“She was a hardy woman now,” Violet Jacob writes in her story “Thievie,” describing the character Janet: a woman “unremarkable in feature, yet remarkable in presence,” determined to take her future in her own hands. As part of my Publishing Production project, I decided to collect seven short stories and a novella by this wonderful – and largely forgotten – twentieth-century Scottish author, all featuring her most unconventional and fascinating female characters. Titled A Hardy Woman, this collection will include fiction from The Fortune-Hunters and Other Stories (1910), Tales of My Own Country (1922) and The Lum Hat (published posthumously in 1982).
Hello Rattler-teers! Today is Endangered Species Day, a chance to learn all about rare animals across the world. It’s really important to protect these animals and their habitats, or they might not be around for much longer.
Did you know that over half of the world’s animals live in rainforests? With the rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest, this means there are lots of endangered species struggling to live there. Martin meets a few on his adventures – let’s have a look at some of them!
Jaguars are beautiful big cats who like to sneak up on their prey and pounce before they even know they’re there! Although they look like leopards, jaguars are slower and smaller, but have a powerful bite. They are also amazing swimmers and strong climbers, often found relaxing up in the trees. Jaguars are endangered because their homes are being destroyed and they have nowhere else to go. Worse, some people hunt them for their spotty fur.
Manatees are sometimes called sea cows because of their size and shape. They live their whole life in water, eating sea plants, and have big flippers to help them swim. They can even stay underwater for up to 14 minutes without coming up for air! Manatees are endangered because people used to hunt them for their meat and thick skin. Although the hunting of manatees was banned in 1974, their habitat is becoming more polluted and they are struggling to survive.
These shy creatures rarely leaves their homes to say hello, despite their size! Giant armadillos are covered in armour-like scales and have scary looking claws on their front paws. When they sense danger, they quickly use their nails to dig a hole and hide! Despite hiding from humans, giant armadillos are endangered because people are destroying their homes for farmland. Humans use their habitat to make raw materials, like sugar cane, which they use instead of oil.
GOLDEN LION TAMARIN
These tiny orange monkeys are sociable creatures and like to live in big families, sleeping together in dens in the trees. The golden lion tamarin is named after its striking bright mane and likes to eat anything it can, from insects to fruit to lizards! They are in danger of extinction because nearly all of their habitat has been cut down and they don’t have enough space to live. Some people have also captured these cute little monkeys to keep as pets, reducing their numbers significantly in the wild.
Why not celebrate Endangered Species Day by learning what is being done to help these animals live happily and safely in their natural habitat? Find out more about how you can get involved here, and check out what’s happening on Twitter here.
Martin Rattler encounters lots of exciting things throughout his adventures in the Amazon Rainforest…from “wiggly nosed tapirs” to alligators, and even spectacled bears to jaguars! Imagine if you had the chance to explore the rainforest just like Martin did. Well the exciting news is… you can! And if you are lucky enough you might even get paid to do it!
Meet Dr. Murray Collins, a real life adventurer! He currently works for the University of Edinburgh, and is also the Environmental Scientist in Residence at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). Murray has a love for tropical rain forests, conservation and tries to help protect our amazing planet.
To read about Murray’s experience of exploring the Amazon (and going fishing for piranhas!) keep an eye out for the publication of The Adventures of Martin Rattler. Murray tells us about the mysterious creatures he encounters on his travels, alongside many unknown facts about the Amazon and its inhabitants.
Did you know the Latin name for a pink dolphin is Inia geoffrenis? Don’t worry, I bet Martin doesn’t either!
Name – Aunt Dorothy Grumbit
Lives – Ashford
Occupation – Expert knitter
Favourite hobby – Knitting, and looking after her favourite nephew Martin
Favourite outfit – An old-fashioned dress with flowers the size of saucers
Favourite joke – Why is Britain the wettest country? Because the Queen has reigned there for years!
Name – Mr Arthur Jolly
Lives – Ashford
Occupation – Merchant and shipowner
Best friend – Mrs Dorothy Grumbit, he asks her to knit 2000 pairs of socks for him!
Favourite adventure – Having a huge party with Martin and all his friends
Favourite joke – What happens to a frog’s car when it breaks down? It gets toad away!
Names – Marmoset the monkey and Grampus the dog
Lives – In the wilds of Brazil
Owners – Martin Rattler and Barney O’Flannagan
Favourite adventures – Grampus running through the forest with Marmoset on his back
Favourite pasttimes – Marmoset loves drinking coffee, sleeping, and playing with Martin. Grampus loves playing games, sitting with Barney, and running really fast through the forest.
Favourite jokes – Why did the monkey like the banana? Because it had appeal! What do you get if you cross a sheepdog with a rose? Collie-Flower!
Name – Barney O’Flannagan
Occupation – Sailor
Lives – On the high seas
Pet – Grampus the dog
Best friend – Martin Rattler
Secret identity – Baron Fagoni
Favourite adventure – Looking for the diamond mines
Favourite joke – What’s a pirate’s favourite vegetable? An arrr-tichoke!