"Grandpa! Grandpa! Come quick!" shouted Tony. "There's a huge rat in the woodpile!"
Grandpa got up out of his chair on the back porch and laid aside the ax he'd been sharpening. He sauntered across the yard and came to a stop next to his young grandson.
Tony pointed to a small gray animal that had backed itself into a corner. It bared its mouthful of sharp, pointed teeth and hissed warningly at the two people.
Grandpa smiled at Tony's mistake. Tony was fresh from the city where rats were a common enough sight, but here in the country, they were not so visible.
"That's no rat," said Grandpa. "That's just a half-grown opossum [oh-POS-sum]."
"Half-grown?" asked Tony. "You mean that thing will get bigger?"
Grandpa nodded. "That's a little one that was probably born this past spring. He has evidently adopted the woodpile as his home for the time being."
"Shouldn't he be out hunting for his food?" asked Tony. "He's not sick, is he?"Paragraphs 9 to 24:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable