Hi, my name is Sam.
Every day, after school, I go to Grandma’s house to play.
There used to be an old, dead tree in one corner of Grandma’s backyard.
My dad cut it down.
He chopped up the branches for firewood.
Grandma stopped him before he cut it all up.
“Leave that part alone,” she said, pointing to a big log lying in the grass.
“Why do you want that old log?” I asked.
“It’s not for me,” she said. “I have some friends who need that log.”
I thought about Grandma’s friends.
Her neighbors come to drink tea with her.
My dad and I come and visit.
But none of us need a log.
I wondered: Why would anyone want a rotten old log?
What good is that?
Stop & Talk: What good is a rotten old log? Who needs it?
“Why do your friends need a log?” I asked.
“Keep your eyes open and you’ll see,” she said.
A few days later, I saw something move on the old log.
I went to see what it was.
Stop & Talk
“Grandma!” I shouted. “I found a lizard on the old log! His scales look a lot like the bark.”
“That’s one of my friends,” she said.
“He comes to the log to hunt for ants and other insects to eat.”
Get Up & Move: Pretend you’re a lizard on a log, looking for ants to eat. How many ants can you gobble up?
Grandma sat outside with me.
“Let’s watch the log,” she said. “Maybe some more of my friends will come visit.”
“What’s that?” Grandma asked.
“A squirrel!” I said. “He’s found a snack. Why did he climb on the log to eat it?”
“I think he’s keeping watch for the neighbor’s cat,” Grandma said.
“Look over there!” Grandma said.
“That’s my friend, the nuthatch. She’s catching insects to eat.”
“If we watch long enough,” Grandma said, “maybe we’ll see the deer mouse that lives in the hole in the log.”
“At night, I see other visitors,” she said.
“Like the toad that lives in a burrow under the log.”
“Why do so many animals come to that old log?” I asked.
“Think about it,” Grandma said. “You can figure it out.”
Stop & Talk: Why do you think so many animals come to the log in the yard?
I thought about it.
Then I said, “I think they all find something they need there. Maybe something to eat.”
“Or somewhere to hide.”
“So tell me—why do you think I kept that old log?” Grandma asked.
“Because it makes so many animals happy,” I said.
Just then, a chipmunk ran along the top of the log.
It stopped to stare at us.
Grandma laughed and said, “And because you’re never lonely if you have an old log for your animal friends to visit.”
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