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THE REEF ROOM (in photo at ritkt) is the hands-down favorite
of children visiting the Museum of Coastal Carolina for Story Time
or anytime. The "underwater" diorama depicts sea life indigenous
to North Carolina. Above , Luke Fausett of Frankfort, IntL, puzzles
over Native American artifacts during his family 's fourth annual
visit to Ocean Isle Beach. Below, volunteer Carol J ones coaches
museum regular Ben Powell, 5, of Bentree Plantation, on how to
make a coaster out of Popside sticks, some glue, shells, paint and a
museum patch. The museum 's Tuesday and Thursday Story Time
is designed to entertain children with tales and crafts and to give
them a special child "s-eye view of the exhibits there.
BY BILL FAVEB
Those of us who
occasionally try our hand
at crabbing can marvel at
iiK story recorded by Join
Lawaon, the explorer who
may have been in
Brunswick County around
1701. He wrote a journal
natural resources in the
Caroiinas and included
the tak of the "Crab
r Lawaon told of how the
jaccooa greatly adnsirss
crabs and bow the crabs
I were plentiful in Carolina.
Then he relates the
raccoon's method of
FAVER ""SSfv- . .
When he intends to
make a Prey of these Fish, he goes to a Marsh, where
standing on the Land, he lets his Tail hand in the
Water. This dte Crab takes for Bait, and fastens his
Claws therein, which as soon as the Raccoon
perceives, he, of a sadden, springs forward, a
considerable way, on the Land, and brings the Crab
along with him. As soon as the Fish finds himself oat
of his Element, he presently lets go his hold; and them
dte Raccoon encounters him, by getting him cross
wise in his Month, and devours him.
You can believe ii ui out, inn Richard waiser uses
this fish story in Tfcrheel Laughter as an early example
of humor among writers in our State. Since reading
about this crab-catching raccoon, I've thought about
how exciting it would be to see such a spectacle, or to
record the raccoon jump with crab utattod on film.
Wc assy as: be able wMci lauvun failing for
crabs just like this story portrays, but we do have the
opportunity to be alert to the many other things
happening all around us among the birds and insects
and small mammals. One special pleasure of being
along the coast is the abundance of wildlife, not quite
as plentiful as John Lawson saw it, but still pretty
amazing when compared to other ports of our country.
? ? mi ii ? ? ? ? ? . ? i? ? i iw ra? , ? I
Learning Is Fun
Museum's Story Time Piques Kids' Curiosity
BY LYNN CARLSON
jraaaaaayvyyy' Hie childrea !
Y harmony of accents both Southern and
Midwestern. It's time to visit the Reef
Room ? to walk the plank between those two dark
halves of the die rama depicting all the scary -but
fascinating creatures who live in the deep off the
South Bauncwick Islands.
The official name of this outing is Story Time,
but the term is really too limiting. The tales that
will come out of this day are not necessarily
make-beiieve. betnany trom Indiana and Byron
from Florence will go home and tell dad about the
alligator in the Swamp Room, the shark in the
Suf Ruuut, inc lOMximcni of snakes and Ute
delicate fawn in the glass cases they saw today at -
the Ocean Isle Beach Museum of Coastal
No question about it ? Story Time is about the
best babysitter you can get for a buck. The
program is new at the museum this year and takes
place every Tuesday from 1-2:30 p.m. and every
Thursday from 3-4 JO. On one of the diys,
children are read or told a story by a trained
volunteer, on another, they participate in a craft
projcct. Both days they get a tour of the nwiim,
which is chock fall of exhibits designed to pique
tbe curiosity of young minds and teach than to
appreciate the natural world around them.
On a recent Thursday afternoon, IS children
gathered in the museum conference room for
Story Time. Volunteer Carol Jones helped them
make coasters adorned with a Museum of Coastal
Carolina patch and tiny seashelh, They played
Carol's "shell game," choosing a shell from a
table and matching it to the corresponding shell
on an exhibit board.
It was as entertaining to the four-year-olds aa
the 11 -year-olds ? in fact, also to the moms who
had accompanied their kids to Story Time. "I
never knew this as anything other than a Devil's
Pocketbook," one mom said as her daughter
proclaimed the mystery item to be a skate egg
UNDSEY AND BEN Fox of Ocean Ide
Block learn to identify local seaskeUs.
Then it was tour time, beginning with the
beautiful new Swamp Room, featuring artist Vic
Gillispie's gently curved backdrop depicting the
coastal savannah. The children delight in finding
the lifelike preserved animals which populate the
diorama ? bobcat. Mack bear, alligator, white
tailed deer, mink, otter, wild turkey, even a baby
fox not much bigger than a grown-up's hand.
Only a woman with nine grandchildren under 6
years old could handle it the way Martha Benton
does. Benton, who manages the museum's
volunteers and visitors, has a way of making
every visit a new and exciting experience ? even
for two of her own grandchildren who can answer
all the questions and know the museum as well as
their own bedrooms.
One young participant pulls a shark's tooth out
of his pocket and tries to find the kind of shark it
came from, carefully examining each of the
museum's specimens of sharks' jaws. He thinks
he's found it, and Volunteer Jones thinks he might
be right "Why's mine Mack and those are
white?" he asks, and learns a little mini-lesson
about fossilizstjon from ?Hr vrJufrtrrr "Cod," the
kid says ? the ultimate compliment coining from
an eight-year-old boy.
It takes the children a few minutes to identify
the full case of Civil War rifles preserved in a
saltwater tank in the museum's lobby/gift shop.
They're rusty and all stuck together, but the
children seem to be impressed that the gun still
exist in some form after 100 yean.
Everything in the Museum of Coastal Carolina
is native to coastal North Carolina. Its taxidermy
collection includes birds, fish, snakes and animals
Ime and crri?ll *!!????'? *? ???*?? ^
Room, with authentic Native American tools
mounted on reproduction handles, and a real
There are exhibits which move ? one
how the beach differs from season to season,
another which shows the rise and fall of the tide.
There's a map/clock for discovering what time it
is anywhere on the globe, and whether it's day or
night there, whether it's today or tomorrow.
In the Reef Room, the children learn about
loggerheads and leatherbacks. The children who
have seen turtle eggs hatching tell the ones who
haven't all about it, how people with flashlight!
lead the hatchlings to the sea.
They learn that sharks have so bases, saiy
cartilage, and that when they go to Shark Haven,
there is ultimately nothing left of them but their
teeth. They take a minute to study the 18th
century shipwreck from Lockwood Folly Inlet
which was washed up during Hurricane Hugo
It's an actioo-packed hour-and-a-half, the
perfect diversion for kids who've had a little too
much sun and salt and need a change of activity.
Ask anyooe who's been. They'll tell you it's cool.
Story Time takes place Tuesdays, 1-2:30 p-m. and
Thursdays, 3-4:30 p.m. Cost is $1 per child, $2
per accompanying adult There are mo age limits
for participating children.