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"Hey, lady! Want to meet my pet?"

In Boca da Valeria, Brazil, village children run to meet you. Dozens of them grasp your hand and become your new best friend, as they lead you along the pathway into their tiny village.


Other children dot the pathway watching and waiting. Many of them have brought their Amazon pets with them, too. Parrots, tapirs, monkeys, lizards, and big fat tarantulas.


The children capture tarantulas and using string,hog-tie them to branches. Then they offer them up to to photo-hungry tourists.


What you don't see is the dollar signs in this boy's eyes. The children don't speak English, but they do know the phrase, "ONE dollar."


It is a clever and harmless way (at least for the child) to earn income, in a place where income is very limited. And the children seem to enjoy the shock their "pets" inspire!


(If I was a Photoshopper, I would have overlayed dollar signs in the boy's eyes.)


For more info on these children, please see my comment in the photostream.

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Taken on January 14, 2009