across prep. UK ​ /əˈkrɒs/ US ​ /əˈkrɑːs/
To go across something is to go to the other side of it.
→He walked across the board to the other side.

breathe v. /briːð/
To breathe means to let air go in and out of your body.
→We need strong healthy lungs to help us breathe well.

characteristic n. UK ​ /ˌkær.ək.təˈrɪs.tɪk/ US ​ /ˌker.ək.təˈrɪs.tɪk/
A characteristic is something that shows what a person or a thing is like]
→One characteristic of tigers is their black stripes.

consume v. UK ​ /kənˈsjuːm/ US ​ /kənˈsuːm/
To consume something means to eat or drink it.
→Jack consumed a whole plate of spaghetti.

excite v. /ɪkˈsaɪt/
To excite someone means to make them happy and interested.
→I heard about the school dance on Friday. This excited me.

extreme adj. /ɪkˈstriːm/
If something is extreme, it is in a large amount or degree.
→His workout was so extreme that he was sweating heavily.

fear n. UK ​ /fɪər/ US ​ /fɪr/
Fear is the feeling of being afraid.
→I have a great fear of skateboarding.

fortunate adj. /ˈfɔːr.tʃən.ət/
If you are fortunate, you are lucky.
→I was fortunate to get a seat.

happen v. /ˈhæp.ən/
If someone happens to do something, they do it by chance.
→I happened to meet some new friends at school today.

length n. /leŋθ/
The length of something is how long it is from one end to the other.
→The length of the floor is three meters.

mistake n. /mɪˈsteɪk/
A mistake is something you do wrong.
→My boss always yells at me when I make a mistake.

observe v. /əbˈzɝːv/
To observe something is to watch it.
→Brian observed the sun rising over the mountains.

opportunity n. UK ​ /ˌɒp.əˈtʃuː.nə.ti/ US ​ /ˌɑː.pɚˈtuː.nə.t̬i/
An opportunity is a chance to do something.
→I had an opportunity to take pictures in the jungle.

prize n. /praɪz/
A prize is something of value that is given to the winner.
→I won a prize for getting the best grade on my science test.

race n. /reɪs/
A race is a contest to see who is the fastest.
→Paul is a fast runner, so he easily won the race.

realize v. /ˈriː.ə.laɪz/
To realize is to suddenly understand.
→After I left my house, I realized that I left the light on.

respond v. UK ​ /rɪˈspɒnd/ US ​ /rɪˈspɑːnd/
To respond is to give an answer to what someone else said.
→When the teacher asked the question, we all responded.

risk n. /rɪsk/
A risk is a chance of something bad happening.
→I took a risk and climbed the snowy mountain.

wonder v. /ˈwʌn.dɚ/
To wonder is to ask yourself questions or have a need to know.
→The young mother wondered if she’d have a boy or a girl.

yet adv. /jet/
Yet is used to say something has not happened up to now.
→We can’t go out yet; we’re still eating.

The Big Race

A dog saw a group of animals across the road. He walked over to meet them. “What are you doing?” he asked them. “ I just sold them tickets to a race between the rabbit and the turtle,” the duck responded.

This news excited the dog. He felt fortunate that he happened to be there. “ I don’t have anything to do today,” the dog said. “ I want to buy a ticket, too.” The dog sat down to observe the race. The race would be extreme. It would be many kilometers in length. The rabbit and the turtle stood next to each other. They waited for the race to start. The dog wondered why the turtle agreed to run against the rabbit. Being fast was not a characteristic of turtles. The rabbit was going to win easily.

Suddenly, the race began. The rabbit ran extremely quickly. The turtle walked slowly. After a minute, the rabbit looked back. He saw that the turtle was far behind him and was breathing quickly because he was so tired. The rabbit smiled and slowed to a walk.

A minute later, the rabbit said, “ I’m winning, so I’ll take a rest.” He sat and began to consume some grass. Then, he let his eyes close. He wasn’t the winner yet. But there was no risk of him losing the race. He went to sleep.

Hours later, a loud sound woke him. All of the animals were yelling and looking at the field. He felt fear for the first time. The turtle was almost at the finish line. Now, the rabbit realized his mistake. But the race was over. He gave the turtle an opportunity to win, and the turtle took it. The duck handed the turtle his prize. It was the happiest day of the turtle’s life. The dog was happy for the turtle. “ He isn’t fast,” the dog thought. “ But he tried his best and did something great.”