The Miser and His Gold

The Miser and His Gold
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.73

     challenging words:    miser, re-buried, shadowy, buttery, unused, fortune, thrust, potts, wealth, fell, peaceful, such, perhaps, tinkle, lived, theft
     content words:    Every Friday

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The Miser and His Gold
By Brenda B. Covert

1     Long ago there lived a rich man. Because he didn't want anyone to know that he was rich, he didn't spend his money. Instead, he buried his gold coins in the shade of a tree in his garden! Every Friday he would bring more gold coins to the garden. There, in the quiet of the evening, he would dig up his chest of gold to add the new coins to the box.
2     "Look at you, my pretty gold coins," he would say. "You are mine, all mine! What would people say if they knew about you?" He would thrust his hands into the box and lift up heaps of coins and let them tinkle and clink together as they slid through his fingers and fell back into the box. The sound was music to his ears.
3     On one overcast Friday, the rich man made such a fuss over his precious gold that someone overheard him. It was a shadowy man who had been skulking along the road. He crept through the trees to the edge of the rich man's garden. His eyes widened and gleamed when he saw the gold. He watched from his hiding place as the rich man re-buried his wealth and returned to his house.
4     As the rich man slept in his plain bed, the robber slipped across the garden to the tree, dug up the gold, and hurried away with it. No dogs barked to alert the rich man of the theft. No owls hooted to wake him. It was a peaceful, moonless night.
5     The deed was discovered the following Friday evening. The miser stared in horror at the gaping hole at the edge of his garden. He frantically dug into the rich brown soil with his hands. He crouched there on the ground, his eyes darting here and there as he tried to remember whether he had moved his gold to another spot. When he finally realized that it had been stolen, he wailed and tore at his hair in despair.
6     His neighbors heard his cries and came running to see if he had been injured in a gardening accident.
7     "It's gone! It's all gone!" he wailed, sitting on the ground with his head in his hands.
8     "What's gone?" Mrs. Buttery asked urgently, her eyes looking toward the garden vegetables.
9     "My gold! My precious gold - my fortune! It's gone; every bit of it is gone!"

Paragraphs 10 to 18:
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