Magic Bells (Part 2)

Magic Bells (Part 2)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.96

     challenging words:    pitiful, topaz, ragged, entire, beggar, fortune, relief, needy, afterward, journey, utter, rags, wealth, fail, blind, palace

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Magic Bells (Part 2)
By Mary Lynn and Larry Bushong

1     Rajiv laughed with relief when he saw an elephant waiting patiently. Of course, he thought, the elephant I wanted for my journey! He smiled and looked around for the other things he had mentioned. There on the other side of the fire was a fine new suit of clothes with two more gold bricks next to them. He rejoiced at his increased wealth and good fortune. Today he would start a whole new life just as he had always dreamed.
2     Right after breakfast, Rajiv changed into his new clothes. He gathered up all of his gold and wrapped it in the rags he used to wear. He took the lamp and the basket with the remains of his breakfast. Last of all, he took down the bells because he knew they were the key to his fortune. He climbed onto the elephant and the two of them began the trek toward the city.
3     After several days of travel, Rajiv finally passed through the great gates to the city. He stared at the wonders which surrounded him. Then he got down to business. Using his wealth, he established a line of credit with all the merchants.
4     Outside the city, he found a large plot of land on which he could build his new home. It would not be just any home, but a palace. With the help of the bells, he would never know want again.
5     Before many weeks passed, Rajiv's palace was complete. He now had a soft, deep bed, servants to do his bidding, all the food he could eat, and all the gold he could spend. The poor man began to think of himself as a very rich man and forgot what it was like to be needy.
6     One night as he went to bed, he touched the bells and thought of all the wonderful things he could get with them. As he pulled up his covers, a large tiger cat with topaz eyes leaped onto the bed and stared at him. He jumped when the cat spoke to him.
7     "You have kept the bells too long. You must give them to someone else who needs them as much as you did. If you will, you will keep what you have, but if you will not, you will lose everything." With that, the cat leaped off the bed and disappeared.
8     Rajiv sat for a moment and then shrugged his shoulders. He must have been dreaming. What would a cat know? Snuggling down into bed, he drifted off to sleep, forgetting the cat's words.
9     The next morning, he was out walking by the river when he saw an old woman coming toward him. Her clothes were ragged, and he knew she had probably not eaten for more than a day. He did not remember the cat's words and was almost past the woman when she turned and begged for a crust of bread to eat. The man made sure she did not touch him, but he sent her to the back door of his house. The cook would give her some food.
10     That night, just as it had before, the cat leaped up onto his bed. It blinked its topaz eyes and shook its head.

Paragraphs 11 to 34:
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