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From McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader
1. The fish hawk, or osprey, is not as large as the eagle; but they have, like the eagle, a hooked bill and sharp claws.
2. Their color is a dark brown, with black and white spots, and their length is from twenty to twenty-two inches. The fish hawk’s breast is mostly white. Their tail and wings are long.
3. The fish hawk is often found sitting upon a tree over a pond, or lake, or river. They are also found by the seaside.
4. The fish hawk watches the fish as they swim in the water beneath them; then they dart down suddenly and catch one of them.
5. When they catch a fish in their sharp, rough claws, the fish hawk carries it off to eat, and, as they fly away with it for its dinner, an eagle sometimes meets the fish hawk.
6. The eagle flies at the fish hawk fiercely with his sharp bill and claws, and compels the hawk to drop the fish.
7. Then the eagle catches the fish as it falls, before it reaches the ground, and carries it off.
8. The poor fish hawk, with a loud cry, timidly flies away. They must go again to the water and catch another fish for its dinner.
9. As you can see the eagle is a robber. He robs fish hawks, whose only mode of getting a living is by catching fish.

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Word Lists:

Hawk : a bird of prey with broad rounded wings and a long tail, typically taking prey by surprise with a short chase.

Claw : a curved pointed horny nail on each digit of the foot in birds, lizards, and some mammals.

Sharp : (of an object) having an edge or point that is able to cut or pierce something

Timid : showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened

Dart : a small pointed missile that can be thrown or fired

Mode : a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done

Fierce : having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness

Compel : force or oblige (someone) to do something

Inch : a unit of linear measure equal to one twelfth of a foot (2.54 cm)

Length : the measurement or extent of something from end to end; the greater of two or the greatest of three dimensions of a body


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Words: 237

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