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The 1980's
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Mount St. Helens Blows Her Top



Mount St. Helens Blows Her Top
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.88

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    economically, Wyest, diplomat, maiden, northeast, formation, beloved, landslide, literally, northwest, behavior, commander, traveled, settled, helens, eruption
     content words:    Native American, Tyhee Saghalie, Native Americans, Columbia River, United States, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount St, George Vancouver, Pacific Ocean


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Mount St. Helens Blows Her Top
By Jane Runyon
  

1     According to an old Native American story, the chief of all the Indian gods was named Tyhee Saghalie. This chief had two sons named Pahto and Wiyest. The Native Americans believed that the chief and his sons traveled down the Columbia River in the far northwest section of what is now the United States. They were looking for a place to settle down. They came across an area that is now called The Dalles. All of the men thought that it was the most beautiful place they had ever seen. Unfortunately, like many brothers, Pahto and Wiyest could not decide who got to live in which part of the area. Their father decided to settle the argument. He shot two arrows into the air. One arrow went north. The other arrow went south. Pahto settled where the arrow landed in the north. Wiyest settled where the arrow landed in the south.
 
2     To make sure the two brothers and the father would be able to see each other, Saghalie built a rock formation called the Bridge of the Gods. Things went well for awhile. Then, as sometimes happens, the two brothers fell in love. The bad part is that they both fell in love with the same maiden. Her name was Loowit. Loowit could not decide which of the brothers she liked the best. This caused the brothers to begin fighting with each other. They were such powerful young chiefs that their fighting buried forests and villages. The beautiful area was trashed. The Earth shook with the violence. They even caused the Bridge of the Gods to fall to Earth with their behavior.
 
3     Saghalie became so angry with his sons and their beloved maiden that he turned them into stone. Wyest became the volcano today called Mount Hood. Pahto was turned into what we know as Mount Adams. The beautiful maiden kept her beauty but was transformed into the "smoking or fire mountain" today called Mount St. Helens.

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