There was a hunter on a hunting expedition in the Amazon. It was the last day of the trip. He rose early in the morning to enjoy one more day in the jungle. As he was watching the sun rise, he noticed a family of large birds. The mother bird is tending to the baby birds while the father flies from place to place retrieving food for his hungry family.
While watching this scene, out of the corner of his eye the hunter catches movement on an adjoining branch to the bird’s nest. He looks closely and realizes that the movement is a very poisonous snake slowly making his way towards the mother bird and the babies anticipating an easy meal. About the same time the father bird drops food of to the nest and spots the snake. In panic the father bird quickly flies away. The hunter is disappointed thinking that the father bird has abandoned his family to a sure and certain death.
As the hunter watches the father bird's retreat he sees the bird begin to land on one tree for a few seconds only to fly to another tree and leave. This is repeated over and over until the father bird finally lands on a small bush and then the bird breaks off a leafy twig from the bush and rushes back to the nest. The serpent is dangerously close. The father bird places the leaves over the front edge of the nest closet to the snake and then he retreats to a nearby branch to watch. The serpent draws within striking range. He forms the deadly "s" and launches himself in deadly arc towards the baby birds. However, when the snake is moving forward it touches the leaf and instantly recoils as if in pain and falls out of the tree. The hunter raises his rifle and shoots the snake.
He picked up the snake and then he gets a twig off the bush the bird used and he takes it back to the village where he is staying. He shows the snake and the leaves to the villagers. He says, "I don’t understand why the snake pulled back." The villagers explained that the leaf that the father bird chose was from the only bush in the jungle that is poisonous to the snake. The father bird new how to protect his nest.
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