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A Cherry for a King
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.38

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    netting, waking, along, molds, stirring, doorway, bowed, gobble, tapped, hood, longer, onto, minutes, working, doing, woolen
A Cherry for a King

By Mary Lynn Bushong
1     Inge skipped along the walkway. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes with a happy smile. Summer was the best time, she thought. Her father was king of the Northland, and they had many wonderful things.
 
2     In the winter she could ski over the white blanket of snow. She could wear her long warm coat with the fur hood. Her woolen mittens kept her hands toasty and warm. Wool socks warmed her feet in the heavy boots she wore. It was fun to have winter, but spring was better.
 
3     In spring, the snow would disappear. The days would get longer, and green things would start growing. Best of all, flowers would cover the fruit trees. They would dot the ground and fill the gardens. Before you knew it, summer would arrive!
 
4     Summer was the best time of all. The days got very long. Sometimes it would be late in the evening before she remembered it was bedtime. Summer was the very best time of the year.
 
5     Fall days could be beautiful, she thought, but they only led to winter. Spring and summer were the best seasons of all.
 
6     Inge danced in the sunlight. Her feet led her to the orchard gardens near the palace. These were special orchards. Walls wrapped around each group of trees. In each wall were doors that led from one garden to the next. Inge had asked her father once why there were walls. He told her it was to keep the cold north wind away from the trees. Without the walls, the trees would die.
 
7     Each spring, the sun would warm the garden walls, waking the trees from their winter slumber. Small bunches of pink or white flowers would cover the bare branches like a party dress.
 
8     Inge's favorite trees were the cherry trees. The dark, sweet cherries were a great treat. There was nothing better to gobble down on a warm June evening. The sour cherries were a bright red. They were the ones to be used in pies, cookies, and jam.
 
9     Inge licked her lips. Only this morning she had scraped the remains of the cherry jam from the last jar, to spread on her toast. Perhaps the cherries would be ready soon!

Paragraphs 10 to 25:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable





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