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The Harper, Ama


The Harper, Ama
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.11

     challenging words:    hostel, mid-day, vagrant, ballad, listeners, travelers, settled, possibly, keeper, wildflowers, proper, harpers, lines, murmur, among, hopeful
     content words:    Master Harper Adair, Then Adair

The Harper, Ama
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     Ama reached out with his hand in the darkness and let his fingers trace the smooth lines of the harp next to his bed. It was just a plain lap harp, but to him it was a good friend.
2     The side of the harp nearest the window was warm to his touch and Ama sat up in alarm. He must have overslept if the sun had already risen high enough to rest on the wood. This day of all days, he did not want to be late!
3     Ama was almost dressed when his father called in at the door.
4     "Are you up yet, Ama? We must leave soon if we are going to reach the abby in good time."
5     "Yes, father," said Ama. "I'm almost ready." He wrapped the simple harp in a cloth and then carefully slipped it into a carrying bag. Then picking up his small bag of clean clothes, he rushed out the door.
6     Ama kept one hand lightly on his father's arm as they followed the rough path that led to the road. He felt the sun on his face and the way a vagrant breeze tickled his neck. It brought the scent of wildflowers and the smell of the cattle grazing nearby. The scent of the grass was so clear it almost smelled green. Ireland was green with music in Ama's mind.
7     "Imagine what great doors will be open to you if you are able to become a harper," said Ama's father. "You will be as important as many nobles and play before kings."
8     "What does it matter if I can't see them?" asked Ama.
9     "It matters because it is your future. I don't wish you to be cow herd if you could possibly be greater. I threw away my chances. I won't let you do the same."

Paragraphs 10 to 20:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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