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Why the Possum's Tail Is Bare (A Cherokee Legend)



Why the Possum's Tail Is Bare (A Cherokee Legend)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 1
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   1.67

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    brushed, ceremonial, fluffy, grounds, snakeskin, weeds, tail, across, back, barber, beat, brush, cross, dead, dirty, each


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Why the Possum's Tail Is Bare (A Cherokee Legend)
By Kathleen W. Redman
  

1     Long ago most animals had tails. Rabbit had a long tail. It was very soft and fluffy. It was very pretty. Possum had a long tail, too. It was as pretty as Rabbit's tail.
 
2     Rabbit did not like Possum. He made fun of Possum's tail. He bragged about his own tail.
 
3     "I have a pretty tail, too," Possum said.
 
4     All the animals decided to have a contest. They would find out who had the prettiest tail. The contest would be on the other side of the river. They would meet there at sunrise.
 
5     Many animals wanted to be in the contest. They had to cross the river to go to the contest. They worried that their tails would get wet. Their wet tails would not be pretty for the contest. Possum worried about the weeds and the mud by the river. He was afraid his tail would look ugly. He would not beat Rabbit.
 
6     Rabbit learned that Possum was worried. He found his friend Cricket. Cricket was a barber. He cut hair.
 
7     "Go see Possum," Rabbit said. "Tell him you will wrap his tail in a snakeskin to keep it clean."
 
8     "Why do you want to help Possum?" Cricket asked.

Paragraphs 9 to 19:
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