Corey Green, Children's Book Author, Producer of Math Learning Products
Amazing Animal Stories
PollyAawk!  This is Polygon the parrot. You can call me Polly.

I have some fun stories to share about animals around the world.

Houdini�s Parrot
History of Italian Chicken Pitchers
Penguins in Brazil?
Polygon the Parrot

Houdini�s Parrot

Neil told me this story.  Neil is a great magician.  His hero is Harry Houdini, the famous magician and escape artist.  Tie Houdini up, lock him up, and he would escape.  People loved to watch it!

Harry Houdini had a very special parrot named Pat Houdini.  Pat the parrot was an assistant to Houdini.  Pat�s specialty was picking locks.

When his master died, Pat went to live in California with Mrs. Houdini.  Mrs. Houdini decided to go for a trip back East, and she feared that hotels and friends would not appreciate a parrot.  (She�s nuts.  I think everyone loves parrots, don�t you?  Aawk, aawk, wink, wink.)

The parrot Pat Houdini went to live in a boarding home.  But not for long!  Mrs. Houdini had forgotten to tell the people who ran the boarding home that Pat could pick locks.

At the first chance he got, Pat Houdini picked the lock to his cage and hightailed it out of there.  He squawked happily as he soared off to live in freedom.

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A Chicken Pitcher Chorus

History of Italian Chicken Pitchers

This story just goes to show you that not all chickens are well, chicken.  Some are downright heroic!

The story of the chicken pitchers comes from Florence, the center of the Renaissance period in art.  The most powerful family in Florence was the Medici family.  Their only serious rival was the Pazzi family.  Both families fought incessantly.  The normal method of taking power at that time was assassination, murdering high officials.  (Aawk!  Yuck!  Violence is not the answer!)

Giuliano Medici was the brother of the leader of the Medici family.  He loved to throw parties for the country peasants who lived on Medici land.  Knowing this, the Pazzis bribed someone to suggest to Giuliano that he throw a party in the town of Gallina.  Their plan was to kill Giuliano towards the end of the party, hoping it would be easier then because everyone would have imbibed lots of wine.

Giuliano Medici brought guards, cooks and craftsmen to Gallina for the party.  The Pazzis hired killers to sneak into the town and assassinate Giuliano after the party.  The plan would have worked, but the CHICKENS saved Giuliano!

The assassins had to sneak across a yard filled with chickens to reach the sleeping Giuliano.  Their noises startled chickens, who cackled and made such a commotion that they woke Giuliano and his guards.  The men who were supposed to kill Giuliano were so surprised that they froze in place.  It was easy for the guards to catch them.

Giuliano was thrilled to be alive and decided to celebrate by hosting another party the next night.  To show his gratitude to the chickens, he ordered his craftsmen to create ceramic pitchers depicting his chickens.  He gave the pitchers to the peasants and their friends, promising these pitchers would bring good luck.  After all, the chickens had warded off his would-be assassins!

It is now an Italian tradition to give chicken pitchers to friends to bring good luck and protection from intruders.
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Penguin jumping into the sea

Penguins in Brazil?

The beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are warm and balmy.  Imagine the Brazilians� surprise when PENGUINS washed up on the shores!  It was not just one penguin, but teams of penguins that arrived on the beach.

Penguin singing?

When most people think of penguins, they think of the South Pole.  They think of happy birds frolicking on the ice, sliding around, jumping into water and generally just enjoying the freezing cold weather.  The Brazilians were concerned.

One boy said that he felt so sorry for the penguin he found on the beach, he moved it to cold water so it would not die.  Other people similarly helped the penguins.

The problem was, putting the penguins in cold water was not the right thing to do.  These penguins had become lost looking for food, but they were from Argentina, not the South Pole.  They were warm-weather penguins!  These penguins were perfectly happy in 70-80 degree weather.

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Aawk!  Bet you didn�t know that most penguins are not from the South Pole.  Animals are quite amazing!


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