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Why Wolves Howl at the Moon by Emily Edmonds (Grade 3)

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Why Wolves Howl at the Moon by Emily Edmonds

“Mama Wolf, will you tell us a bedtime story?” asked Little Wolf, as Mama Wolf tucked him in with his brothers and sisters.

The den was warm and snuggly, but Little Wolf wasn’t sleepy yet.

“Of course,” answered Mama Wolf. “Listen closely, pups, and I will tell you why we howl at the moon.”

Mama Wolf settled down next to her puppies and tucked one paw into her chest comfortably. Little Wolf and his brothers and sisters snuggled closer together and perked up their ears, waiting for Mama Wolf to start her story.

“Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were two big wolves,” began Mama Wolf. “Their names were Shadow and Moon, and they loved each other very much.”

“More than you love us?” yipped Little Wolf’s sister.

Mama Wolf let out a huff of laughter. “Of course not, dear. Nobody loves anything as much as I love you.”

She kissed all the puppies on their heads, and they wagged their tails happily. “Now hush, little ones, and listen to the story,” Mama Wolf said.

“Shadow was a big, strong boy wolf,” she continued. “His fur was thick and shaggy, and it was as black as night. Moon was a beautiful girl wolf, with yellow eyes and pure white fur that glowed in the dark. Shadow and Moon did everything together and were never apart.Their favorite thing to do was to go running through the forest at night, under the starry sky.

"Nighttime was always very dark, because back then, there was no moon in the sky. But Shadow and Moon never had any trouble seeing in the dark, because Moon’s glowing white fur always lit the way.

"Since Shadow and Moon did everything together, though, sometimes some of Shadow’s fur would stick to Moon. Neither of them thought anything about it, but very slowly, Moon’s light would become dimmer and dimmer because of the black fur covering her own. One night, Moon was so covered with Shadow’s fur that Shadow could barely see her at all! Moon’s light was so dim that neither of them could see very well to run. So Moon shook herself as hard as she could…”

“Like this!” barked Little Wolf, standing up and shaking so hard he fell over.

Fur floated around the den and stuck to everyone’s noses.

“Yes,” Mama Wolf said with a sneeze, “just like that. All of Shadow’s fur flew off of Moon, and her light was bright again. This happened every month—Moon would let Shadow’s fur stick to her more and more until her light was gone, and then she would shake it all off again.

"Now, one very cloudy night, Shadow didn’t feel well. He was very tired and he didn’t feel like running in the woods like they always did. ‘It’s cloudy, anyway, and your light is very dim,’ Shadow yawned. ‘Let’s just sleep tonight.’ He curled up in their den and fell fast asleep.

"But Moon didn’t want to sleep. She wasn’t tired, and she wanted to go running. She tried to lie down next to Shadow, but all the interesting sounds and smells from the woods kept her awake. Finally, Moon couldn’t stand it anymore. She decided to go running by herself, even though it was cloudy and her light was almost gone. So Moon quietly left the den and went out to the woods on her own.”

Little Wolf and his siblings stared at Mama Wolf with wide eyes. “What happened?” asked Little Wolf breathlessly.

Mama Wolf gazed at them, calm and sad. “When morning came, Shadow looked all over for Moon. He searched all day, but he never found her. But that night, as the sun set, something new appeared in the sky. It was a white, round thing that glowed just like Moon’s fur. All night, it lit up the woods with its silvery light, just as Moon had always done. When Shadow saw the new thing, he howled to it. ‘Moon, Moon!’ he called. And after he stopped howling, it seemed like he could hear another wolf, howling back to him.”

Mama Wolf stood up and stretched. “And that, pups, is why we howl at the moon.”

She kissed Little Wolf and his siblings again as they began to fall asleep.

“Mama Wolf,” murmured Little Wolf sleepily, “I promise I won’t go into the woods by myself at night.”

Mama Wolf gave him an extra kiss. “I know, dear. Good night.”
Why was it easy for Shadow and Moon to see in the dark?
  1. The moon was bright.
  2. There were lights in the forest.
  3. Moon's fur was extremely white.
  4. They had special lenses in their eyes.
What happened to Moon's fur?
  1. It started to fall out.
  2. It got dirty from the mud.
  3. It began to sparkle like the stars.
  4. It became covered with Shadow's fur.
The changing of Moon's fur is similar to
  1. a zebra's coat.
  2. the phases of the moon.
  3. biting into an Oreo cookie.
  4. shedding fur in the summer.
What happened to Moon on the night that Shadow fell asleep?
  1. She disappeared.
  2. She became all black.
  3. She made a new friend.
  4. She fell asleep beside him.
In your own words, explain why wolves howl at the moon.

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