Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №1/2010

A Small Skunk

Animals have many different ways of keeping themselves safe from harm. Fierce animals such as bobcats or tigers can use their teeth or claws as weapons. Animals such as deer have the speed to run away from danger. An enormous animal such as an elephant or a hippopotamus is not likely to be bothered by something much smaller.

Many of the smaller animals have to be very clever and hide from an enemy. It’s often unsafe to be small in a world full of larger, more dangerous creatures. A small skunk, however, will face bravely just about any danger. Even though a skunk has tiny teeth and small claws, most humans and other animals will leave a skunk alone.

What power does the skunk have to scare an enemy away? It gets rid of dangers by spraying a fluid that smells terrible into the air. When an enemy comes too close, the skunk lifts its tail and stamps a warning with its front paws. It the enemy is foolish enough to stay around, the skunk sprays a liquid with an awful odor. The smell is so bad that even the skunk leaves the scene in a hurry.

If the skunk sprays its foul fluid into another animal’s eyes, that other animal will have trouble seeing for a while and its eyes will feel a stinging pain. The smell of a skunk can be noticed for a distance of half a mile or more.

1. This selection is mainly about

a) using claws as weapons.

b) keeping skunks as pets.

c) how a skunk protects itself.

d) the smell of skunk oil.

2. Speed helps deer to

a) enjoy green fields.

b) get away from enemies.

c) find the nearest skunk.

d) run with the elephants.

3. A skunk drives enemies away with

a) sharp teeth.

b) long claws.

c) very loud noises.

d) a bad smell.

4. An enemy is likely to

a) run the other way.

b) try to cause harm.

c) smell very bad.

d) be nice to everyone.

5. A skunk’s spray can

a) make the base for perfume.

b) spread for several miles.

c) bother an animal’s eyes.

d) attract many friends.

6. The story suggests that you should

a) examine a skunk closely.

b) meet a skunk face-to-face.

c) hold a skunk by the tail.

d) stay away from skunks.

7. Which happens first?

a) An animal gets too close.

b) The skunk sprays.

c) The skunk stamps its feet.

d) The skunk lifts its tail.

8. After spraying, the skunk leaves

a) to spray somewhere else.

b) because the smell is so bad.

c) and plays with the enemy.

d) to find some food.

Key: 1. c; 2. b; 3. d; 4. b; 5. c; 6. d; 7. a; 8. b

From Building Basic Skills