Head-Scratchers and Knee-Slappers

By MDC | November 1, 2022
From Xplor: November/December 2022

What’s a duck’s favorite pasta?

Quack-aroni and cheese.

How do snakes stay so skinny?

They have lots of scales.

What do bobcats eat for breakfast?

Mice Krispies.

Why did the deer need braces?

To fix his buck teeth.

What’s more amazing than a talking butterfly?

A spelling bee.

The Hungry Game

Winter is tough on wild animals. Some mammals cope with cold by curling up in cozy dens to sleep. Many birds fly south where weather is warmer and more food can be found. Critters that stick around must work hard to find food. By late winter, seeds that plant-eating animals had squirreled away have been eaten. And meat eaters must spend extra time hunting because their prey hunkers down when temperatures drop.

How to Play

These hungry animals are hunting for food. Can you figure out where they have been? Draw a line from each critter’s start to its finish using only the spaces that contain facts about the animal.

Hint: You can use the same fact for more than one animal.

A Surprise Visitor

Whoops! Whoever wrote this story left out a few words. Fill in the list, then match each word to its corresponding number in the story. Some words in the list will be used more than once in the story.

  1. Place
  2. Person’s first name
  3. Food (plural)
  4. Body part
  5. Number (from 1 to 12)
  6. Emotion
  7. Animal
  8. Animal
  9. Body part
  10. Verb ending in -ing
  11. Family member
  12. Food
  13. Animal
  14. Adverb ending in -ily
  15. Exclamation
  16. Verb ending in -ed

Once, while winter camping at (1), my buddy (2) fell asleep with a box of (3) balanced on their (4). I knew having food in the tent was a no-no, but I was too tired to put it in the bear canister.

At (5) a.m., I awoke with a start. Beside me, (2) snored like a (6) (7). The inside of the tent was as dark as a (8)’s (9). Just as I was (10) back to sleep, I heard something. The noise reminded me of the time I caught my (11) nibbling (12) swiped from my secret stash.

I flicked on my flashlight. Frozen in the beam, sitting atop (2)’s chest, was a (13), (14) munching (3).

“(15)!” I yelled, and the (13) (16) away.

And how did my buddy react? (2) slept through the whole thing!

Choosy Chipmunk

This chipmunk is a picky eater! It only eats acorns that have:

  • A stem
  • A cap
  • No holes

How many acorns can you find that satisfy all three of these requirements?

Answer: 13

Stocking Switcheroo

Forget sugar plums, these predators have visions of prey dancing in their dreams. But someone stuffed the stockings out of order. Can you match each catnapping carnivore to its favorite stocking?

  • Bobcat 
  • River otter
  • Bullfrog
  • Speckled kingsnake
  • Great horned owl

Hint: Some of these animals would be happy with more than one stocking, but there’s only one way to match the stockings so that every animal is happy.


Also In This Issue


Missouri is often visited by UFOs — just not the kind filled with little green aliens.

This Issue's Staff

Artist - Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Laura Scheuler
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber