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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||drainage, hence, seasonal, encounter, bushy-tailed, entrances, groundhogs, spotless, mainly, emergency, believers, actually, special, pounds, alfalfa, woody
||North America, Groundhog Day, Then Phil
1 In North America, February 2nd is a special day. It is devoted to an animal who believers say can predict how long winter is going to last. We call it Groundhog Day.
2 Phil, the most famous groundhog, lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He climbs out of his underground home on February 2nd every year to look for his shadow. If the day is sunny and he sees his shadow, it means that there will be six more weeks of cold weather. Then Phil returns to his home and rests some more. If the day is cloudy and Phil cannot see his shadow, it means that spring is just around the corner. Phil stays above ground to find food to fill his empty stomach.
3 Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks. They are closely related to squirrels. Groundhogs are much bigger than their bushy-tailed relatives. They can grow up to be twenty inches long and weigh more than ten pounds. Since both groundhogs and squirrels are members of the rodent family, they share one common family trait. All rodents (including the not-so-popular rats) have four large, strong incisors that never stop growing. Groundhogs mainly feed on seeds, grasses, clover, and alfalfa. When food is scarce, they may eat snails, insects, tree bark, and small branches.
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