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A Bird with No Feet



A Bird with No Feet
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.84

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    landing, mid-June, bravery, eaves, unhurt, lower, privilege, backs, level, trapped, cutting, hearing, manor, underground, anger, such
     content words:    Squire Peter


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A Bird with No Feet
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The mid-June roses were in full bloom in the garden near the manor house. Their scent filled the main floor rooms above the undercroft.
 
2     Jillian had been given the privilege of cutting a few of the full, pink blooms for the main table. She glanced up at the manor house. She could not understand why the first floor was not on the ground level but was above. Her father tried to explain it to her, but it didn't really make sense.
 
3     The undercroft at the manor house was used as both a storeroom and kitchen. Part of the manor house was built into a hill, so the undercroft was partly underground. At the kitchen end, the lower ground allowed room for a door to the kitchen. The floor of the manor house hung out wider than the undercroft walls, forming eaves.
 
4     A frenzied chirping under those eaves told Jillian that one of the martlets was back feeding the nestlings. They were such a dark blue on their backs that they looked almost black, and their undersides were almost all white. They were such acrobatic flyers, never landing on the ground. Instead, they snatched insects right out of the air. Did they even have feet, Jillian wondered.
 
5     Jillian smiled at the bird as it whisked past her again, on the hunt once more. Her father, Squire Peter, had told her how important the little birds were. He welcomed them not only because they ate so many bothersome insects and also because they were pictured on his family's coat of arms. He also admired their speed and agility. Everyone knew their nests were not to be disturbed.

Paragraphs 6 to 15:
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