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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Flower of the Fringe

Essay Summary:  Kantner spends a night with old timers Bob and Carrie Uhl. Bob shares his love for the fringed gentian, a fragile tundra flower. Kantner learns about caribou and the land from Bob and wishes he had Bob's patience to deal with the rapid deterioration of their lifestyle.

Why was the walrus headless? (p. 126)

Someone had taken the head for the ivory.

What is wrong with four cups of water to one cup of rice? (p. 126)

Too much water.

How is silence Kantner's "wisest" comment?" (p. 131)

He is awed by Bob's knowledge and feels that he can only nod in agreement or understanding.

What is the flower that Bob is devoted to? (p. 132)

The fringed gentian.

Why is Kantner ashamed of the caribou he brought for Bob and Carrie? (p. 133)

He's ashamed that they weren't perfectly shot and not as fat as he would have liked them.

What color of a wolf will fetch a higher price in Noorvik, black or gray? (p. 134)


How is the fringed gentian similar to the Dolly Varden, caribou, and the Eskimos, according to Bob? (p. 136)

They all thrive on the edge of "conditions that seem to prevent other forms from existing."

What animal other than a wolf does Bob refuse to shoot? (p. 137)

Polar bear.

Why won't Bob shoot wolves or polar bears? (p. 137)

He considers them fellow animals.

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