Buzztail and Leaper
- Category: Ages 6-10, Nature Study, Worldwide Books
Two books in one from Robert McClung with all the pictures and all the text, nothing's been cut! The Story of a Rattlesnake and The Story of an Atlantic Salmon, each story is 64 pages.
Buzztail was nearly six feet long—a giant among timber rattlesnakes. He was an old snake and had lived near the same den for twelve years. This vivid account of one year in the life of Buzztail conveys a wealth of information about the timber rattlesnake. Its diamond-shaped scales of different colors and its many rattles give it a distinctive appearance. Its three-quarter-inch fangs stab suddenly, like a hypodermic needle, injecting venom and providing a deadly method of attack. Once an animal is bitten, it cannot save itself.
Follow along to learn how snakes eat prey that is larger than themselves, how often their skin is shed and new rattles are formed, and how Buzztail cleverly survives many dangers.
Leaper broke out of his pale pink egg late in March, when ice still hid the banks of the stream. For two years he fed and grew in his quiet pool, and then the time came to start his journey to the sea. The rushing current swept him swiftly downstream, past dangerous mink and heron and through city-polluted water. At last Leaper entered the ocean, but there were dangers here too—huge sharks, schools of tuna, and the trolling lines of fishing boats.
Three years passed before the salmon felt the mysterious urge to return to the stream where he had hatched. Now he faced the most difficult challenge of all. He drove through gill nets, over ten-foot falls, up fish ladders, constantly battling the current. Battered and worn, he finally nosed into his own pool and found new eggs to be fertilized.
Like all Mr. McClung's nature study books, his stories of a rattlesnake and an Atlantic salmon are set against a living background whose fields and woods, rivers and seas, and changing seasons are described and pictured with imagination as well as realism.