The Sly Fox and the Hot Bear
Reading Comprehension Activity

The fox got himself in a quandary. He raced right into quicksand. When an overheated bear happened along, the fox quickly saw his chance to get out of the quicksand. Students will read the story and answer questions on the plot and the characters.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Theme, Summary, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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The fox sped after a rabbit. He dashed across undergrowth and jumped over logs. He raced faster and faster and faster.


The fox fell into quicksand. “AGHHHHHHHHH!” he screamed.

With every movement he made, he went deeper into the muddy sand. Finally, he realized the less he moved the more he stayed up.

“Hello,” said a big bear. “What are you doing in there?”

The fox looked at the bear and thought a moment. “I’m swimming. It’s such a hot day, I thought I’d cool off in this swimming hole.”

The bear scratched his head. “It doesn’t look like water. Are you sure it’s a swimming hole?”

The fox put his arms behind his neck and leaned back as far as he could. “It’s a mud pool. It not only cools you off, but it’s great for your fur. And you don’t have to swim very hard to stay up.”

“I am kind of hot,” said the bear. “A nice dip in a pool sounds like it would be great.” The bear looked around then narrowed his eyes. “Why are you the only one in the mud pool? If it’s so cooling, why aren’t other animals in there with you?”

The fox spread a sly smile across his face. “Ah, it’s my secret. You just happened upon it. I usually keep it covered up, so I have it all to myself. I don’t like having to share with others.” The fox gently rolled over onto his side. “Ah, I love it.”

The bear wiped sweat from his brow. “If I don’t tell anyone about the pool, may I come in and share it with you?”

“Well,” said the fox. “I don’t know. If you promise, I guess I’ll share it with you.”

The bear threw his hands in the air. “Oh, boy!” Watch out, here I come.” The bear jumped into the quicksand.

As soon as the bear landed, the fox crawled onto him and jumped to safety. He then raced off.

Comprehension Questions

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