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Animal Themes
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Cobras



Cobras
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.87

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    profession, attention-grabbing, audacious, charmers, lapse, neurotoxins, offenders, pallida, timely, turban, courageous, highly, cross-legged, entertainment, performer, hence
     content words:    Sri Lanka, Ophiophagus Hannah


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Cobras   

1     In Sri Lanka and India, there is a risky job. The performer must be cautious of his every move. A lapse in concentration could very well result in a trip to the hospital! This dangerous job of snake charming involves one of the world's most deadly snakes, the cobra.
 
2     When the snake charmer, usually wearing a turban and sitting cross-legged, is ready for his act, he opens the lid of a basket. A cobra rears up and spreads its hood. The snake charmer plays a flute, and the cobra seems to be hypnotized by the music and sways with the rhythm. If the snake charmer is exceptionally courageous, he may even bend down to kiss the cobra's head!
 
3     Did you know that the cobra is responding to the movement of the flute and not the music? It turns out that cobras are nearly deaf. What causes them to sway is the flute that snake charmers move about so skillfully. Cobras view the instrument as a threat. If snake charmers keep the flute still, the cobras would return to the baskets. As for the bold show of kissing the snakes' heads, snake charmers know that cobras cannot strike upward. As a result, they dare to carry out this stunt.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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