By Jamie Lomax
Hunger gnawed at my belly. I needed to find food. There had to be something to eat here in this jungle. I maneuvered carefully through the dense foliage, ducking under giant leaves. Then a extremely sweet smell caught my attention. The scent was so appetizing, I had to follow it. It led me to a large green tunnel. The food must be inside, I thought. So I slowly crawled into the tunnel. As I traveled the length of the tunnel, I noticed something. The further I crawled, the smaller the tunnel got. I should have known then, that something was terribly wrong. But the sweet smell called me, my limbs moving downward almost beyond my control. Then the tunnel grew slick, and I slid down, my legs grappling for purchase. Suddenly, I landed into a puddle at the bottom of the tunnel. My stupor at the hard landing was replaced by a burning sensation. I tried to get up, but pain in my legs prevented it. I looked down and realized that the puddle was dissolving my legs! I struggled to get up and climb back up the tunnel, but it was too slippery and spikes I had not noticed in my rush to get to the food prevented my escape. All the while, more of the noxious, burning liquid poured in. I knew I would die in here. At this point, I didn't care, as death would end the pain I was in. The last thing I remembered, as the pain overwhelmed me, was a booming voice.
"Our next exhibit, folks is a special type of carnivorous plant known as the pitcher plant." the tour guide at the nature center announced. "They trap insects by luring them in with a sweet-smelling nectar. When the insect tries to get to the nectar, it falls in and is slowly dissolved by an acidic compound in the nectar." "Eww!" a little girl cried. A boy in the tour group looked closely at the plant. "Cool! This one just caught a fly!"