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Mammals
The Mammal Behind the Mask



The Mammal Behind the Mask

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 2 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.98

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bandit, finding, hoodlum, nocturnal, skunk, raccoon, driveway, rings, crayfish, omnivores, left, marking, master, actually, caption, share


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The Mammal Behind the Mask
By Erin Horner
  

1     Caption: A raccoon (on left) and a skunk share a snack of dry cat food.
 
2     Watch out! There's a burglar on the loose! Last night I heard someone rummaging around in my driveway. This morning my trash can was knocked over! Someone or something had been digging through our trash. One neighbor saw the bandit. He said it looked like the hoodlum had a mask over his eyes. He also said that the creature was between two and three feet long. Who had been stealing my trash? A raccoon!

 
3     Raccoons are furry four-legged mammals. Their front paws look a lot like human hands. Each paw has five thin fingers. Raccoons can do a lot with these fingers. They can turn door knobs. They can turn on water faucets. They have even been known to pull a dime out of someone's shirt pocket! Raccoons have black marking around their eyes. This looks a lot like a mask. Most raccoons have gray fur. Some, though, have reddish brown fur. Regardless of their fur color, all raccoons have black fur rings on their tails.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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