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"Sweet Song" - The Mountain Dulcimer



"Sweet Song" - The Mountain Dulcimer
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.2

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dulcimer, melos, plink, plinket, plumb, rocker, scheitholt, Waaaaaaaa, Waaaaaaaaaa, longed, slender, plunk, polished, nonstop, magical, cabin
     content words:    But Ma, After Benny


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"Sweet Song" - The Mountain Dulcimer
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     "Waaaaaaaaaa!" The baby's cries filled the little cabin. Joseph sighed. What could he do? He'd tried everything to get his little brother to stop hollering. He'd tried the bottle. He'd rocked him in Ma's big chair. He'd changed the little critter's pants. Nothing helped.
 
2     If only Mama were here. She'd know what to do. But Ma was gone. After Benny was born, she'd taken sick. She just couldn't seem to get better. She'd been in the hospital almost four months now. Joseph missed his Ma something awful.
 
3     Besides that, he was scared. What if Mama never got better? What if she never came home? He was nine, plenty old enough to look after Benny when Pa was working in the fields. But they all needed Ma. They needed her voice. They needed her smile when they got up in the morning. They needed her hugs when they went to bed at night. Without her, the house was plumb full of empty.
 
4     Joseph wished he could look across the room and make her appear. He pictured her moving about the kitchen, sitting in her chair. He longed to hear her music. Most every night at bedtime, she had played her dulcimer. He could almost hear the sweet notes.
 
5     He walked back and forth across the cabin floor. On Joseph's shoulder, Benny wailed nonstop. Wearily, Joseph sank again into the rocker. He cradled Benny in one arm. He rocked gently back and forth. Looking down, he saw his mother's dulcimer. It stood in the corner by her chair. It seemed to be waiting there for her to pick it up and play again.

Paragraphs 6 to 14:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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