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 The Tumbleweed

57. The Tumbleweed

    Everyone living in the West of the United States knows the tumbleweed. The tumbleweed is just what its name describes. A weed is an unwanted plant, and the verb tumble means "to roll over and over." When the tumbleweed is dry, the wind breaks it from its roots. It forms into light balls, which are tumbled here and there by the wind.

    Most people who know the tumbleweed--especially farmers--don't like it very much. like other weeds, it grows in with the farmers' crops. Unlike most other weeds, it also grows up fences, in water canals, and in many other places where it doesn't belong. And, unfortunately for the farmers, each tumbleweed plant produces about 200,000 seeds.

    Although the tumbleweed is often a nuisance, it can also be useful. Cattle eat tumbleweeds when there hasn't been enough rain for grass to grow. In fact, the tumbleweed is nutritious--it is high in protein, calcium fiber, and minerals. People can cook the young, green tumbleweed and eat it as a vegetable. Scientists have discovered that we can also burn tumbleweeds to heat our houses. Perhaps the future will find other uses for this unwanted weed of the West.



1. Where can we find the tumbleweeds in the USA?
a. In the East
b. In the West
c. In the South

2. What does tumbleweed mean?
a. A plant
b. An animal
c. A mushroom

3. What attitude do people have to the tumbleweeds?
a. They like it very much.
b. They don’t like it.
c. They grow it.

4. Where do the tumbleweeds grow?
a. They are not very capricious.
b. Only in dry places.
c. Only in dump places.

5. When do cattle eat the tumbleweeds?
a. When there isn’t enough rain for grass to grow.
b. When there is nothing to it.
c. When they need water.

6. How do people can use the tumbleweeds for themselves?

a. As a meal
b. As a medicine
c. As a weapon

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘nuisance’ (paragraph 3)?
a. Trouble
b. Project
c. Excitement
d. Amusement

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