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Canadian Theme Unit
Blackfoot Raiders, Part 1



Blackfoot Raiders, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    boney, captor, dialect, gist, mounted, raiders, secreted, tear-streaked, shift, warrior, distinctive, through, pemmican, successful, teepee, fluff
     content words:    Spotted Calf, Stone Horse, Wind Flower


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Blackfoot Raiders, Part 1
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Spotted Calf rummaged through her things. If her sister had borrowed that new leather dress of hers, she'd just scream. Father and the rest of the war party should be home soon. She wanted to wear it to welcome him home.
 
2     Just then, the teepee flap was thrown back, and a bright patch of sunlight streamed across the floor. A moment later a dark figure cast a shadow in it. The shadow didn't look familiar. Spotted Calf almost cried out before one arm grabbed her around the waist, and the other hand clamped firmly over her mouth.
 
3     The girl was roughly pulled out of the teepee. Her captor carried her as if she weighed no more than a bit of fluff. With frightened eyes she saw many other strange warriors running through the camp. It was a raid!
 
4     Spotted Calf glanced at their feet. They wore the distinctive moccasins of the Blackfoot!
 
5     Though she was unable to speak, Spotted Calf could see and hear. The air was rent with shrieks and war cries. One other girl was being dragged out of the camp. Spotted Calf recognized her.
 
6     One of the older men attempted to stop one of the warriors. He was struck down for his trouble. Calf closed her eyes against the sight. Stone Horse had been a friend.
 
7     The Blackfoot horses were secreted in the shallow ravine behind the camp. Spotted Calf's captor quickly flung her over his horse's withers. Then he leaped up behind. The others in the raiding party quickly mounted. As they left, they drove a large portion of the tribe's horses with them. It was a very successful raid!
 
8     At first, Spotted Calf was terrified. She didn't dare move. She hoped that the warrior would later forget she was there. Perhaps if she was lucky, she could steal away in the night and make her way home again.
 
9     They cantered on for some distance. Spotted Calf tried to shift position. The horse's boney withers were digging into her middle, and it was becoming painful. She hoped they would stop soon.

Paragraphs 10 to 17:
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