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||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||mispronounce, supine, lethal, indication, marsupial, status, syllable, invalid, arrival, sales, emphasis, ancestry, griffin, elevate, royalty, attempt
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By Brenda B. Covert
1 Watching for the arrival of Saturday's mail was one of Riley Denver's favorite pastimes, mainly because her father had appointed her chief junk mail opener. While watching cartoons and munching on pretzels, she also kept an eye on the mailbox outside the window. Her father was supine on the couch. Because he was ill, a quick trot to the mailbox would be Riley's only form of recreation for the day. Thank goodness she had telephone privileges!
2 Weston Denver was a policeman who was off work for a few days due to an upper respiratory infection. Riley told him to stay in bed and let her bring him his meals and the mail, but he had insisted that he was not an invalid. It was just as well. Riley's attempt to make coffee had nearly been lethal, if her dad's choking and sputtering had been any indication. To rid his mouth of coffee grounds, he had been obliged to spit. Then he had compelled her to promise never again to make coffee! To compensate for the coffee incident, Riley had made him a mug of soothing hot chocolate, comprised simply of milk and chocolate mix.
3 After the first sip, Mr. Denver had said, "Now this is a beverage I can savor." He drained the cup, stretched out on the couch to watch cartoons, and fell asleep.
4 Riley darted out the front door as soon as the mail arrived. There were several long envelopes for her father, a clothing catalog, some sales flyers, and an envelope with a crest on it that looked really interesting. The rest of the mail went into a basket on the end table, while Riley took the envelope with the crest and tore it open before plopping into an easy chair.
5 "Huh!" she said as she studied the contents. "This is awesome!"
6 "What's that?" her father said.
7 Riley was startled. She hadn't realized that he was awake. "It's a letter about our ancestry," Riley said, putting the emphasis on the second syllable.
8 "I think you mean 'AN-cestry'," her father responded, putting the emphasis on the first syllable where it belonged. "It's an easy word to mispronounce."
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