Todd the Arctic Fox
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||bloody, mouse-like, ptarmigan, reared, snowless, thrust, streak, plentiful, prime, lemming, cocked, slope, polar, arctic, bears, beneath
Todd the Arctic Fox
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 Todd watched the polar bear on the slope below him. The fox knew the bear would not see him against the solid white background of snow.
2 The Inuit hunter hadn't seen Todd either as he had sighted down his rifle at the walruses on the ice. His kill had startled the other huge animals so they fled into the icy water.
3 The bloody streak in the snow was all that was left after the hunter had dragged the walrus away. The bear sniffed around it, looked out across the water, and then followed the hunter's trail.
4 Todd got up and stretched. He needed to hunt for himself. The thick hair on his paws acted like snow shoes. They allowed him to walk over the thin crust that formed on the snow.
5 From time to time he cocked his ears, listening for sounds of life beneath the snow. He stopped and listened more. Suddenly he reared up and came down on his front paws. They broke through the crust and he thrust his nose into the soft whiteness below. A quick poke, a bite, and he had his lemming--a mouse-like animal.
6 The lemming made a quick meal, but it would take many more than that to keep Todd in prime condition. He licked his lips and began listening for another one.
7 Todd didn't eat just lemmings. Like other foxes, he would not ignore arctic hares, ptarmigan, bird eggs, and leftovers from a polar bear meal. If the food was in season, and available, it became a meal for the fox.
8 The white fox kept alert to the sounds, sights, and smells around him. On the snow he was hard to see, but his scent carried on the wind, and animals like wolves and polar bears didn't mind eating foxes.
9 Winter melted into spring. Todd and his mate Vixen had a litter of kits to care for. Their large den held not only them, but also four of their daughters from the previous year.
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