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A Prickly Angel
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 1 to 3
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.62

     challenging words:    crickets, crunchy, hedgehog, mealy, MEALYWORMS, picked, snuffle, stayed, tummy, yawn, soft, litter, paper, down, above, across
A Prickly Angel

By Kathleen W. Redman
1     She burrowed down into the soft paper litter in the corner of her cage. She was not afraid. Well, maybe she was a little bit afraid, but not much. She snuffled at the paper. It smelled new. It did not smell anything like her mother. She did not like this place. She burrowed down as far as she could. She wanted to go back home.
2     The little hedgehog did not know that she was in a pet shop. She did not know that she would not see her mother again. She did not know that she would not live here very long, either. She did not know that she would become someone's angel one day!
3     The next morning, the little hedgehog stuck her shiny black nose above the paper litter and snuffled. Hedgehogs like to snuffle. Everything smelled different. It was a new cage. It was metal. The place she had stayed in before was made of wood. It smelled like trees. She could not find any hedgehog smells around. She guessed she was the only hedgehog in the cage.
4     She began to climb on top of the litter when her nose twitched. What was that new smell in the other corner? It smelled so good. What was it? She very slowly and carefully waddled across the cage. The smell was coming from a little blue dish. She got closer and closer . . .
5     MEALWORMS! She knew what those were! They were breakfast! Maybe this place would not be so bad after all, she thought. She licked the corner of her mouth with her tiny pink tongue. At least someone knew how to fix breakfast. There is nothing like mealworms for breakfast. They are soft on the inside and just a little crunchy on the outside. Yum!
6     Next to the blue dish there was a white bowl. It had water in it. The little hedgehog drank her fill. Then she started to explore her cage. Hedgehogs are very curious little animals. Sometimes being so curious gets them in trouble. They stick their heads in places and then cannot get out!
7     The little hedgehog looked inside everything in her cage. She crawled under everything she could. She crawled inside everything she could. She climbed over everything else. Finally she was very tired. She needed a nap.
8     When she waddled back to her sleeping corner, there was a box there. There was a hole in the box. The hole was just big enough for her to crawl through. Inside the box there was a soft piece of pink blanket. The little hedgehog pulled at the pink blanket. She scratched it. She twisted it. She chewed it. Finally, it was just right. She lay down on the blanket and went to sleep.
9     While she was sleeping, a lady came into the pet shop. Her friend came with her. The lady looked very sad and tired. She looked at all the animals in the shop. The puppies licked her hands. The kittens rubbed against her and purred. She patted each of them, but she did not smile.

Paragraphs 10 to 17:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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