When the world was made, the Strelitzia birds were among the finest of all the animals created! Their bright orange feathers and dark purple wings adorned the sky and all the other animals acimired their beauty. They would glide for hours, high in the sky and only came down to feed at the river bed. They would tell the other animals of all the wonderful things they had seen from high in the sky.
They made their nests in the highest cliffs. They almost never sat in the trees or walked on the ground among the other animals. As time went by, the Strelitzia birds became proud and arrogant. They started to look down on the other animals and teased them endlessly They told the tall giraffe that her neck would never know cool breezes they have felt. They laughed at the tortoise who would always have to walk through the dust, rocks and sand. They sneered at the crocodile who always had to be near the water and mocked the monkeys for being stuck in the trees.
One day the Maker came to visit the animals. Instead of the beautiful, joyous creation he had intended, he saw only sadness and tears. One by one, the animals told him how the Strelitzia birds had teased and taunted them all. The Maker became very upset at how arrogant these beautiful birds had become.
The Maker snatched from the sky, one by one, and stuck their strong, slender legs deep into the soil. Their graceful long toes became roots and their feathers and wings turned to dull green leaves. Only their crowning plumes of orange and purple remained as a reminder of their lost beauty.
If you find a Strelitzia flower today, look carefully and you will see how they are still reaching for the sky, trying to free their feet from the soil so they can fly again.
1. Name five non-living things mentioned in the story.
2. Name all the things from the story that use oxygen.
3. What life process in living things uses oxygen?
4. Give an example from the story of: