Compare and Contrast 4

Observe the picture below. Read the passage and then answer the questions that follow.

Painting by Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau (Two Mothers and Their Families)


This little boy is having a good time feeding the fluffy little chickens. He has scattered some grain on the floor and the old hen and eight of her chicks are eating as fast as they can.

Two of the old hen’s chicks must have wandered away, so that at first they did not hear the mother hen’s cluck. Now see how they flutter their wings as they hurry back toward the others!

The old mother hen takes such good care of her little chickens! When it is very cold she will spread out her wings until all the little ones are covered. She keeps them warm and snug. If it rains, and she cannot get them under shelter, she will protect them with her wings in the pouring rain, much as she dislikes it. Every day she must scratch for bugs and worms for them and teach them how to scratch for their own living.

She watches carefully to see that nothing harms them. Sometimes big birds, called chicken hawks, fly over the yard ready to swoop down and carry little chickens away in their claws. Then there are other things to be feared, such as weasels and rats; even cats and dogs might harm her little ones. Is it any wonder the mother hen is anxious, and apt to be cross when we go near her little chicks? It is best to be careful, then, for if she thinks you mean to hurt them she will fly at you and hurt you with her sharp bill.