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Native Americans
The Thunderbird



The Thunderbird
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.09

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    calamity, carvers, extremely, overtake, remembrance, spawn, tormentor, warrior, mass, boomed, chasing, boiling, onto, bears, repay, hunger
     content words:    Great One


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The Thunderbird
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Long, long ago, the animals were not as they are now. Many acted more like humans in the things they did.
 
2     The people of the west coast caught salmon every year. They ate some roasted fresh over cooking fires. Other salmon were dried for use during times when the salmon did not run. Many animals like the bear needed to eat the salmon to help it put on layers of fat to carry it through the winter.
 
3     One year, the salmon did not come when they should have. The rivers held only water; there was nothing to catch. The people were hungry, and the bears were hungry, too. It was an extremely serious problem. Without the salmon, many would not make it through the winter.
 
4     Men got in their great canoes and went out onto the ocean. They hoped to find the salmon and learn why they had not come to the rivers to spawn.
 
5     Up from the darkness of the water came a gigantic killer whale. He saw the brave men and their boats and laughed at them. Bubbles and foam washed around his great white teeth as he laughed and swam around them.
 
6     "Please, Great One," shouted one warrior. "You are eating all of the fish. Please move away and let the salmon through. We are starving, and many of the animals are starving.
 
7     "What is that to me?" boomed the whale. "Go away and leave me be, or I may choose to eat you, too."
 
8     The men paddled back to shore, and the whale laughed to see them go. Then he went back to chasing the salmon and eating every one.
 
9     Again the men came out in their boats to implore the whale to help them. He laughed and dove deep, splashing each one as he went.

Paragraphs 10 to 18:
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Native Americans
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