Engine Trouble Chapter 6

Category: Engine Trouble

Mangrove crab1Photograph by L. ShyamaiEveryEvery singlesingle hole seemedseemed to have a crab. Some just sat still as though they were enjoyinging the sun, and others movedmoved about as if they were lookinging for food. They were all fairlyly small, with bodybodies not much biggerbigger than a ten cent coin. There were dark blue crabs, dark violetviolet crabs, dark green crabs and a lot of mud-coloured crabs. Mrs Gale found the lunchboxlunchbox and began unwrappingunwrapping the bread. The rustlerustle of the paperpaper frighteneded the crabs and in a secondsecond they had all scuttledscuttled back intointo their holes again.again. Not a crab was to be seen.  

“Will they come back?” askedasked Tim.

“I think so, if we wait quietly,”quietly,” said Mrs Gale and she threw a slice of bread ontoonto the bank.

In a few minutesminutes the crabs began to come sidewayssideways out of their holes and towardstowards the bread. Soon the bread was coveredcovered with crabs, and hundredshundreds more were tryingtrying to reach it. The childrenchildren watcheded them feeding.ing. Instead of bitebiting off bits of bread with their mouths, they tore it off with their claws, useusing them like little hands. They ate very quicklyquickly indeed, and in no time the bread was all gone.


Summarise what has happened so far in this narrative.

Clarify these words: fairly, violet, rustle, scuttled.

Retell what has happened in this chapter.

Make inferences and give opinions about:

  • Why they thought every single hole seemed to have a crab.
  • Whether they are all the same kind of crab. 
  • How easily frightened the crabs are and why.
  • What kind of things crabs eat.
  • How they eat.

What prediction can you make about what might happen next?

What question could you ask about this chapter?

Visualise these uses of descriptive language: every single hole seemed to have a crab; all fairly small with bodies not much bigger than a ten cent coin; dark blue, dark violet, dark green and mud-coloured crabs; rustle of the paper; scuttled back into their holes; came out sideways; the bread was covered with crabs; tore it off with their claws, using them like little hands.

Make a connection with this chapter.

Word Study

Verb endings: What happens when we add sed or ing to: sit, move, find, wrap, rustle, scuttle, see, throw, begin, come, try, feed, bite, tear, use, eat.

Other affixes: What happens when we add other prefixes and suffixes like un, ly, er, en to these words: wrapfair, quiet, quick, big, fright.

What two words make up these compound words: lunchbox, again, onto, sideways, towards.