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Magic Bells (Part 1)



Magic Bells (Part 1)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.17

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    curried, darjeeling, futile, newfound, semi, curiosity, strand, slim, spite, midday, deep, jungle, satisfaction, setting, fortune, airy
     content words:    Swift River


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Magic Bells (Part 1)
By Mary Lynn and Larry Bushong
  

1     Deep in the jungle near the banks of a fast moving stream, there lived a man named Rajiv. He lived in a small hut. Every day he hunted and searched for enough food to keep himself alive for one more day.
 
2     One morning, he awoke as usual and went out to hunt. All morning long he searched but found no food. The sun was hot, and the jungle was steaming. At midday he sat down near a cool spring to drink and rest for a few minutes. In spite of his hunger, he fell asleep.
 
3     The sound of tinkling bells woke him. The light, airy tinkling made his heart glad, and he wondered where the beautiful sound was coming from. Following the music, he found a strand of tiny brass bells on a fine silk string tangled on a low tree branch. Where could they have come from? He looked all around but could not see or hear anyone.
 
4     "I will take them home with me to keep them safe," Rajiv said softly. "I am so poor that no one would ever think that I have anything to steal. Perhaps when the owner realizes they are missing, he will come by and ask about them." Gathering the bells off the branch, he carefully tucked them into his ragged clothes where they would be silent but safe.
 
5     He hunted through the afternoon but still found nothing to eat. Finally, he went home hungry and empty-handed. As he lay down on the grass mat which was his bed, he felt the bells through his clothes. He pulled them out of his clothes and looked at them in the light of the setting sun. He remembered the sweet sound they had made. He arose and hung them up out of sight in his doorway. The evening breeze made them play a beautiful melody that eased the gnawing pain in his stomach.
 
6     "I am sure that I will have food tomorrow," he said to comfort himself as he drifted off to sleep.
 
7     The soft dawn breeze gently moved the bells. Rajiv heard the sound and smiled. Today he was sure to find something to eat! As he sat up and looked, there next to his bed was a fine breakfast in a basket of woven grasses. Where could the food have come from? His hunger quickly overcame his curiosity. He ate the breakfast rice while it was still warm. Then he licked his fingers clean. He picked out the fruit and tucked it into his shirt along with a piece of flat bread.
 
8     This day of hunting was no better than the day before. Rajiv searched high and low but found nothing. At midday he rested by the Swift River and ate the food which he had saved from breakfast. He savored every scrap and slept through the worst heat of the day.

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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