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Paisley’s Aunt


Paisley’s Aunt
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.96

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bungalow, face-if, filial, incarcerate, infringe, levelheaded, life-savings, name-I, neglectful, other-it, ponderous, proliferate, solace, trite, wane, heed
     content words:    Brockett Lane


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Paisley’s Aunt
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     "Doris! What a surprise to run into you here! How have you been?" the tall shadow of a woman said, greeting an old acquaintance. A neon blue pharmacy sign hung behind her head. Shelves of bottles predominated in the small shop. "Are you still living in that charming little bungalow down on Brockett Lane?" She barely waited for a response before continuing. "I had wondered whether it was still safe to live in that part of town. Hasn't the crime rate gone up with alarming frequency over the last few years? No?" The speaker seemed disappointed. Then she roused herself.
 
2     "You may be interested in a fascinating project I've been working on these days. I'm writing a biographical dictionary. A biographical dictionary," she repeated, more slowly this time. "A dictionary of important people. No, it's not a listing of names alone. Each individual gets a paragraph that highlights his or her contributions to society. How do I decide who is important enough to be in the dictionary? I run them through a strict verification process. Each person must have done something of historical importance to be accepted in the book. Now, doesn't that sound like something you could use in the classroom? Oh. Oh, I see. You teach math." The conversation dwindled away.
 
3     A young mother brushed by with a toddler on one hip and a ponderous diaper bag that may have held a year's supply of formula on the other. The woman watched her walk up to the counter before turning back to Doris. With a lowered voice she said, "I had hoped that Paisley would be married and have a family by now. You do know Paisley, don't you? Such a silly name–I can't imagine what my dear sister was thinking, God rest her soul! However, the longer I live, the more those unusual names seem to proliferate! What's wrong with a simple Mary or Jane, I ask? People are naming their children after fabric and cheese and towns! It's really quite humorous, as long as it doesn't affect members of one's own family. Now that the precedent has been set, I wouldn't be surprised if Paisley had children named Pumpernickel and Rye–although since she is the sole beneficiary in my will (since I have no filial obligations), you'd think she could name a child after me! But, no, I doubt that she would choose a traditional name like Martha for her offspring. Sometimes I wonder if she can see beyond the nose on her face–if you'll excuse the trite expression."

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
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