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The Zodiac Race
Riley the Rat

In her Zodiac Race story, Riley the Rat learns about RESOURCEFULNESS and PERSEVERANCE, and that the person you can always count on is yourself.


Riley the Rat and her friend Josie the Cat want to win the Zodiac Race, but they both don’t know how to swim across the river. They go ask the Ox for help who politely says no. Riley decides that they can build a raft themselves to cross the river. The Cat agrees, but falls asleep while the Rat does the raft building all by herself. The next morning, the Cat overslept and the Rat ends up running the race alone. With a bit of luck in the end, Riley beats the Ox for first place as she wins the Zodiac Race.


  • Who did Riley the Rat want to get help from to cross the river?

  • When the Ox did not want to help, what did the Rat decide to do?

  • After Riley and Josie decided to build the raft, the Cat was supposed to help but fell asleep. If you were doing something together with a friend, but they didn’t help out, how would you feel?

  • Throughout the story, Riley tried to get help from the Ox and the Cat, but in the end who could she really count on?

  • If you were the Rat, what would you have done differently?


  • What does the word Resourcefulness mean to you? Can you list out other words that mean the same thing? (Independent, Self-sufficient, Can-do attitude, Rely on one self, Do-It-Yourself)

  • We have to be self-reliant and take responsibility for our well-being. Give some examples of things that you do that shows your independence.

  • When you are with a group of friends or your family, do you do what everyone else does? Or do you choose your own path?

  • When you are faced with a difficult task, do you ask for help right away? Or do you try to do it yourself first?

  • Do you have to be reminded of your responsibilities like doing your homework or cleaning your room? Or do you do them on your own?

  • What are some reasons that other people may tell you they want to help, but in the end they don’t?

  • Sometimes it’s easier to just agree with the crowd. Other times it’s easier to be alone and do whatever you want. But it can be hard to be with other people, and then still make your own independent choice. Can you name an example when you decided to be different with other people because you believed in what you were doing?