Hispanic Heritage
A Home for El Gaucho, Part 1

A Home for El Gaucho, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.93

     challenging words:    bien, choz, Errrgg, Estoy, gatito, grande, migrant, pahs, pampas, rattley, rumbly, spunky, Todo, spitting, snarling, breed
     content words:    El Gaucho, South America, As Luis, Pecos Bill

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A Home for El Gaucho, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Luis heard a low buzzing sound. Something brushed his ear and landed on his shoulder. It was a bug a BIG bug. It looked at Luis with shiny black eyes. It buzzed louder and moved toward his face. Luis jolted awake, his mouth opened to scream. A muffled "Errrgg" came out instead. His hand swiped wildly at his shoulder. He had to get the thing off him.
2     His hand touched the "bug." Whoa. It wasn't a huge bug on his shoulder at all. It was a furry paw. El Gaucho wanted to be petted. The big cat had reached down from his place in the back window and laid his front paw on Luis's shoulder. The buzzing sound was Gaucho purring in his ear.
3     So much for monster bugs. Luis felt silly. He'd awakened everyone. Crista, his baby sister, opened her eyes and whimpered. His little brother, Alberto, sat up, blinking. Luis's mother peered at him over the seat. She patted the baby on her shoulder. "Todo bien, Wees? All right?" she asked.
4     "Estoy bien, Mamá," he said. He told her he'd had a dream about a big bug. As he spoke, he reached up and scratched under the cat's chin. It was Gaucho's favorite scratching spot. Loud, rumbly purring came from the back window. From the driver's seat, Papá snorted. "That cat is a bug," he said. "Un parásito grande! [A big pest!]"
5     The words worried Luis a little. Papá had once told him they might have to get rid of Gaucho. "That cat's a lot of trouble," he'd grumbled. Papá had scowled at Gaucho as the cat sat licking his big paws. But then Gaucho ambled over to Papá and rubbed against his legs. Papá sputtered. Then he chuckled a little. He reached down and patted the cat's back. "You are a bold one, that's for sure," he said, smiling. "You have a gaucho's nerve."

Paragraphs 6 to 15:
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