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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||buffeted, formidable, killjoy, refused, provided, curtain, altogether, behind, fell, belly, layer, longer, adult, beneath, winds, bits
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 Edgar stood behind a curtain of hair. It wasn't his hair but his mother's.
2 His hair was the short and curly coat of a musk ox calf. It would take time to grow. For now the warm insulated space beneath his mother's belly provided everything he needed.
3 Edgar was not only warm, he also had easy access to his mother's milk. Even so, he did feel the cold wind that buffeted his safe place.
4 At first it was cold outside all the time. As the winds grew less cold, he would poke his head and shoulders out from the shelter. Then he stood apart from his mother altogether.
5 He tried nibbling some of the short plants his mother ate. He made a face and let the bits fall from his lips. They were not as good as milk.
6 Suddenly it got cold again. Cold, white flakes floated down from the sky and whipped around the small herd. When it finally stopped once more, the thick musk ox coats were covered with a layer of white. Then they shook their bodies, and most of it fell away.
7 That was the winter's last hurrah. The days began to get warmer. Edgar began to spend less time beneath that wall of hair. By the time he no longer needed that long hair, it had all been shed.
8 Edgar noticed something else, too. He was not the only calf in the herd. There were several mostly grown yearlings and also a handful of young calves like him.
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