Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ravens are very smart

There is not much vocabulary in this article (but the vocabulary is pretty useful); however, I liked the video of a raven which seemed to deliberately (not accidentally) seek help from a person, after the raven had had a bad experience with a porcupine.

Here's what a raven looks like:

What's a porcupine?  It is an animal that has many protective 'quills.'  A quill is very sharp and tends to stick into an animal which attacks it.  In fact, I think the porcupine can 'shoot' its quills when it feels threatened (when it believes it is in danger).  Somehow this young raven in the video got too close to a porcupine and the porcupine struck the raven with a few quills.  But, ravens are pretty smart, so this raven got some help from a kind lady.

Here's what a porcupine looks like:


The article and video:

http://gawker.com/raven-asks-human-for-help-with-painful-quills-after-por-787258723

Vocabulary from the article/video:

a splinter - this is a little tiny, sharp piece of wood that can stick into a person's skin.  When a child gets a splinter (usually in his/her finger) he/she runs to his/her mom/dad and gets it removed.

to holler and screech - holler means yell and screech means to yell in a very high pitch.  Men tend to speak in a lower pitch while women tend to speak in a higher pitch.

fledgling - a fledgling teacher is a new teacher, a fledgling baseball player is just beginning to play baseball...so this was a young raven just starting to learn about the world.

borne the brunt of an attack - suffered the consequences of an attack.  The 'brunt' of an attack could be considered the 'main force' of an attack.  "to bear the brunt of something" is an idiom you hear every once in awhile.  Let's say that you are working on a project with a group, but you are doing most of the work.  You could say, "I am bearing the brunt of all the work for this group."  You are carrying most of the weight.

extracting - removing.  A dentist might extract a bad tooth.

Quoth the raven - this means, "The raven said..."  There is a famous poem which was written by Edgar Allen Poe in the 1800s called The Raven.  He uses the phrase "Quoth the raven: nevermore!" in the poem.  It's very old fashioned language.

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