And a Bag Full of Seeds

Most of us get a nickname before we ever go to school, but John Chapman got his when he was a grown man. Johnny Appleseed was his nickname and he got it by planting apple seeds.

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He was a man who believed that each person should do something to help others. Because he was not rich, he had to help in a way that didn’t cost money. And he knew about apples. He knew that where sweet clover grows, an apple seed will probably become a tree. He also knew where to get plenty of free apple seeds.

He lives near cider mills-places where apples are squeezed to get juice for drinking. The seeds were being thrown away. So he filled a small boat with apple seeds and went down the river.

He found a good place to plant his apple seeds. They grew into an apple forest. Travelers passing by were given small trees so they could raise their own fruit. John Chapman’s trees gave him more and more apples-and more and more seeds!

He lived at a time when people traveled west across America in covered wagons and one day he set out across the countryside to plant still more trees. Some people thought he was foolish, for the trees needed a lots of care. Yet every year- for almost 40 years- he traveled back and forth over the land, tending and planting.

One year the people noticed that the trees were neglected. The reason was that John Chapman had died. Few people knew his real name. But nearly everybody in the Ohio-Mississippi River country knew Johnny Appleseed. They knew him and loved him.

Even today he is not forgotten.Surrounding his grave are some of his beloved apple trees. They get the best care. And- in memory of him-there is a picture of Johnny Appleseed on a postage stamp.

Insect Castle Builders

These ants are carrying food to an anthill. To a tiny ant, the anthill must seem as large as a great castle seems to us.

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The ‘ant castle’ is a mound of sand and dirt where thousands and thousands of ants live and work. Just as in a real castle, soldier ants guard the anthill day and night to protect it from enemies. A queen ant rules over it. In the anthill are special rooms where food is kept. There are other rooms for baby ants.

Outside the anthill, deadly wars are sometimes fought!Here’s how a red soldier ant would look through a magnifying glass. With those long, hairy feelers, or antennas that stick out from its head, it can do many things. It can talk with other soldier ants by tapping them with its feelers. It smells with its feeler, too. That’s how it knows whether another ant is a friend or an enemy.

When enemies are dangerously near, soldier ants rush out of the anthill to fight them. Ant guards stay close to the queen to protect her. Sometimes the soldier ants capture prisoners and carry them back to the anthill, where they must live and work until they die or escape. Ants-and people-are among the few living things that for, armies for battle.

Like a castle, an anthill has may rooms and the ants make tunnels through the earth from room to room. The queen of the ants lays her eggs in a special room in the anthill. The queen is the mother of all the ants, but she doesn’t take care of them. Instead the other ants feed the queen, keep her clean and protect her.

There are special rooms for storing eggs.Here nurse ants get ready to take care of the baby ants about to be born.In another room, food is stored. Ants carry food to the room in their big jaws. These ants are digging out a new room. The anthill is growing.

The ‘ant castle’ doesn’t have a barn or a stable, but in this room the ants keep tiny green insects. The ants get sweet juice from these insects,or aphids. Some people call the aphids the ants’ cows!

Thousands and thousands of ants stay together in an anthill. Somehow each one seems to know its own special job. Ants share their food, and they also share the work that must be done to keep each one fed and sheltered and safe. Because they work together, ants can do things as a group that no single ant could do alone.

Animal Partners

No, that’s not the huge jaws of the crocodile clamping down on the little plover bird. It’s the beak of the plover snatching food from the between wrinkles of the crocodile’s thick skin.

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In a way, the giant crocodile and the tiny bird are friends. They help each other. The birds picks off leeches and other bothersome water creatures that sticks to the crocodile’s skin. Sometimes the crocodile dozes with its frightful mouth open. Some people say the bird even goes inside its mouth to look for leeches or to pick food between its teeth.

The bird pays the crocodile for its meals by squawking loudly when enemies are near and the crocodile is warned.

A lizard and a bird called the petrel are friends, too. They even live together in a nest under the ground . The petrel builds the nest. The lizard keeps it clean by eating lice and other pests that keep creeping in.

Although the nest is not large, each has enough room to sleep. That’s because the lizard stays at home and keeps house all day while the bird is out flying around. Then when the bird wings its home at night, the lizard goes out hunting.

A zebra and an ostrich-now there’s a nice pair. Zebras and ostriches sometimes roam together and take turns warning each other when the danger is near.

On sunny days the ostrich, which can see much better and farther than the zebra, is the lookout or scout. On cloudy days or when it’s growing dark, the zebra is the leader. The zebra hears better and has a sharper sense of smell than the ostrich. When it gets too dark to see, the zebra uses its ears and nose.

The big horn of an angry rhinoceros is one of the most dangerous weapons in the world. With its horn a rhinoceros can butt down a tree. It can protect itself from lions and tigers. Most people and creatures stay away from a rhinoceros-except for one little bird.

This bird is the rhino’s partner. It is always welcome to perch on the rhino’s back. That’s because the bird sits there and eats the tiny insects are called ticks. The bird is known as the tick bird. So-because it hates the ticks that a tickbird like even the dangerous rhino has a friend.

The little bird called a honey guide flies high over the trees and bushes looking for a hive or a hollow tree where the bees keep their honey.When the honey guide sees the hive, it flies quickly to a small furry animal called ratel. By chattering loudly from the air, the honey guide leads the ratel to the honeycomb.

Now it’s time for the ratel to do its share of the work. It tears into the bee’s nest with its strong, sharp claws. It heavy, black and white fur protects it from the angry bees. After the ratel has eaten its fill and scared some of the bees away, it’s the honey guide’s turn.

These are just a few of the creatures that help each other. Some are strong, some are weak, some are fast, some are slow, some are big, some are small.

How to Catch a Giraffe

How did the giraffes you see in this picture get to the zoo?
They weren’t born in zoo.
They didn’t walk or run or swim to get to the zoo.

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These giraffes had to travel many miles over mountains and rivers and even cross an ocean before they reached the zoo.

The story of their journey begins on the hot, dusty plains of Africa when these long-legged, long-necked fellows were only one year old.

The men who trap wild animals say this is just the right age for a giraffe to be captured. A one year old giraffe is small enough to be shipped to the zoo without getting hurt. And being fed by and cared for by strange people doesn’t seem to frighten it for very long.

Catching almost any wild animal is difficult and often dangerous. The giraffe is one of the fastest to all animals. Animal trapped can’t run nearly so fast as a giraffe. So when they go hunting giraffes for a zoo, the hunters ride in high-wheeled automobile that can go rolling over the grasslands where there are no roads.

When they get very close, the hunters act like cowboys- maybe we could them giraffeboys. They stand up in the automobile and whirl a rope and try to drop the lasso loop over the giraffe’s head. Roping the giraffe is only the beginning of the job.

The giraffe is then herded into a high, open crate and taken by truck to an animal camp. It’s kept there until the animal trainers and doctors who run the camp decide the giraffe is ready for the trip to the zoo.

Now, a giraffe is no ordinary animal. Its neck and legs are so long that it can’t be shipped on an airplane. And so with one the trainers the giraffe rides in a truck on a train and finally on a ship. The trainers makes sure that the giraffe eats the right foods and is kept safe and warm on the long journey.

After the ship lands, the giraffe gets one last rid on a truck and train-to the last stop. The zoo!

Except for the fat, heavy animals like the rhinoceros most wild animals are shipped to zoos by airplane. For animals that are used to living in deserts or jungles, the airplanes are heated.

Can You See It?

Can you find the moth in this picture? Unless you look very carefully you may not see it. Its color is so much like that of the plants growing on the bark of the tree that the moth is almost invisible. Not only is it invisible to us but more important it’s invisible to birds and other small animals that capture moths for food.

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Many animals have this kind protection. They look so much like the leaves or bark or moss or rocks around them that enemies can’t easily find them.

No matter how closely it matches the scenery, no animal can stay hidden when it is moving. It’s same way when you’re playing hide and seek. If you stay still, the one who is it sometimes doesn’t see you. When you move, he does!

Some animals can’t stay still for very long. So their color changes as they move from place to place. When the flounder rests on pebbles on the ocean bottom, it becomes spotted. It is brown when it is on mud and sandy colored when it is on the sand.

The color of the snowshoe rabbit’s fur doesn’t change when it hops from the place to place. But it does change when the seasons change. In the winter the snowshoe rabbits seems to be just a soft mound in snow. But in the fall its fur becomes the color of the fallen leaves. Even a sharp-eyed fox might pass by without seeing it.

Exploring the Amazon River

Bernardo is dark-haired, bright-eyed schoolboy who live in a big city in Brazil. Like many Brazilians, he’s part Indian, part Portuguese and part Negro.



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Every day on his way to school he passes a government office where he stops to look at big sign in window.

The sign is written in Portuguese the language Bernardo speaks. It says Marcha para o Oeste! This means, Go West!.

Bernardo knows that his government wants young people to be pioneers in the wild and mysterious land around the Amazon River. Some of this land has never been explored.

Bernardo’s teacher says that when the land is cleared and settled and turned into cities and farms it will be one of the richest places in the world.

Bernardo would like to be a pioneer in this land when he grows up. Underneath the sign Bernardo sees a large map of South America. The thick line that cuts across Brazil all the way from the Andes Mountains in Peru to the Atlantic Ocean is the mighty Amazon River. The other lines that flow into it are great rivers, too. All together they make up the greatest river system in the world.

Bernardo’s eyes light up when he thinks of the places along the river that are unexplored. What if he should be the first to explore those places? Perhaps he would discover oil or gold or even diamonds.

The Bernardo’s eye darken. What if he should fall into the water and n=be eaten by crocodile?or suppose a savage shot him with poisoned arrow?

It looks as if exploring the Amazon is not so simple as the sign seems to be saying. He will have to think about it for a while and maybe talk to his teacher about it.

“This is what Bernardo’s teacher tells him:

” The mighty Amazon River begins in streams that come tumbling down from the snowy Andes Mountains in Peru. Farther on it flattens out and becomes a wide, lazy, slow-moving river. If you were traveling down the Amazon in a boat, Bernardo all you would see slong the banks would be green, green,green!Thousands of miles of trees-tall trees, middle sized tree and small tree.

“There are a few river towns but most of them are hundreds of miles apart.There are not any large cities and almost no signs of live. The air is hot and damp-like the air in a tiny bathroom when the hot water has been running into the tub a long time. There is a sound of water dripping from the leaves-for it rains here everyday. Nothing ever quite dries out. Even in the noonday sun, warm mist rises up from the dark, wet forest floor. Clouds form above the trees. The clouds pour down rain.

“This is the largest tropical rain forest in the world. Actually the forest is full of living things. Some of them exist nowhere else in the world.Bernardo would like to take a swim. But even though the day is so hot, it is not good idea to take dip in the Amazon to cool off. The floating, mossy log might not be a log! It might be a dangerous crocodile.

And there is harmless looking fish called the piranha. Hundreds of these fish attack at once. They can eat a large cow or a grown man in minutes. There are electric eel, which can hurt a person with an electric shock. And along the shore there is the anaconda one of the world’s largest snake. It can swallow a deer whole.

The insects in the rain forest are even worse. There are mosquitoes that carry diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever.

Today there are better ways to fight the jungle than there ever were before. There are medicines to protect people from jungle fever and poisons.Someday some of these towns may be cities like New York and Paris and London. Those great cities were once wilderness, too.

The Boy Who Conquered a Horse

“Nobody can ride that horse! It’s too wild.”

That was the everybody said. King Philip of Macedonia wanted to buy the beautiful young horse. But the animal had never been ridden and was o wild and nervous that it seemed as if no one could ever control it.

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The king’s young son, Alexander had been watching the horse closely. He thought he could ride it. While his father watched anxiously Alexander swung himself onto the horse’s back. In a few minutes he was riding as if he and the horse had been friends for years.

King Philip bought the horse and gave it Alexander. Alexander named it Bucephalus and rode it everywhere.

This wasn’t the last time Alexander did what nobody thought could be done. While he was still a teenager, he led his father’s royal troops in battle. When he was 20 years old, his father was killed and the Alexander became king. He led his army against the great empire of Persia and won every battle against the Persian king and his huge army. But Alexander didn’t stop there.

He led his army farther and farther over mountains and through deserts always riding Bucephalus. For more than ten years he and his troops pushed on-fighting hostile tribes, building new cities.

In time, Alexander and his great horse led the army all the way to India. There, 3,000 miles from home, Bucephalus died. Alexander built another new city there and named it Bucephala after his horse.

The Alexander turned homeward. He needed to take care of all the lands he had already conquered. And besides, his soldiers were weary and wanted to get home to Macedonia.

All this happened more than 2,000 years ago. Alexander died while he was still a young man. Nobody knows what he would have done if he had lived longer. But he had already conquered so much of the world that people still call him Alexander the Great.

Where Am I?

In the land of pale blue snow
Where it’s ninety-nine below
And the polar bears come creeping o’er the plain..
I’ll come back when the ice worm nests again.

This is the part of a song that some people sing a little town on the banks of great northern river. Ice worms, like Jack Frost, are just make believe. The man who wrote the song means he will never come back and is glad of it.

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The land around the town is empty and still. It looks something like the surface of the moon. But scattered groups of Indians and Eskimos live on the frozen ground. They camp near the places where they can fish, and trap fur-bearing animals. Now and then the Eskimos and Indians come into town to sell fish and animal hides.

In winter it stays dark here almost all the time. In summer it stays light almost all the time and people have to pull down the window shades to get any sleep!

Many people would find this town very lonely. They’d miss the sound of cars, the smell of flowers and tall buildings. Other people would love the stillness and peace of the little town. They’d love the rosy light that the sun makes the snow fields in spring and the soft blue light that night brings.

Have you guessed where this town is? It’s a place with a strange-sounding name-Aklavik.

In the Eskimo language Aklavik means “place where there are bears.”

This Eskimo town is far north on the continent of North America. It’s in Canada, where the McKenzie River flows into the Arctic Ocean-not so very far from the North Pole!

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More About Airplanes

A glider is very much like an airplane except the most gliders have no engines. Because of this most gliders need help to get up in the air.

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Sometimes the glider is hitched to a car with a long towrope. The car pulls the glider to give it a lift into the air. Or an airplane may pull the glider to give it a start.

As soon as the glider is high enough to soar, the glider pilot lets his end of the towrope drop. Now the glider has no more help. It has only its wings to keep it in the air.

Some gliders have stayed up for as long as two days. They have soared for 500 miles and climbed almost 9 miles-all without engines to help them!

How can they do this?

The glider pilot knows that once a glider is up in the air it can never go higher unless the air is under under it is moving upward. When the air moves up, it lifts the glider.

Where can a glider pilot find air moving upward?

He knows that air moves up the sides of a mountain. He often soars into this upward moving air to get a lift.

He knows that hot or warm air moves up, and the cold air moves down. He also knows that open fields, cities, sand, rocks and fields of grain are likely to have heated air moving up from them. He looks for these and guides his glider into the rising air going around and around and up and up.

When he gets high enough, he soars out of the heated air and glides where he wants to go until he is down so low that he needs to look for more rising air.

Thunderstorms have rising air, but soaring inside these storms can be dangerous because of hail and bumpy winds. Even so, some glider pilots have soared inside thunderstorms to study them.