Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Instant Death Mushroom

The interpreter was leading a group of fifteen grade three students through the forest. They came upon a pure white mushroom. Beneath its umbrella cap was a torn, ring-like annulus. At the bease of its stalk, almost buried in dead leaves, was a cup.

"Cool. A destroying angel," said the interpreter.

"Why’s it called that?" asked a boy.

"It’s lethally poisonous," said the interpreter. "If you eat one, you’ll probably die."

Another boy stepped forth to stomp it to mush.

"Why did you do that?" exclaimed the interpreter.

"You said it was poisonous," the stomper said.

"Did you think to was going to jump down your throat?"

"No..." said the boy.

The interpreter and the students walked farther along the trail.

"You know," the interpreter said, "there’s an even more deadly mushroom. It’s called the Instant Death Mushroom."

One of them eventually asked, "What does it look like?"

"No one knows for sure," said the interpreter, "because if you see it, you instantly die." The comment was met by silence. "What’s more," said the interpreter, "it’s so poisonous that if someone even tells you about it, you’ll get a headache."

"But you told us about it!" said the stomper. "Now we’re going to get headaches!"

"Oh, sorry," said the interpreter.

They returned to the parking lot, where the school bus was waiting. The teacher was waving them on. "What’s wrong, Jason?" she asked. The boy was holding his head.

The stomper pointed at the interpreter. "He told us about the instant death mushroom!"

The interpreter shrugged.

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kd said...

My head hurts! Thanks a bunch ;) !

Loved the photos and the story.


swamp4me said...

hehe...I'm pretty sure those mushrooms grow down here, too -- or at least that is how I will interpret it ;)
Love the red 'shroom.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

The is one cool looking mushroom.

BerryBird said...

Wow! That waxycap is gorgeous.

Hugh Griffith said...

Yes, it is a real eye-popper, about as red as you can get. Having another look, I just noticed that there's a sundew sticking out of that hole in the stump. There is a lot to see in a bog, down at ground level.

wiseacre said...

Thanks for the tears running down my cheeks :)