to thank you I will also give you egret wings.”

The boy moved his hands around to mix invisible plants, then he pushed the plants onto both sides of my ribs and they became wings.

Then we decided to fly along together to help people for good. We said goodbye to the jaguar and flew away.

The End!