Why the Ostrich Hides its Head

Why the Ostrich Hides its Head
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.36

     challenging words:    embarrassment, jerky, multiplied, ostrich, swarm, tar-black, tales, sleek, devil, photographer, warning, crest, agreement, faraway, doing, peace

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Why the Ostrich Hides its Head
By Colleen Messina

1     Long ago, when animals could talk to each other, they all played together in a green, faraway land. A shining tiger with tar-black stripes, a fat elephant, and a flock of red-and-gold parrots lived together in peace. The sleek tiger gave fitness advice. The elephant organized games. The parrots talked all day. The ostrich told tall tales, and the snake always told the truth, even when it hurt.
2     One day the tiger was doing stretching exercises down by the river. The elephant was rolling in the muddy water while the bright parrots gossiped. The snake just relaxed in the hot sun. All was well until the ostrich came back from her morning run across the golden plains. She had seen a dust devil! The choking dust made her panic. As she ran to the river, the tiny dust devil became bigger and dustier in her mind until...
3     "I saw a tornado!" she screamed as she came to the river.
4     The tiger stopped stretching. The elephant stomped off. The parrots flew away with shrieks of fear. The snake slithered down his dark hole to safety.

Paragraphs 5 to 15:
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