Lazy Koala


This is the second in a series of folk stories from around the world. The first was an American Indian folk tale about:

This one is about the lazy koala. A koala is an incredibly cute, small bear that lives only in Australia and is well known for its sleepy nature. You can see an (animated) koala giving advice about sleeping in 'Sleep Well'


When I was a child, one of the things I always wanted to do was cuddle a koala bear. When I got older, I found out that they are quite wild and have sharp claws and don't really like being cuddled. So, that didn't happen.


Listen to the tale about the reason the koala has a stumpy (= short and thick) tail and answer the two questions

  • Which other animal is the story?

  • Why do they dig a hole?

Listen to the folk tale again and answer the following questions

(a) What happened to all the streams in the year there was no rain?

(b) How much water does tree kangaroo say was in the bottom of the hole that his mother dug?

(c) When tree kangaroo took a break from digging, what was koala doing?

(d) Why did Koala say he was dizzy?

(e) Why was tree kangaroo furious?


So, now you know why koalas have stumpy tails. When you are ready, complete the test sheet below.


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