Reading Comprehension - Legends

Free printable traditional legends from Indigenous cultures across the world. Read and test reading comprehension online or print and use offline. Recommended level: 3rd or 4th Grade and up

Why Fish Have Scales

A Folktale from the Philippines

Long ago, a farmer and his wife had a beautiful baby girl who grew into a beautiful maiden. She was very spoiled. She got everything she wanted and never helped with any work on the farm.

Her parents always told her how beautiful she was. She spent a lot of time looking at herself in a mirror and would sometimes go to a clear stream to admire her own reflection.

One day, a crab saw her looking in the stream. The crab crawled over to her and started to talk.

The girl was shocked and said, "Don't come near me. You are ugly! I can't talk to such a horrible-looking creature."

The crab was insulted and embarrassed. The crab jumped on the girl and made scratches all over her.

"Oh no, my beautiful face!" screamed the girl as she splashed water on the scratches. The water only made the scratches look more like fish scales.

The crab then pushed the girl into the water and cast a spell that turned her forever into a fish covered in scales.

The legend says that whenever you look into a stream and see a scaly fish quickly dart away, it's because your face reminds them of the beauty they lost long ago.

Source: Why Fish Have Scales
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From which country is this folktale?
Philippines Where did the beautiful girl live?
in a cottage by the river
in a village
on a farm
on a farm What is a sign that the girl was spoiled?
She got everything she wanted.
She never helped around the farm.
Both are true.
Both are true. What was the girl doing when the crab saw her by the stream?
She was looking at her reflection in the water.
She was fishing.
She was getting water.
She was looking at her reflection in the water. What is a clue that this story is make-believe?
Crabs don't talk.
Beautiful girls don't look at their own reflections.
Both are true.
Crabs don't talk. Why did the girl not want to go near the crab?
because the crab was too near the water
because, to her, the crab was ugly
because the crab grabbed her
because, to her, the crab was ugly What lesson does this story teach?
Don't judge people by their looks.
Don't talk to strangers.
Don't look at fish in a stream.
Don't judge people by their looks. What does this legend explain?
that crabs are friendly
why fish have scales
how mermaids came to be
why fish have scales

©Courseware Solutions for Fun English Language Arts Learning