Thanksgiving for the Dogs

Thanksgiving for the Dogs
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.29

     challenging words:    authority, biscuits-she, bristled-with, bustle, chubby, doggie, hand-fed, hosted, hustle, mistress, nutmeg, pillbox, Widmer, bounded, poodle, packing
     content words:    Thanksgiving Dinner, Brian Chang, Hey Brian, Great Dane, Pet Paradise, Thanksgiving Day

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Thanksgiving for the Dogs
By Colleen Messina

1     "Where are the doggie biscuits for the dogs that might come?" said Mrs. Rich. Silky furs enfolded her bowling-pin-shaped body. A pillbox hat ruffled with lace sat on her smoothly styled hair. Down below, Fufu danced on tiny feet around her chubby mistress. The black poodle bristled with pink ribbons. Her polished toenails clicked on the floor. Mrs. Rich also bristled-with authority. She ran the local charity that hosted a free Thanksgiving Dinner.
2     Doggie biscuits-she must be kidding, thought Brian. He was a high school senior. He was packing up boxes of Thanksgiving food for people...not their dogs! Some folks wanted dinner at home, not at the hall. Now he had to worry about dogs too! Where could he get dog biscuits now? He had boxes to deliver!
3     The charity dinner was a big deal. Turkeys needed stuffing. Potatoes needed mashing. Tables needed orange tablecloths and plastic turkeys. And of course, pies must be sampled. The list was endless. Many helpers ran here and there. Brian Chang liked the hustle and bustle as they prepared for the big meal, and he enjoyed helping folks who couldn't afford Thanksgiving dinner.
4     Brian's mother always used a Chinese proverb when she encouraged Brian to volunteer. She said, "The smile you send out returns to you." She said doing good deeds had a way of bringing good things back to you. Brian knew he spread smiles by helping with the charity dinner, but he didn't expect a reward for his work.
5     "Hey Brian, can you run this box across the street to Mrs.Widmer?" asked Mr. Chang. He handed Brian a box filled with cranberries, frozen peas, rolls, and a piece of frozen turkey breast. Mr. Chang gently placed a pumpkin pie on the pile. The sweet smell of nutmeg filled the air.
6     "Sure," said Brian. He was happy to have a short break.
7     Brian carried a box across the street. Mrs. Widmer's Great Dane danced around him on Frisbee-sized feet. The dog's huge tail whipped the air in joyful circles. Brian tapped the door with his foot since his hands were full.
8     "Thank you dear," said Mrs. Widmer, once she had opened the door and taken the box from Brian. "Do you have time to take Muffin for a walk? He is so full of pep today!"
9     "Well, I guess so," said Brian. He needed to get back to the hall, but Muffin looked so eager. They could go for a little walk.

Paragraphs 10 to 19:
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