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Are We There Yet?: Snakes and Swords and Fish, Oh My!

By Rebecca Dravis
Special to iBerkshires
This one's for the boys!
My own life is all about girls. I have a daughter. She plays with girls. I work for the Girl Scouts. So I think I naturally gravitate toward events that will please the girls in my life.
But this week I stumbled across a couple of weekend events that should be particularly appealing to the boys out there: swords and snakes. (Not to say girls won't like them, too; I think my daughter could do without the snakes but she loves swords!) Unfortunately, they are both at the same time, the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 25, so you will have to pick one or the other.

First up is the sword presentation at the Mason Library, which is aimed at those ages 9 and up. Jeff Goodhind and Jeff Lord from the Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship will demonstrate the art of Western European swordsmanship over the centuries from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Then you can try your hand at (blunt) sword combat in a fun, hands-on activity. The Mason Library is located on Main Street in Great Barrington; for details visit gblibraries.org.
The snake presentation is also at a library: the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield. Tom Tyning, professor of environmental science at Berkshire Community College, will present a talk titled "Snakes: Biology, Conservation & Stories" at 2 p.m. For more information, visit pittsfieldlibrary.org.
It's worth noting here that both of these events are free, which is almost always the case when one of our local libraries hosts a program. These wonderful facilities located in almost every town in the Berkshires offer so much to the community -- fun programs like these, books and DVDs, computer and Internet access and even just a warm, fun place to hang out on a cold winter afternoon. There is actually a National Library Week in April, but really, every week should be library week.
I have one more event to mention, if you're looking for something for younger kids or something to do on Sunday: The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia will present Leo Lionni's "Swimmy & Federick Inch by Inch" at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26. Using whimsical puppets, imaginative lighting and original music, the group will tell the tale of Swimmy, a tiny fish who uses ingenuity to fend off danger; Frederick, a poetic mouse who makes everyday life an artful experience; and a third story about a lovable inchworm who shares his facility for measuring absolutely everything. Tickets are $10; find more information here.
Snakes and swords and fish, oh my!
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