Mata Hari, Exotic Spy?
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||espionage, flamboyant, lavish, self-confidence, supposedly, circumstance, symbolize, exotic, reclaim, heartbroken, occasionally, sacred, successful, glamour, housekeeping, refused
||Mata Hari, Margaretha Zelle, Rudolph MacLeod, On February
Mata Hari, Exotic Spy?
By Colleen Messina
1 Some ladies, like actresses and models, become famous for their glamour and dramatic abilities. Others, like writers and scientists, make their mark through books and discoveries. Mata Hari became famous in a unique way. Some people think that she was the world's most exotic spy...or was she?
2 Mata Hari seemed to have a charmed childhood. She was born on August 7, 1876, in Leeuwarden, Holland. Her name at birth was Margaretha Zelle. Her father had a successful hat business. In a culture where almost everyone had blond hair and blue eyes, Mata Hari's black hair and dark eyes made her look exotic even as a child. Her father called her "an orchid among buttercups."
3 Mata's father favored his lively, beautiful daughter. When she was six years old, he gave her a special present. It was a little carriage that could be pulled by two goats. Mata was delighted. She knew how to drive a carriage because she sometimes took the reins of her father's buggy. With her own buggy, she could pick up her friends and take them for rides.
4 Mata had a lot of self-confidence, maybe inspired by the lavish attention that she received at home. She wore flamboyant clothes to school and made up stories about her life. She told her friends she lived in a castle. Her teachers liked her because her mind was clear and sharp. Unfortunately, even princesses sometimes have to face sad circumstance.
5 When Mata was 13, her father lost his business and went bankrupt. Mata had to move from her beautiful house into the poorest part of the city. Her father left Mata's mother while he looked for work in Amsterdam to support the family. He never came home. This was hard on Mata's mother. She died two years later from the stress of raising four children alone. When Mata's father came back for the funeral, he did not reclaim his children. They went to live with different relatives.
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