Stories told in December from the collection of «Winter Stories»
Do you know what is special about December?
December is the month of snow and ice, of short and dark days. On December, 22, we have the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
- The story «Animal’s tracks»
- The Poem «The North Wind»
- Traditions and festivals of Great Britain
- Text «December, 25»
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Animals’ Tracks (a short text about animals in winter)
Read the story «Animals’ Tracks» and get to know the names of animals and birds:
- a rabbit — кролик
- a squirrel — белка
- a mouse — мышь
- a cat — кошка
- a fox — лиса
- a robin — малиновка (маленький дрозд)
- a chickadee — гаичка (вид синицы)
Get to know the way the animals move:
- move — двигаться
- move at some speed — двигаться со скоростью
- move by bounds — двигаться прыжками
- move very fast — двигаться очень быстро
- hurry — спешить
- move slowly — двигаться медленно
- walk setting one foot in front of another — идти, ставя заднюю лапу в след, оставленный передней лапой
- step putting the hind feet in the track of the forefeet — ставить задние лапы в след, оставленный передними
Other words to understand:
- track of an animal- след животного
- gait of an animal — поступь животного (походка)
- speed — скорость
- paws — лапы
- hind feet — задние ноги (лапы)
- forefeet — передние ноги (лапы)
- distance — расстояние
- six or seven feet — шесть или семь футов (о расстоянии, равняется 30,48 см)
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When snow covers the ground, you have a good chance to look for the tracks of animals. The track will show their gait and also the speed at which the animal moved.
The rabbit usually moves by bounds.The tracks of the hind feet are placed in pairs and in front of the forefeet. The tracks of the forefeet are smaller and one is placed a little ahead of the other. If the distance between two groups of tracks is one or two feet, the rabbit did not hurry; if it is six or seven feet, the rabbit moved very fast.
Squirrels and mice also usually move by bounds. The track of a fox is like a track of a cat. They set one foot in front of the other when they walk, and step with the hind feet in the track of the forefeet. But the paws of the fox are bigger. In deep snow the fox’s tail also leaves a track.
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Answer the questions:
1) Why is it easy in winter to find the tracks of animals?
2) What can we say looking at their tracks?
3) What does the rabbit move like?
4) Can you tell by its tracks if a rabbit is in a hurry?
5) What do squirrels and mice move like?
6) What do foxes and cats move like?
7) What does a fox’s tail do? Why?
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The North Wind (a Winter Poem)
«The North wind is cold,»
The robins say;
And that is why robins
Must fly away.
«The North wind is cold,
As cold can be
But I am not afraid,»
So the chickadee stays
And sees the snow,
And likes to hear
The North wind blow.
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Christmas, of course, is what really matters this month in Britain — the twinkling Christmas trees, the illuminated shopping streets, roast turkey and a fine Christmas pudding. You can read more about Christmas
There are many legends about Saunta Claus. Here is one of them:
It is said that St. Nicholas — the original «Santa Claus» — once heard a poor man bemoaning the fact that he could not afford to give his three daughters dowries, so they could not be married. That night the saint made his way to their home, and threw three pieces of gold down the smoke-hole of their cottage. The pieces of gold fell into the stockings the three girls had hung up to dry over the fire.
So that’s why children today hang up their stockings on the eve of St. Nicholas’s Day (which is now celebrated in Britain on Christmas Day), and why they believe that Santa Claus comes down the chimney!