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The Secret Gift



The Secret Gift
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.79

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    flatter, fondly, mortal, mounted, pallid, tending, ancient, spite, wiser, bowed, time, longer, impressed, mighty, chopping, resolve
     content words:    King Indra, Yet King Indra


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The Secret Gift
By Colleen Messina
  

1     A long time ago in ancient Burma, now known as Myanmar, a man wanted to become wiser. He was tired of tending the rice paddies and the water buffalo. He was tired of chopping wood and carrying water. Wasn't there more to life? He was not allowed to marry the girl he secretly loved. He decided to ask Indra, king of the gods, for wisdom. Perhaps then he could find something that would give his life meaning.
 
2     This was a bold thing to do because Indra ruled all the Hindu gods in that ancient time. The man wandered far from his mud hut into the jungle, where he decided to sit under a tree until King Indra appeared to him. He sat quietly. Would he have the nerve to ask the god for this favor? Would he even survive if he saw a god face to face? After all, no one who saw a god stayed the same!
 
3     The man silently prayed in his heart because that was his custom. He decided to flatter the god by remembering how the god had defeated an enemy according to Hindu legends: Oh, great Indra, god of war and thunder and storms, please help me! I know you once fought a mighty dragon who had stolen all the water in the world! You smashed through ninety-nine fortresses to find him, and then you split him open and restored water to earth. You became a hero! Can you please grant me one favor?

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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