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16. Roadrunners, Rattlesnakes and Opossums


   This strange bird gets its name because it runs along roads. It runs very fast--up to twenty miles an hour on its long legs--but it can fly too. The roadrunner is usually brown and white and has several feathers on top of its head. It is about two feet long with its long tail. Roadrunners live in the desert parts of the United States. They eat insects, and they also kill and eat snakes like the rattlesnake.

The Rattlesnake

   The rattlesnake is famous for the sound it makes--a rattle. When you surprise the snake, it shakes the end of its tail. This makes a sound like a rattle--a lot of quick little noises. The rattlesnake usually lives in dry parts of the United States. It can be about eight feet long, and is dangerous. It goes out at night to kill small animals. The rattlesnake has bad eyes, but it can feel the heat of an another animal from a long way.

The Opossum

   The opossum is the only animal in North America that keeps its babies in a pouch, or bag, on its stomach. The opossum looks like a very big, fat mouse, except it is as big as a cat. When another animal wants to kill it, the opossum lies down, closes its eyes, hangs out its tongue, and does not move. The other animal thinks the opossum is dead and goes away.



1. How does a roadrunner look like?
a. It’s a snake.
b. It’s a bird.
c. It’s a mouse.

2. Where do roadrunners live?
a. In dry parts of America.
b. In damp parts of America.
c. In warm countries.

3. How do the rattlesnakes make their strange noise?
a. With their nose
b. With their tail
c. With their body

4. What is the best time for rattlesnakes’ hunting?
a. Morning
b. Afternoon
c. Night

5. Why are opossums so unusual for North America?
a. Because they can make some strange noise.
b. Because they are very small.
c. Because they save their babies in their bags.

6. How do opossums keep themselves alive in dangerous situations?
a. They hide somewhere.
b. They begin to fight.
c. They cheat their enemies.

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘rattle’ (paragraph 2)?
a. Clatter
b. Bang
c. Squeak
d. Beep

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