UNIT 6 2 The

BIG Question

What Makes a Hero?

My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.

—Michael Jordan Probably the greatest basketball player ever, five-time Most Valuable Player; led the Chicago Bulls to six championships

Image 100/SuperStock

LOOKING AHEAD The skill lessons and readings in this unit will help you develop your own answer to the Big Question.

UNIT 6 WARM-UP • Connecting to the Big Question GENRE FOCUS: FOLKTALE, FANTASY, AND MYTH Persephone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619 by Alice Low READING WORKSHOP 1

Skill Lesson: Activating Prior Knowledge Hurricane Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628 by Thomas Fields-Meyer, Steve Helling, and Lori Rozsa, from People All Stories Are Anansi’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 636 by Harold Courlander


Fable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 642


Skill Lesson: Clarifying The Twelve Labors of Hercules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 650 by Walker Brents Pecos Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 660 by Mary Pope Osborne


Skill Lesson: Comparing and Contrasting Dragon, Dragon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 674 by John Gardner

The King of Mazy May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 688 by Jack London WRITING WORKSHOP PART 2

Fable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 702


Skill Lesson: Predicting Aunt Millicent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 710 by Mary Steele

A Mason-Dixon Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 734 by Clifton Davis COMPARING LITERATURE WORKSHOP

The Toad and the Donkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 748 by Toni Cade Bambara Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 751 by Virginia Hamilton

UNIT 6 WRAP-UP • Answering the Big Question 615


WARM-UP What Makes a Hero?

Connecting to In real life, heroes are people admired for great qualities or achievements. Who are your heroes? What do your choices suggest about the qualities and achievements you admire? In literature, hero has a slightly different meaning. In this unit, you’ll read about some literary heroes and some real-life heroes. As you read, think about whether these heroes have qualities you admire.

Real Kids and the Big Question JESSICA has always admired her cousin Luke. Luke is a wheelchair athlete who plays basketball. He is also an honor student. Whenever Jessica is feeling down about school, Luke always reminds her to keep a positive attitude. Luke helps Jessica with her Spanish class and acts as her big brother. If you asked Jessica what makes a hero, what do you think she might say? Why?

SHEA’s father always takes time to help Shea with his homework. He drives him to baseball practice. They spend time together just talking. Shea’s father tries to teach Shea those things that he feels are important in life. Shea looks up to his father. If you asked Shea what makes a hero, what do think he might say? Why?

Warm-Up Activity In your Learner’s Notebook, write the names of two people you admire and why you admire them.

616 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? (l)Gerard Fritz/Imagestate, (r)Getty Images


You and the Big Question Reading about heroes in different times and places may help you decide how you would answer the Big Question.

Plan for the Unit Challenge

Big Question Link to Web resources to further explore the Big Question at

At the end of the unit, you’ll use notes from all your reading to complete the Unit Challenge. You’ll choose one of the following activities: A. Wall of Heroes You and your classmates will interview people in your school about their heroes. You will create a Wall of Heroes in your classroom that has the pictures and stories of the heroes in your community. B. A Hero for Today Choose one of the heroes in the stories you read, and write a story about what this hero would do today if he or she were a hero in your community. • Start thinking about which activity you’d like to do so you can focus your thinking as you go through the unit. • If you choose the first activity, decide who you will interview and the questions you will ask them about their heroes. • If you choose the second activity, take notes as you read the selections so you can decide which hero you’d like to use as your “Hero for Today.”

Keep Track of Your Ideas As you read, you’ll make notes about the Big Question. Later, you’ll use these notes to complete the Unit Challenge. See pages R8–R9 for help with making Foldable 6. This diagram shows how it should look. 1. Make one Foldable page for each selection. At the end of the unit, you’ll staple the pages together into one Foldable. 2. Label the front of the fold-over page with the selection title. (See page 615 for titles.) 3. Open the Foldable. Label the top of the inside page My Purpose for Reading. You will write your purpose for reading the selection below this label.

4. Halfway down the inside page, write the label The Big Question. You’ll write your thoughts about the Big Question below this label.

Warm-Up 617


Skillss Focus • Keyy skills for reading folktal ales, fantasies, and myths al •K Key literary elements of folktales, fantasies, and myths

SSkills Model You will see how to use the key reading skills and literary elements as you read • “Persephone,” p. 619

A folktale is a story that has been told by generations of storytellers before being written down. The story may be just fun, or it may teach a lesson about life. In this unit, you will also read fantasies and myths. A fantasy creates a new world very different from the world we live in today. A myth is usually about gods, goddesses, and large questions such as the origin of the earth, the sea, and the seasons.

Why Read Folktale, Fantasy, and Myth? Folktales, fantasies, and myths take you to places, times, and people you never before imagined. They make you think about what’s important to you and to all human beings. And they’re fun to read!

How to Read Folktale, Fantasy, and Myth Key Reading Skills These skills are especially useful tools for reading folktales, fantasies, and myths. You’ll learn more about these skills later in the unit. ■ Activating prior knowledge Before you read, recall what you already know about the characters, topic, or the setting you’ll read about. (See Reading Workshop 1.) ■ Clarifying As you read, ask yourself questions about the plot, characters, setting, and point of view of the story to make sure you understand it. (See Reading Workshop 2.) ■ Comparing and contrasting As you read, compare and contrast within the story. Also compare and contrast different stories or styles to each other. (See Reading Workshop 3.) ■ Predicting Make guesses about the characters and events in the story as you learn more about them. (See Reading Workshop 4.)

Key Literary Elements Objectives (pp. 618–623) Reading • Activate prior knowledge • Clarify meaning • Compare and contrast • Make predictions Literature Read folktales, fantasies, and myths • Identify key literary elements: hero, cultural context, theme, and setting

618 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Recognizing and thinking about the following literary elements will help you understand more fully what the writer is telling you. ■ Hero: a literary work’s main character, usually one with admirable qualities. A hero can be either male or female, but a female hero is sometimes called a heroine (HAIR oh un). (See “Hurricane Heroes.”) ■ Cultural context: shared qualities and beliefs of people living in a particular time and place (See “The Twelve Labors of Hercules.”) ■ Theme: the main idea of a story (See “Dragon, Dragon.”) ■ Setting: the time and place of a story (See “Aunt Millicent.”)



by Alice Low 1 Key Reading Skill


ersephone1 was a high-spirited, sunny girl who loved springtime and flowers and running outdoors with her friends. She was the daughter of Demeter,2 goddess of the harvest, and she and her mother spent more time on earth than on Mount Olympus.3 One bright day on earth Persephone was picking lilies and violets with her friends. She could not gather enough of them, though her basket was overflowing. 1 2 “Persephone, it is time to go home,” called her friends. “Just one minute longer,” she called back. “I see the sweetest flower of all—a narcissus, I think. I must have one.” She wandered into a far corner of the meadow, and just as she was about to pick the narcissus, she heard a deafening noise. Suddenly the earth split open at her feet. Out dashed a golden chariot pulled by black horses and driven by a stern-faced man in black armor. Persephone dropped her basket and started to run, but the driver grabbed her by the wrist. He pulled her into

Activating Prior Knowledge I know that things happen in myths that can’t happen in real life. Gods and goddesses in myths had power over people’s lives.

2 Key Reading Skill Clarifying I have a feeling this story will mention several things that I don’t understand very well. I’ll take notes in my Learner’s Notebook so I can find out about them and remember them. First, I’ll write down Mount Olympus.

Four Seasons – Spring, (detail), 1896. Alphonse Mucha. Analyzing the Art Do you think the young woman in this painting is a lot like Persephone? Why or why not?

1. Persephone (pur SEF uh nee) 2. Demeter (dih MEE tur) 3. Mount Olympus (oh LIM pus) is a tall mountain in Greece. People in ancient Greece believed the main gods and goddesses lived on top of this mountain.

619 Mucha Trust/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York


Pluto and Proserpine, 1914. Henry Bryson Burroughs. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36¼ in. National Academy Museum, New York. Analyzing the Art Pluto and Proserpine are other names for Hades and Persephone.

his chariot, which descended back into the earth as quickly as it had risen. Then the earth closed up after it. Persephone screamed and wept, but her friends could not hear her. Though they searched for her everywhere, all they found was her basket, with a few crushed flowers lying next to it. Down into the earth the chariot sped, through dark caverns and underground tunnels, while Persephone cried, “Who are you? Where are you taking me?” “I am Hades,4 king of the underworld, and I am taking you there to be my bride.” “Take me back to my mother,” screamed Persephone. “Take me back.” “Never!” said Hades. “For I have fallen in love with you. Your sunny face and golden hair will light up my dark palace.” 3 The chariot flew over the river Styx5 where Charon,6 the boatman, was ferrying ghostly souls across the water. “Now we are at the gate to my kingdom,” said Hades, as they landed next to the huge three-headed dog who guarded it. 4. In Greek mythology, the god Hades (HAY deez) ruled the underworld, a place under the earth where the dead lived. 5. Styx (stiks) 6. Charon (KAR un)

620 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Henry Bryson Burroughs/The Bridgeman Art Library


3 Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting So far, I know that Persephone is a high-spirited and sunny girl. How is she different from Hades? Let’s see, it says that Hades is stern-faced and wears black armor. How are they alike? Well, one is a goddess and the other is a god.


Persephone shivered, and Hades said, “Oh, that is Cerberus.7 He guards the gate so that no live mortals enter and no souls of the dead escape. Nobody escapes from the underworld.” Persephone became speechless. Never escape from this terrible place full of pale, shadowy ghosts, wandering through stony fields full of pale, ghostly flowers! Beautiful Persephone, who loved sunshine, became Hades’ queen and sat on a cold throne in his cold palace. Hades gave her a gold crown and bright jewels, but her heart was like ice and she neither talked nor ate nor drank. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, knew that something terrible had happened to her daughter. She alone had heard Persephone’s screams, which had echoed through the mountains and over the sea. Demeter left Olympus, disguised as an old woman, and wandered the earth for nine days and nine nights, searching for her daughter. She called to the mountains and rivers and sea, “Persephone, where are you? Come back. Come back.” But there was never an answer. She did not weep, for goddesses do not cry, but her heart was heavy. She could not eat or drink or rest, so deep was her grief. 4 5 Finally she reached a placed called Eleusis, not far from the spot where Persephone had disappeared. There a prince named Triptolemus8 recognized her and told her this story: “Over a week ago, my brother was taking care of the royal pigs. He heard a thundering noise, and the earth opened up. Out rushed a chariot, driven by a grimfaced man. He grabbed a beautiful young girl and down into the earth they went. They were swallowed up, along with the pigs.” “That man must have been Hades,” cried Demeter. “I fear that he has kidnapped my daughter.” Demeter hurried to the sun, Helios,9 who sees everything. And the sun confirmed Demeter’s fears.


4 Key Literary Element Setting The settings so far have been earth, the underworld, and Mount Olympus. There hasn’t been much description of what Olympus is like, but the underworld seems really scary and creepy.

5 Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Persephone and her mother react in similar ways when Persephone is first captured. Persephone is quiet and her heart is like ice. She doesn’t eat or drink. Her mother Demeter can’t eat or drink, and she becomes stony. But Persephone is helpless while Demeter has the power to help her daughter.

7. Cerberus (SUR buh rus) 8. Triptolemus (TRIP tuh lee mus) 9. Helios (HEE lee us)

Genre Focus: Folktale, Fantasy, and Myth 621


Demeter cried, “Persephone, my gay lovely daughter, is imprisoned in the underworld, never again to see the light of day or the flowers of spring.”


hen Demeter became stony and angry, and she caused the earth to suffer with her. The earth became cold and barren. Trees did not bear fruit, the grass withered and did not grow again, and the cattle died from hunger. A few men succeeded in plowing the hard earth and sowing seeds, but no shoots sprouted from them. It was a cruel year for mankind. If Demeter continued to withhold her blessings from the earth, people would perish from hunger. Zeus begged Demeter to let the earth bear fruit again, but Demeter said, “The earth will never be green again. Not unless my daughter returns!” Then Zeus knew that he must take action to save people from starvation. “I will see that Persephone returns,” he told Demeter, “but only on one condition. She must not have eaten any of the food of the dead.” Zeus sent Hermes, messenger of the gods, down to the underworld to ask Hades for Persephone’s release. When Persephone saw that Hermes had come to her home, she became lively and smiled and talked for the first time that year. To her delight, Hades did not protest but said, “Go, my child. Although I love you, I cannot keep you here against Zeus’s will. But you must eat a little something before you leave, to give you strength for your journey.” Then he gave Persephone several seeds from a red pomegranate, which was the fruit eaten by the dead. He knew that if she ate even one, she would have to return to him. 6 Persephone ate four seeds quickly. Then she climbed into the golden chariot and waved good-by. Hermes drove her to earth, to the temple where Demeter waited, and mother and daughter hugged and laughed and said they would never be parted again. Then Demeter remembered Zeus’s warning and said, 622 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Leeds Museums and Galleries (City Art Gallery) U. K./The Bridgeman Art Library

The Return of Persephone, 1891. Frederic Leighton. Oil on canvas. Leeds Museums and Galleries, U.K. Analyzing the Art This painting shows the return of Persephone to her mother. Who is each person in this painting? How do you know?


6 Key Reading Skill Predicting Uh-oh. I think Zeus will make her go back to Hades because he said she can’t eat any food of the dead.


“I hope you did not eat anything while you were in the underworld.” “I was too sad to eat,” said Persephone. “I didn’t eat or drink all year.” “Not anything at all?” said Demeter. “Oh, just a few little pomegranate seeds before I left,” said Persephone. Why do you ask?” “Because, my dearest,” cried Demeter, “if you have eaten any of the food of the dead, you must return to Hades.” Zeus heard the loud wails of Demeter and her daughter, and he decided to compromise. Persephone must spend just four months of each year in the underworld, one for each of the seeds she had eaten. The rest of the year she could be with her mother on earth. 7 That is why every year, for four months, the earth becomes cold and barren. Persephone is in the dark underworld and Demeter is overcome with grief. 8 And every year, when Persephone returns to earth, she brings spring with her. The earth is filled with flowers and fruits and grasses. And summer and fall, the seasons of growth and harvest, follow in their natural order. Every year Demeter and the whole earth rejoice that Persephone has returned. 9 ❍


7 Key Literary Element Hero By the literary definition, Persephone is the hero of this story because she’s the main character. But Demeter acts more like a real-life hero because she does all she can to save her daughter.

8 Key Literary Element

Write to Learn Answer these questions in your Learner’s Notebook. 1. Most ancient Greeks believed that their myths were true. Why do you think they believed the myth of Persephone? 2. What myths do people today believe in? What myths do you believe in?

Theme I think the theme of the myth is that the gods control everything and even the other gods have to obey Zeus.

9 Key Literary Element Cultural Context People in ancient Greece believed that gods and goddesses controlled everything, including the seasons.

Study Central Visit and click on Study Central to review folktale, fantasy, myth.

Genre Focus: Folktale, Fantasy, and Myth 623 Stapleton Collection/CORBIS

READING WORKSHOP 1 Skills Focus You will practice using these skills when you read the following selections: • “Hurricane Heroes,” p. 628 • “All Stories Are Anansi’s,” p. 636


Skill Lesson

Activating Prior Knowledge

• Activating prior knowledge

Learn It!

Literature • Distinguishing real-life heroes from literary heroes • Understanding the heroes of folktales

Vocabulary • Understanding compound and blended words

Writing/Grammar • Capitalizing sentences • Identifying simple sentences

What Is It? Activating prior knowledge means using what you already know to understand what you are reading. This could be information you have already read or knowledge from your own experiences. Activating prior knowledge makes it easier to understand something new. For example, if you used what you already knew about Greek myths, it would be easier to understand “Persephone.” • To activate something is to make it active, to get it going so it can be useful. • Prior knowledge is knowledge you already have— facts and experiences you remember or information you know. • Activating prior knowledge is using what you know or what you’ve already read to help clarify your understanding.

ed. with permission. All rights reserv PRESS SYNDICATE. Reprinted Watterson. Dist. By UNIVERSAL CALVIN AND HOBBES © 1995

Analyzing Cartoons Objectives (pp. 624–625) Reading Activate prior knowledge

624 UNIT 6 1995 Watterson. Dist. By UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Calvin didn’t activate his prior knowledge in this cartoon. What should he have remembered about snowballs?

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Why Is It Important? Activating prior knowledge helps you understand what you read. It can help you guess about the meanings of related things. And it can help you predict what might happen. How Do I Do It? Before you read, skim the text to see what it might be about. Then think about what you already know about that topic. Here’s how one student used her prior knowledge of myths to understand the first paragraph of “Persephone.”

Study Central Visit www.glencoe .com and click on Study Central to review activating prior knowledge.

Persephone was a high-spirited, sunny girl who loved springtime and flowers and running outdoors with her friends. She was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and she and her mother spent more time on earth than on Mount Olympus.

I know myths usually have gods and goddesses. Since Persephone is the daughter of a goddess, this is probably a myth. I know that gods and goddesses in myths have supernatural powers. It sounds like Mount Olympus isn’t on earth, so I bet that’s where the gods and goddesses live.

Practice It! Below are some topics and genres related to the selections in this unit. What do you already know about each topic or genre? In your Learner’s Notebook, write two things you know about each subject. • folktales • myths • hurricanes • heroes

Use It! As you read from “Hurricane Heroes” and “All Stories Are Anansi’s,” remember what you wrote in your Learner’s Notebook about hurricanes and folktales. Use this knowledge to help you understand what you read.

Reading Workshop 1 Activating Prior Knowledge 625 (cr) ThinkStock / SuperStock

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Before You Read Meet the Authors This selection is about actual events and was written by three authors: Thomas Fields-Meyer, Steve Helling, and Lori Rozsa. Each author reports on current events for news sources such as People magazine and the Miami Herald.

Author Search For more about the writers, go to www.glencoe .com.

Hurricane Heroes

Vocabulary Preview makeshift (MAYK shift) adj. suitable as a temporary substitute (p. 628) After a hurricane, makeshift hospitals need to be set up. anesthetist (uh NES thuh tist) n. the person who gives drugs to put a patient to sleep before surgery (p. 629) It is important to have an anesthetist on an emergency medical team. Write to Learn Make a one-panel illustration for each word that shows the word’s meaning. Add a caption explaining the illustration. Use the actual word in the caption.

English Language Coach Compound Words Many words have interesting histories. Some come from the names of people or places. Teddy bear, a small stuffed bear, is named for President Teddy Roosevelt. Hamburger, a patty of ground meat, comes from Hamburg, Germany. Other words like mailbox and riverbank come from joining two existing words. Mailbox and riverbank are compound words. Compound words are made up of two or more words. One way that words enter the English language is by combining words to make new words. You can often figure out the meaning of these compound words by thinking about the meanings of the words that make it up. For example, mailbox is a compound word made up of mail and box. It means “a box in which mail is deposited.” Compound words are hyphenated (like well-known), open (like hot dog), or closed (like eggshell ). There’s only one simple, clear rule to help you know which way to write a compound: Check a dictionary.

Objectives (pp. 626–631) Reading Activate prior knowledge • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify literary elements: hero Vocabulary Explore word origins: compound words

626 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Partner Talk With a partner, talk about the individual words that form the compound words below. Then match each compound word with its definition below. 1. cry + baby 2. book + case 3. heart + ache a. sorrow or grief b. a person who often complains c. shelves for books

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Activating Prior Knowledge

Connect to the Reading

Before you read, think about the terrible hurricanes that have hit the U.S. and other places around the world. What do you remember from watching TV, reading, or hearing about hurricanes? Class Talk With your class, discuss the responses to hurricanes that you remember.

Key Literary Element: Hero There are three main definitions of the word hero. • Literary Hero As you learned in the Genre Focus, the word hero has a specific meaning in literature. The hero of a story is the main character, who may or may not have admirable qualities. The most important character in the Genre Focus story is Persephone, and that makes her the hero. Once, most people would have called her the heroine, which was the term used for female main characters. • Mythic Hero In mythology, the word hero can have another meaning. A mythic hero is usually a man who is superhuman and may even be half-god, half-human. This kind of hero has amazing courage and strength and the myths are about his adventures. • Real-Life Hero The last definition of the word hero is the one we’re all most familiar with: a person who acts bravely for the good of others, often putting his or her own life at risk. Partner Talk Next you’ll read about real-life heroes. With a partner, talk about what makes a real-life hero different from a literary or mythic hero.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Have you ever survived a difficult experience or a lifethreatening situation? What was it? How did you get through? Imagine what it’s like to survive something like a hurricane. What would it take for you to risk your life for someone else? Write to Learn What kind of situation would it take for you to risk your life to try to save someone else’s? In your Learner’s Notebook, write for five minutes about the kind of situation that might cause you to take action.

Build Background Hurricanes are large, severe storms with heavy rains and strong winds. You are about to read an article about a series of hurricanes that occurred in 2004 and did a great deal of damage to the southern part of the United States. • Many hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean in the summer and then move west toward the U.S. • Hurricanes are given names to help identify them and track their movements. • The center of a hurricane is called “the eye.” An eye is roughly circular, and the weather tends to be calm inside the eye.

Set Purposes for Reading Read “Hurricane Heroes” to find out how average people can become heroes when faced with an emergency. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn about “Hurricane Heroes”? Write your own purpose on the “Hurricane Heroes” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. Hurricane Heroes 627




As storms slammed the South in 2004, some brave folks risked their lives to help others.



harley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne: four hurricanes in six weeks; more than 150 deaths and $44 billion in damage. Faced with wrecked bridges, shattered condos, floods, and mudslides, millions of people in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama had to decide when to flee, what to save, or whom to help. Meet three people who made it through and helped many others along the way. 1

A Medical Marathon1 Ron Wegner treated wounds—some invisible Wegner, 57, commander of Florida’s 35-member Disaster Medical Assistance Team, spent several weeks living in Charley’s and Ivan’s disaster zones. He put in 20-hour shifts and helped treat everything from broken bones to heart attacks. Still, he says his most memorable patient was an 83year-old woman. She came into the makeshift emergency 1. Originally, a marathon was a 26-mile foot race. Now the word is also used to refer to anything that lasts a long time and is difficult to bear.

Vocabulary makeshift (MAYK shift) adj. suitable as a temporary substitute

628 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Key Reading Skill Activating Prior Knowledge Think about what you read in Build Background about hurricanes; add what you know about past hurricanes, like Hurricane Katrina. Activate that knowledge to help answer this question: Why does this paragraph begin with four names?

unit in the parking lot of a damaged Pensacola hospital where Wegner was stationed after Ivan. She showed him a bruise on her hand. “She admitted she hadn’t really been injured, but her house was destroyed and she was alone, and she wanted to talk to somebody. So for 25 minutes I held her hand and we talked,” he says. “Really, her problem was just as important as a chain-saw accident.” Wegner is an anesthetist who lives in Tampa. Like all of the disaster volunteers, Wegner was paid by the federal government what he would usually have earned in his regular job. Wegner is the nerve center of the medical team. “He’s the ringmaster of the circus,” says Butch “You see so many people just wandering about stunned,” Kinerney, a spokesperson for the Federal says Ron Wegner (in Gulf Breeze, Florida). Emergency Management Agency.2 In the first three days after Ivan, Wegner’s team 2 English Language Coach treated 460 people. Though he misses his girlfriend and Compound Words 25-year-old daughter, there were no complaints from Wegner. Spokesperson is a compound “We’ve got our comfortable lives to go back to,” he says. word. It means “one who speaks on behalf of others.” “A lot of these people have nothing.” 2 3 4

He Came, He Saw, He Sawed


Hero What differences do you notice between Wegner and a typical literary hero? Use evidence from this article to support your answer.

Jim Williams went out on many limbs Driving to work the morning after Hurricane Charley ripped through Sanford, Florida, mail carrier Williams was so stunned by the number of fallen trees he saw that he had to pull over. The area “was just devastated,” says Williams, 45, who grew up in the quiet community 25 miles north of Orlando. “I sat in my truck and cried.” 2. The Federal Emergency Management Agency responds to natural and manmade disasters. It’s often referred to by its initials, FEMA (FEE muh). The agency has helped many thousands of people recover from disasters; however, it was severely criticized for its slow, inadequate response after Hurricane Katrina hit Gulf Coast states in 2005.

Key Literary Element


Key Reading Skill Activating Prior Knowledge What do you think a “nerve center” is? Nerves send messages back and forth to the brain. What do you already know about a center? Combine those things with what you’ve already read to think about what a nerve center does.

Vocabulary anesthetist (uh NES thuh tist) n. the person who gives drugs to put a patient to sleep before surgery Hurricane Heroes 629 (tr)Karena Cawthon/Silver Image

Karena Cawthorn/Silver Image


Then he took action. Returning home, Williams grabbed his chain saw and headed to the home of a friend’s parents, where two huge oak trees had fallen. He sawed the rest of the day to clear the couple’s driveway. Every day for the next three weeks, Williams delivered the mail through the cleanup from Charley and Frances. But he also spent hours after work using his chain saw wherever he could help—particularly outside the homes of retired people along his 18-mile mail route. Williams spent nearly five hours “I did what I could to help,” says Jim Williams, who refused payment but clearing a 40-foot oak from atop the did accept one offering: a pecan pie. home of Ginny Taffer, 79, and husband Gene, 83. “He was my angel,” says Ginny. What motivates Williams? He says that when his son James, 10 (with wife Gail, 47; he also has a daughter Leah, 16), was ill with lymphoma3 at 6, he made a pledge to help people. Besides, he adds, “I was raised right and taught to do the 5 Key Reading Skill right thing.” 5

Trapped in a Collapsing Hotel Melissa Baldwin fought her fears and saved her guests On August 13, 2004, the fierce winds of Charley ripped the roof off of a wing of the Best Western Waterfront in Punta Gorda, Florida. Fearing for her life, Melissa Baldwin, assistant manager of the motel, phoned her fiancé, Ted Barkenquast, from the front lobby. “Tell Mom and Dad I love them,” she yelled as windows shattered around her. Then the phone went dead. Recalls Barkenquast: “All I could do was think the worst.” But the storm brought out the best in Baldwin, 33, who suffers from epileptic seizures4 that can be brought on by

3. Lymphoma is a kind of tumor. 4. Epilepsy is a nervous-system disorder that causes attacks called seizures. A seizure may include loss of consciousness and violent shaking of the body.

630 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Ben Baker/Redux

Hero Do you think Williams is a hero? Why or why not? Use details from this article to support your answers.

Ben Baker/Redux


stress. “I figured if I was going to go down, I’d go down saving lives,” she says. She raced upstairs to the fifth floor. Then working her way down, she moved 56 guests and employees to a windowless second-floor hall. Baldwin also ran outside and gathered people from a building next door. “It sounded like a freight train was going through the building. The wind was screaming, and people were screaming,” she recalls. “I honestly thought, So this is how I’m going to die.” Unable to move an elderly man in “I didn’t have time to be scared,” says Melissa Baldwin (at the hurricanedevastated Best Western). room 112, she helped him into a bathtub and cushioned his body with 6 Key Literary Element pillows. When one woman resisted, “I said, ‘I’m not overHero Is Baldwin a hero? Why reacting. Just trust me,’” says Baldwin. The hurricane pounded or why not? Use details from this the hotel so hard that walls collapsed and air-conditioning article to support your answers. units were ripped away from the building. When the winds died down after midnight, Baldwin handed a list of the 56 7 English Language Coach guests—all breathing and unharmed—to a rescue worker. Compound Words Bathtub The worker marveled, “I can’t believe you’re all alive.” 6 7 is always a closed compound. Says Baldwin’s coworker Lee Phillips, “Melissa was so Air-conditioning is hyphenated comforting to the guests. If there were 15 of me, I don’t think when it’s an adjective, but it can be either open or hyphenated I could have been as comforting. She didn’t crack.” Baldwin is when it’s a noun. just happy everyone scraped through. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it,” she says. “But the hurricane helped show me 8 how strong I really am.” 8 —Updated 2005, from PEOPLE, October 4, 2004

Does this article change your idea about how a hero can find his or her strength? Write your answer on the “Hurricane Heroes” page of Foldable 6. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.

Hurricane Heroes 631 Ben Baker/Redux

Ben Baker/Redux


READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

After You Read

Hurricane Heroes

Answering the 1. How might extreme events make heroes out of ordinary people? 2. Recall Name one real-life hero that you just read about, and give the name of the hurricane that he or she responded to. T IP Think and Search 3. Summarize What did Jim Williams do after the hurricane? T IP Think and Search

Critical Thinking 4. Synthesize Do you think the people in the article would have behaved similarly had these events unfolded before their eyes in another community? For example, if they were on vacation in another country and a hurricane struck, would they have reacted the same way? Explain. T IP On My Own 5. Evaluate Did the authors present facts, opinions, or both? Did the authors persuade you that the people in the article are real-life heroes? Explain. T IP Author and Me 6. Analyze Do you think the people described in this story always had heroic qualities or do you think they found special strength and courage when faced with an emergency? Explain. T IP On My Own

Talk About Your Reading Objectives (pp. 632–633) Reading Activate prior knowledge • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify literary elements: hero Vocabulary Explore word origins

632 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Karena Cawthon/Silver Image

With a partner, talk about events or situations that would bring out the real-life hero in you. Would it be a natural disaster, or do you think you would be the kind of hero to stand up for a good cause? Consider the situations in “Hurricane Heroes.” Think about what you already know about heroes. Use these questions to get started. • Do you think you would be more likely to take action in an emergency, or would you be more likely to champion a cause? • What kind of emergencies need heroes? What kind of causes need champions? • In what ways can you start taking action to become a real-life hero right now?

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Activating Prior Knowledge 7. Did you activate knowledge about hurricanes beyond the facts presented in Build Background? If you hadn’t known anything about hurricanes, would you still have been able to understand this article? Explain your answers. 8. Besides what you knew about hurricanes, did other prior knowledge help you to understand the article? For example, did knowing what a circus ringmaster (page 629) does help you see what Jim Wegner did on his medical team? Find two examples of words or ideas that made you activate prior knowledge to understand things in the article.

Key Literary Element: Hero 9. This article describes three different people that the writers consider heroes. Describe what made them heroes. Use details from the article. 10. Which person do you admire the most? Why? 11. Describe how this article might be different if it were a myth about hurricanes and the heroes were magical.

Vocabulary Check Choose the best word from the list to complete each sentence below. Rewrite each sentence, with the correct word in place. anesthetist makeshift housing after 12. Trailers are sometimes used as a hurricane. 13. The work of the is to stop the feeling of pain.

English Language Coach Combine each word in the first column with a word in the second column. Each new word should be a compound word. 14. grand port 15. news board 16. down father 17. card paper 18. air town

Grammar Link: Capitalization of Sentences It’s important to capitalize the first letter of each word at the beginning of a sentence so readers can tell where one sentence ends and the next sentence starts. All complete sentences start with a capital letter.

Grammar Practice Copy these sentences, capitalizing the first word of every sentence. 19. my sister studies hard. she wants to go to college one day. 20. few people have a chance to be heroes. everyone can practice being kind. 21. hurricanes can be horrible. their effects can last for years. 22. our neighbor coaches soccer in his spare time. many of the kids see him as a hero. Writing Application Write a short summary of the discussion you had with your partner for Talk About Your Reading on page 632. Be sure to capitalize the first letter of each word that begins a sentence.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

Hurricane Heroes 633

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Before You Read

All Stories Are Anansi’s

Vocabulary Preview


old C o urlan d e r

Meet the Author Like all folktales, this story was passed around by word of mouth long before it was written. This version is a retelling by Harold Courlander. Courlander has always had a special interest in using narration to improve cross-cultural communication. See page R2 of the Author Files for more on Harold Courlander.

Author Search For more about Harold Courlander, go to www

yearned (yurnd) v. had a strong desire; form of the verb yearn (p. 636) Anansi yearned to own all the stories in the world. dispute (dis PYOOT) n. a difference of opinion; argument or quarrel (p. 637) Anansi had a dispute with his wife; they disagreed about the strength of the python. accustomed (uh KUS tumd) adj. used to; familiar with (p. 638) The leopard didn’t expect a trap because he was accustomed to walking in that area. merely (MEER lee) adv. just; only (p. 639) Anansi wasn’t merely confident, he was also very clever. acknowledge (ak NOL ij) v. to recognize the truth of something (p. 639) According to this folktale, we must acknowledge that all stories belong to Anansi. Write to Learn Write a paragraph about something you want to do, using at least three of the vocabulary words above.

English Language Coach Borrowed Words English has always been a mix of languages, especially Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Greek. Modern English continues to change by adding new words from languages around the world. Such words are called borrowed words. The word safari, for example, came from Africa. Coffee came from Arabia, and ketchup from China! As you can see, many borrowed words are so familiar that we would never imagine they came from other languages. Partner Talk Many of the foods we eat came from other countries and so did their names. Pizza is Italian, and chili is Mexican. With a partner, list as many borrowed food names as you can.

Objectives (pp. 634–639) Reading Activate prior knowledge • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify literary elements: hero Vocabulary Explore word origins: borrowed words

634 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Michael Courlander

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Activating Prior Knowledge

Connect to the Reading

Before you read the story, think about what you know about • folktale heroes • folktales about animals • animals that live in Africa Class Talk Think of other folktales that you have read. Have someone write the names of folktales on the board as class members think of them. Take turns naming the hero in each folktale. Then name a heroic action or characteristic of the hero.

Key Literary Element: Hero Heroes in myths are often brave and strong and may even have supernatural powers. However, many cultures have folktales about a different kind of hero—a trickster. A trickster may be physically weak, but is able to use humor and cunning to get what he or she wants. As you read this story, use these tips to decide whether you admire the trickster hero, Anansi: • Decide if he’s physically strong compared to other characters. Decide if he’s smart compared to other characters. • Think about what he wants and how he gets it. • Decide how the humor in the story affects the way you view Anansi. Partner Talk With a partner, make a list of other trickster characters you know about. To help you remember more characters, look up the word trickster in an encyclopedia or on the Internet.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Think of a time when you were tricked by someone or when you played a trick on someone else. As you read, pay attention to how Anansi uses trickery to become a hero.

Build Background Anansi is a favorite character in many African and Caribbean folktales. A spider-man, he is shown as either a spider or as a man with spider characteristics. Anansi is a trickster who tries to make everything turn out the best way possible—for himself. His tricks are surprising, clever, and fun to read about. • The trickster is usually a smaller, weaker character, who must use his or her brains to outsmart a larger and more powerful opponent. • Clever tricksters get themselves out of trouble, but in many stories they get right back into it. • Tricksters who try to take advantage of others and change the rules to favor themselves often end up caught in their own mischief.

Set Purposes for Reading Read “All Stories Are Anansi’s” to find out if Anansi, the trickster, has the qualities of a real-life hero. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from “All Stories Are Anansi’s”? Write your own purpose on the “All Stories Are Anansi’s” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. All Stories Are Anansi’s 635


All Stories Are

ANANSI’S by Harold Courlander

Mask (Okorashi Oma). African Nigeria. Wood and pigment, 10½ x 6¾ x 4 in. Harn Museum of Art. University of Florida


N THE BEGINNING, ALL TALES AND STORIES BELONGED TO Nyame,1 the Sky God. But Kwaku Anansi, the spider, yearned to be the owner of all the stories known in the world, and he went to Nyame and offered to buy them. 1 The Sky God said: “I am willing to sell the stories, but the price is high. Many people have come to me offering to buy, but the price was too high for them. Rich and powerful families have not been able to pay. Do you think you can do it?” Anansi replied to the Sky God: “I can do it. What is the price?” “My price is three things,” the Sky God said. “I must first have Mmoboro, the hornets. I must then have Onini, the great python. I must then have Osebo, the leopard. For these things I will sell you the right to tell all stories.” 2 Anansi said: “I will bring them.” 1. Nyame is pronounced (en YAH may).

Vocabulary yearned (yurnd) v. had a strong desire

636 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Harn Museum of Art Collection/University of Florida, gift of Rod McGalliard- 1990.14.103

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Activating Prior Knowledge What do you know about the importance of stories? Why would Anansi want to own all of the stories? What do you know about folktales that will help you understand this trickster tale? Think about what you learned in the Build Background.


English Language Coach Borrowed Words The snake that we call the python got its name from a monstrous snake in mythology. Its Greek name was Pytho¯n.


He went home and made his plans. He first cut a gourd from a vine and made a small hole in it. He took a large calabash and filled it with water. He went to the tree where the hornets lived. He Visual Vocabulary poured some of the water over A calabash (KAL uh bash) is a kind himself, so that he was dripping. of gourd, or hardHe threw some water over the shelled fruit. hornets, so that they too were dripping. Then he put the calabash on his head, as though to protect himself from a storm, and called out to the hornets: “Are you foolish people? Why do you stay in the rain that is falling?” The hornets answered: “Where shall we go?” “Go here, in this dry gourd,” Anansi told them. The hornets thanked him and flew into the gourd through the small hole. When the last of them had entered, Anansi plugged the hole with a ball of grass, saying: “Oh, yes, but you are really foolish people!” He took his gourd full of hornets to Nyame, the Sky God. The Sky God accepted them. He said: “There are two more things.” Anansi returned to the forest and cut a long bamboo pole and some strong vines. Then he walked toward the house of Onini, the python, talking to himself. He said: “My wife is stupid. I say he is longer and stronger. My wife says he is shorter and weaker. I give him more respect. She gives him less respect. Is she right or am I right? I am right, he is longer. I am right, he is stronger.” When Onini, the python, heard Anansi talking to himself, he said: “Why are you arguing this way with yourself?” The spider replied: “Ah, I have had a dispute with my wife. She says you are shorter and weaker than this bamboo pole. I say you are longer and stronger.” 3 Onini said: “It’s useless and silly to argue when you can find out the truth. Bring the pole and we will measure.” Vocabulary dispute (dis PYOOT) n. a difference of opinion; argument or quarrel

Untitled, 1990. Twins Seven-Seven. African ink on plywood with plywood collage. The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva.


English Language Coach Borrowed Words The word bamboo comes from an unusual source—Malay. That’s one of the languages used by people in Southeast Asia. They spell it bambu. All Stories Are Anansi’s 637

Ian Murphy/Getty Images, Photo by Claude Postel/C.A.A.C. The Pigozzi Collection


So Anansi laid the pole on the ground, and the python came and stretched himself out beside it. “You seem a little short,” Anansi said. The python stretched further. “A little more,” Anansi said. “I can stretch no more,” Onini said. “When you stretch at one end, you get shorter at the other end,” Anansi said. “Let me tie you at the front so you don’t slip.” He tied Onini’s head to the pole. Then he went to the other end and tied the tail to the pole. He wrapped the vine all around Onini, until the python couldn’t move. “Onini,” Anansi said, “it turns out that my wife was right and I was wrong. You are shorter than the pole and weaker. My opinion wasn’t as good as my wife’s. But you were even more foolish than I, and you are now my prisoner.” Anansi carried the python to Nyame, the Sky God, who said: “There is one thing more.” Osebo, the leopard, was next. Anansi went into the forest and dug a deep pit where the leopard was accustomed to walk. He covered it with small branches and leaves and put dust on it, so that it was impossible to tell where the pit was. Anansi went away and hid. When Osebo came prowling in the black of night, he stepped into the trap Anansi had prepared and fell to the bottom. Anansi heard the sound of the leopard falling, and he said: “Ah, Osebo, you are half-foolish!” When morning came, Anansi went to the pit and saw the leopard there. “Osebo,” he asked, “what are you doing in this hole?” “I have fallen into a trap,” Osebo said. “Help me out.” “I would gladly help you,” Anansi said. “But I’m sure that if I bring you out, I will have no thanks for it. You will get hungry, and later on you will be wanting to eat me and my children.” 4

Vocabulary accustomed (uh KUS tumd) adj. used to; familiar with

638 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Relief from one of the chapels off the Hypostyle Hall, Great Temple of Seti (13th century b.c.), Abydos. Temple of Seti I, Abydos, Egypt.


Key Literary Element Hero How does Anansi’s behavior with the hornets and the python show that he is a trickster hero?


“I swear it won’t happen!” Osebo said. “Very well. Since you swear it, I will take you out,” Anansi said. He bent a tall green tree toward the ground, so that its top was over the pit, and he tied it that way. Then he tied a rope to the top of the tree and dropped the other end of it into the pit. “Tie this to your tail,” he said. Osebo tied the rope to his tail. “Is it well tied?” Anansi asked. “Yes, it is well tied,” the leopard said. “In that case,” Anansi said, “you are not merely halffoolish, you are all-foolish.” And he took his knife and cut the other rope, the one that held the tree bowed to the ground. The tree straightened up with a snap, pulling Osebo out of the hole. He hung in the air head downward, twisting and turning. And while he hung this way, Anansi killed him with his weapons. 5 6 Then he took the body of the leopard and carried it to Nyame, the Sky God, saying: “Here is the third thing. Now I have paid the price.” Nyame said to him: “Kwaku Anansi, great warriors and chiefs have tried, but they have been unable to do it. You have done it. Therefore, I will give you the stories. From this day onward, all stories belong to you. Whenever a man tells a story, he must acknowledge that it is Anansi’s tale.” In this way Anansi, the spider, became the owner of all stories that are told. To Anansi all these tales belong. 7 ❍

Practice the Skills


Reviewing Skills Identifying Problem and Solution After Anansi caught the leopard in a pit, he had to solve the problem of how to get him out of the pit. What was his solution?


Key Literary Element Hero In what way or ways is Anansi a typical literary hero?

7 Does Anansi have qualities you admire in real-life heroes? On the “Anansi” page of Foldable 6, write a short paragraph to support your answer. Use examples from the story. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.

Vocabulary merely (MEER lee) adv. just; only acknowledge (ak NOL ij) v. to recognize the truth of something All Stories Are Anansi’s 639

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

After You Read

All Stories Are Anansi’s

Answering the 1. Do you think Anansi acts heroically? 2. Recall How did Anansi get the python to agree to be tied to a pole? T IP Right There 3. Summarize Summarize the three things Anansi had to do to pay for all the stories in the world. T IP Think and Search

Critical Thinking 4. Identify Name one way in which this folktale resembles a myth. T IP On My Own 5. Infer Anansi says he can pay Nyame’s price before he knows what it is. What does that say about him? T IP Author and Me 6. Analyze Do you think the teller of this folktale expects the listener to believe that it really happened? Why or why not? T IP Author and Me 7. Evaluate Why do you think someone would want to own all the stories in the world? T IP On My Own

Write About Your Reading

Objectives (pp. 640–641) Reading Activate prior knowledge • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify literary elements: hero Vocabulary Explore word origins: borrowed words Writing Dialogue Grammar Identify sentence types: simple; compound subject, compound predicate

640 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Photo by Claude Postel/C.A.A.C. The Pigozzi Collection

Write a dialogue between Anansi and you. Anansi wants to take all of your stories about your life. You have to decide if you want to keep your stories or not. • Start by having Anansi explain why he wants your stories. What will they give him? What is unique about your stories? • Decide if you want to keep the stories about your life or if you will let them go so you can create new ones. Tell Anansi what you want to do. If you want to keep your stories, explain why. If you are willing to let him take your stories, tell him your price. • Use words like “he said,” “I asked,” “he shouted,” or “I whispered” to show who’s talking and the emotions behind the words.

READING WORKSHOP 1 • Activating Prior Knowledge

Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Activating Prior Knowledge 8. In your Learner’s Notebook, describe something you knew about folktales, trickster heroes, or Anansi before you read this story. Tell how the knowledge helped you understand or enjoy the story.

Key Literary Element: Hero 9. Name one thing that makes Anansi a literary hero. 10. Name one thing that makes Anansi a trickster hero. 11. Name one way in which Anansi is similar to a mythic hero.

Grammar Link: Simple Sentences A simple sentence has one complete subject and one complete predicate. subject predicate Anansi is a spider. However, a simple sentence can have a compound subject, a compound predicate, or both. Compound subject: Lisa and Mike went to the store. Compound predicate: Many students read and enjoy novels.

Reviewing Skills: Identifying Problem and Solution

Compound subject and predicate: Lisa and Mike read and enjoy novels.

12. Anansi must convince the hornets that it is raining in order to get them to fly into his gourd. How does he solve that problem?

Grammar Practice

Vocabulary Check Write your own fill-in-the-blank sentence for each vocabulary word below. Make sure you include enough clues for a classmate to fill in the correct word to complete the sentence. Exchange papers with a partner and fill in the blanks in each other’s sentences. 13. yearned 14. dispute 15. accustomed 16. merely 17. acknowledge 18. English Language Coach Besides pizza and chili, list three foods Americans “borrowed” from other countries.

Decide whether each group of words below is a simple sentence. If it isn’t a simple sentence, rewrite it in your Learner’s Notebook as a complete simple sentence, adding the missing subject or predicate part. 19. Anansi was smart and cunning. Yes No 20. Anansi all the stories. Yes No 21. Anansi and Nyame made a deal. Yes No Writing Application Read the dialogue you wrote and underline the simple sentences. Sometimes it’s okay to have sentence fragments in dialogue because people don’t always talk in complete sentences.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

All Stories Are Anansi’s 641

WRITING WORKSHOP PART 1 Fable Prewriting and Drafting

ASSIGNMENT Write a fable Purpose: To write a fable that teaches a moral Audience: You, your teacher, and your classmates

Writing Rubric As you work through this part of the workshop, you will • describe a setting • create characters • develop a plot • write dialogue • develop voice See page 703 in Part 2 for a model of a fable.

A fable is a folktale that’s meant to teach a lesson about right and wrong. That lesson is called a moral. In “All Stories Are Anansi’s,” the moral is that brains are stronger than brawn (physical strength). Anansi is a small spider, but his cleverness tricks two larger animals and a swarm of hornets. In this workshop, you’ll write your own fable. Prewriting

Get Ready to Write Before you start to write, you’ll have to decide what moral you want your fable to teach. Think about phrases, sayings, or bits of wisdom that you have heard your parents or other family members say. Here are some suggestions: • Honesty is the best policy. • Big presents come in small packages. • Slow and steady wins the race. Write your moral in your Learner’s Notebook.

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Create Your Characters Characters in fables are often animals that behave like humans but still have animal qualities. Think about who your main and secondary characters will be. Write about them in your Learner’s Notebook.

Objectives (642–645) Writing Use the writing process: prewrite, draft • Write a fable • Use literary elements: setting, plot, dialogue, characterization, voice Grammar Use compound and complex sentences

My main character is a beautiful peacock named Peter. He has long, beautiful feathers that magically change colors. My secondary character is a pig named Polly.

Create Your Setting and Plot Fables often take place in the countryside. In your Learner’s Notebook, write down where your fable will take place.

A forest

642 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

WRITING WORKSHOP PART 1 Your fable should include a conflict, three main events, and a solution that tells the reader the moral of your story. In your Learner’s Notebook write three main events.

Peter and his friends are mean to Polly because Polly is not as beautiful as the peacocks. Polly makes herself look more attractive, but Peter and his friends laugh at Polly’s efforts. Peter’s feathers begin to fall out and his friends desert him.

Writing Tip The conflict in a fable is often connected to a contest, a race, or a challenge. Whatever you choose for a conflict, remember that it must make sense with the moral of your fable.


Start Writing Tell Your Tale

Writing Tip The setting of a fable is usually not described in detail. This allows readers to use their imaginations.

This is the fun part—getting your fable on paper. Here are some tips to think about as you write: • Start your story by describing the setting and the main character.

Peter lived in the forest with the rest of his peacock friends. Peter was the most handsome peacock in the whole forest because his feathers magically changed from one magnificent color to another. • Follow the order of your outline to write the rest of the fable.

One day, Polly the pig walked by the pond where Peter and his friends were brushing their feathers . . .

Writing Tip Dialogue Think about your character’s voices. Who do they talk like? Your school principal? Your best friend? Do they use slang or big words? Pick a voice for each character and keep it the same throughout the fable.

Keep Going • Don’t worry about run-on sentences, spelling mistakes, or punctuation. You’ll fix these things later in Writing Workshop Part 2. • Write for ten minutes before taking a break. • If you get stuck, look at the guide you made in your Learner’s Notebook. That will tell you what to write next.

Writing Workshop Part 1




Analyzing Cartoons

Applying Good Writing Traits

What does the boy mean when he says “I’ve gotta be me . . . “? Is he trying to find his voice? Explain.

Voice People who know you well can probably identify you when you talk, even if they can’t see you. You have a certain sound. You have a certain style of speaking. You choose certain words to express your thoughts and personality. All of these things are part of your voice.

What Is Voice? Like your speaking voice, your writing voice reflects your thoughts and personality. Of course, readers don’t hear you the way they do when you speak. However, they can “hear” you through the words you choose and how you put them together. In some kinds of writing, like research reports and essays, your voice needs to be formal and proper. In creative writing, like a fable, you can be freer and less formal. You don’t have to worry as much about grammar. You do, however, want your audience to be able to understand the story, so you can’t ignore all the rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Why Is Voice Important in My Writing? • Writing in your own voice makes it easier to express your ideas, thoughts, and feelings. • When you write in your own voice, your readers can tell that you care about the topic. • Writing in your own voice makes your writing more interesting to read. • Your writing voice is your “personality” on paper. When you write in your own voice, readers get to know the real you. 644 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

How Do I Do It? To write in your voice try these suggestions: • Write the kind of words that you use when talking. • Write sentences the way you would say them. • Share your thoughts and opinions about the topic. • Make sure your writing sounds like you! Write to Learn Activity In your Learner’s Notebook, write a short paragraph about the folktale “All Stories Are Anansi’s.” Use your own voice to answer these questions in your paragraph: • How did Anansi buy the stories from the Sky God? • Do you think the way Anansi captured the other animals was fair? Why or why not? • Would you want to be friends with a character like Anansi? When you are finished, trade paragraphs with a partner. Underline words or phrases that you can tell are written in your partner’s voice.


Grammar Link: Compound and Complex Sentences Sentences are made up of independent clauses (which can stand alone as sentences) and dependent clauses (which cannot stand alone).

What Are Compound and Complex Sentences? A compound sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses. (An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence.) The clauses in a compound sentence can be joined together by a comma and a coordinating conjunction, such as and, but, or or.

When you use compound and complex sentences along with simple sentences, your sentences will vary in length and structure. That helps them have a rhythm and a smooth flow.

How Do I Use Compound and Complex Sentences? 1. Use compound sentences to combine two sentences that are equally important. The bear was big. The turtle was slow. The bear was big, and the turtle was slow.

A complex sentence has one main clause and one or more dependent clauses. (A dependent clause has a subject and a predicate, but it doesn’t express a complete thought. It can’t stand alone as a sentence.)

2. Use complex sentences to combine an important idea (independent clause) and a less important idea (dependent clause). Main Idea: The rabbit will win the race. Less Important Idea: The rabbit might trip and lose the race. Complex Sentence: The rabbit will win the race, unless he trips.

When Jai moved to Iowa, he made many friends. dependent independent

Practice It

Why Are Compound and Complex Sentences Important?

The following paragraph uses only simple sentences. On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the paragraph, changing simple sentences to compound or complex.

Deeana likes to sing, and Johnny plays piano. independent independent

The best writing is made up of sentences that flow smoothly from one to another. Read your own writing aloud sometime. Does it have a smooth flow and rhythm? Or is it choppy and made up of lots of short sentences?

Last summer I went to the lake. I went swimming every day. My brother went swimming too. One day I caught a big fish. We built a fire. We cooked the fish. We slept in a cabin. We got up early every morning. We could catch a lot of fish early in the morning.

Looking Ahead Continue writing the first draft of your fable. In Writing Workshop Part 2 you will revise and edit your draft.

Writing Workshop Part 1



READING WORKSHOP 2 Skills Focus You will practice using these skills when you read the following selections: • “The Twelve Labors of Hercules,” p. 650 • “Pecos Bill,” p. 660

Reading • Clarifying meaning while reading

Literature • Recognizing the cultural contexts of Greek mythology • Recognizing the cultural contexts of the Wild West


Skill Lesson

Clarifying Learn It! What Is It? Have you ever read something and then realized you didn’t understand it very well? If you didn’t monitor your comprehension and kept reading, you probably understood less and less. By the time you finished, you may have felt clueless. Clarifying means clearing up whatever you don’t understand. As you’re reading, stop when something confuses you. Take the time to find out what’s going on.

• Recognizing borrowed words

Writing/Grammar • Correcting run-on sentences

Analyzing the Art Objectives (pp. 646–647) Reading Clarify ideas and text

646 UNIT 6

Why is a magnifying glass often a symbol for clarifying, or trying to understand something more clearly?


Why Is It Important? Clarifying what you don’t understand pays off! It helps you understand and enjoy the text you’re reading. It also gives you more information to use in your life. How Do I Do It? When you realize you don’t understand something while you’re reading, try these techniques: • Read confusing parts slowly and carefully. • Look up unfamiliar words. • Use resources like dictionaries, encyclopedias, the Internet, and your teacher to figure out the things you don’t understand. • With your new information, reread the confusing parts of the text.

Study Central Visit www.glencoe .com and click on Study Central to review clarifying.

Here’s how Dan clarified as he read about the Greeks:

“When the great city of Troy was taken, all the chiefs who had fought against it set sail for their homes. But there was wrath in heaven against them, for indeed they had borne themselves haughtily and cruelly in the day of their victory. Therefore they did not all find a safe and happy return.”

I don’t get the second sentence. I need to look up wrath. Wrath means anger. “Wrath in heaven” must mean the gods were “angry.” I also need to look up haughtily. Haughtily means “too proudly.” The gods were angry when the Greeks behaved badly in their victory. Now I get why the Greeks didn’t have a safe return!

Practice It! Choose a paragraph in one of your textbooks. Make a list of any words or ideas that need clarification. Decide which sources to use to clarify what you don’t understand.

Use It! As you read about Hercules and Pecos Bill, write a list in your Learner’s Notebook of things you don’t understand. Clarify as you read to get the most out of each selection.

Reading Workshop 2 Clarifying 647 CORBIS


Before You Read

The Twelve Labors of Hercules

Vocabulary Preview

W alk

er B re nt s

Meet the Author This myth about Hercules is a retelling by Walker Brents, a poet and storyteller. Born in 1958, Brents has loved myths since his father read to him about the Greek gods when he was five years old. Brents says, “The feeling the myths gave me was mysterious and yet somehow strangely familiar.”

Author Search For more about Brents, go to

consciousness (KON shus nus) n. thoughts; awareness; the mind (p. 650) The gods and goddesses had the power to control the consciousness of humans. delusion (dih LOO zhun) n. a false belief (p. 650) Hercules had the delusion that he was at war and had to kill his enemies. remorse (rih MORS) n. feeling of guilt and regret (p. 651) Hercules felt remorse for killing his nephews and nieces. diverted (dih VUR tid) v. turned from one course to another; form of the verb divert (p. 652) Hercules diverted two rivers to wash through an area that needed to be cleaned. grotesque (groh TESK) adj. bizarre or distorted in appearance (p. 653) The slimy three-headed monster was grotesque. devoured (dih VOW urd) v. ate greedily; form of the verb devour (p. 653) The birds killed their prey before they devoured it. foliage (FOH lee ij) n. a cluster of leaves and branches (p. 653) The foliage in the marsh was so thick that Hercules couldn’t cut through it. iridescent (ir ih DES unt) adj. showing shimmering colors that look like a rainbow (p. 654) The colors in the iridescent glass were beautiful. Partner Talk Play six rounds of “Twenty Questions” using the vocabulary words. One partner chooses one of the words. The other partner may ask up to twenty yes-or-no questions to guess the word.

English Language Coach

Objectives (pp. 648–655) Reading Clarify ideas and text • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: cultural context Vocabulary Explore word origins: words from names

Words Borrowed from Names Some names become words. That’s what happened with several names in the next selection. Atlas belonged to a family of giants called the Titans. They were so powerful that they rebelled against the gods and, for a time, ruled the earth. To punish Atlas for rebelling, the gods forced him to support the sky on his shoulders. From the names Atlas and Titan, we got these words: EL • atlas (AT lus) n. a book of maps • titan (TY tun) n. one who has great size or power • titanic (ty TAN ik) adj. having great size or power Write to Learn Look up Helios in a dictionary or an encyclopedia. In your Learner’s Notebook, note who he is in Greek mythology and find one English word that came from his name.

648 UNIT 2 What Makes a Hero? Joyce Romano

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Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Clarifying

Connect to the Reading

While you read about Hercules, use your Learner’s Notebook to write down anything you don’t understand in this myth. Include words you don’t know.

Do you ever watch action or horror movies? Well, the myth of Hercules has the same sorts of things those movies do: an impossible mission, scary creatures, and bloody battles.

Write to Learn Write this sentence from “The Twelve Labors of Hercules” in your Learner’s Notebook: “Terrible remorse drove him to the oracle of the god Apollo at Delphi, and he asked the priestesses there what he could do to expiate his terrible deed.” Circle every word or phrase that you don’t understand.

Key Literary Element: Cultural Context The cultural context is the culture that a story comes from when it was first told or written. The culture includes the time and place as well as the beliefs and practices of the people living in that time and place. Hercules is part of Greek mythology, which was the religion of ancient Greece. In these myths, twelve gods and goddesses, living on Mount Olympus, interacted with humans and had power over all of Nature and human lives. As you read about Hercules, use these questions to help you think about the cultural context: • Who are the gods and goddesses in this story? How do they hurt or help Hercules? • In what ways are they powerful? In what ways are their powers limited? • In what ways was Hercules like a god and in what ways was he human? Class Talk The ancient Greek stories taught that there was a god or goddess for almost every element of nature (such as the sky, sea, earth, and the weather) and every major human activity (such as home, marriage, the hunt, and war). Discuss with your classmates why you think the Greeks might have written these stories.

Build Background The myth of Hercules includes references to these characters of Greek mythology: • The Oracle at Delphi was a shrine to Apollo, the god of the sun. Apollo spoke through the priestesses who lived at Delphi. If asked, they could tell people’s future. • The Amazons were a tribe of warrior women. • Atlas led the Titans, a race of giants, in a war against the gods of Mount Olympus. Zeus punished him by making him carry the sky on his shoulders.

Set Purposes for Reading Read “The Twelve Labors of Hercules” to learn what made Hercules such an important hero to the ancient Greeks. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from this story about Hercules and his labors? Write your own purpose on “The Twelve Labors of Hercules” page of Foldable 6.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. The Twelve Labors of Hercules 649


by Walker Brents


he goddess Hera1 hated Hercules from the moment of his birth. In his infancy she sent two giant serpents to kill him as he slept, but Hercules strangled them instead. His parents rushed into the room to find the baby shaking the dead bodies of the snakes as if they were rattles. This was an early indication of his great strength, but this strength was not always used well. 1 Once Hera sent madness and insanity into the consciousness of Hercules. His thoughts became scrambled. Under the delusion that he was at war, he mistook his nephews and nieces for enemies, and killed them. When the madness passed and he saw what he had done he was 1. Hera (HAIR uh) is the Queen of the Greek deities (gods and goddesses). She is the goddess of marriage and birth. Zeus (zoos) is her husband.

Vocabulary consciousness (KON shus nus) n. thoughts; awareness; the mind delusion (dih LOO zhun) n. a false belief

650 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Archive Timothy McCarthy/Art Resource, NY

Practice the Skills


English Language Coach Words from Names The name Hercules became the English word herculean (hur kyuh LEE un). It can mean either “having great strength” or “having great difficulty.”


overwhelmed with grief and guilt. Terrible remorse drove him to the oracle of the god Apollo at Delphi, and he asked R the priestesses there what he could do to expiate2 his terrible deed. They told him, “Go to King Eurystheus,3 and undertake the labors he will put upon you.” 2 3 Hercules went to Tiryns, the land ruled by King Eurystheus. He stood before the throne. Eurystheus said to him, “Go to Nemea, where a fierce lion terrorizes the people. No weapon can pierce through its terrible skin. Kill this lion, remove its skin, carry it here and show it to me.” Eurystheus was shrewd, calculating, cunning, and cowardly. Each task he was to set before Hercules was designed to be impossible, but the determination of Hercules was to overcome the impossible. He followed the lion’s tracks to a deep dark cave EL hidden in a hillside. He saw the bones strewn at the cave’s entrance, and entered in. In such a darkness he could not see his hand before his face, the dank4 air was filled with the smell of blood. The lion had just killed, and had carried its prey to this place which was its very den. Hercules leapt upon the lion and wrestled with it. His tremendous club and sharp knife were of no use, for the lion’s hide was too thick. Hercules grasped the lion’s neck with his hands and held it against the cave wall until the lion’s thrashings ceased and it was dead. Then he dragged the lion into the light of day, skinning it with one of its own claws. He draped the skin over his shoulders, its head over his head like a helmet, and hurried back to the palace of King Eurystheus, who saw him approach from a distance and was so frightened at the sight that he hid in a giant olive jar. He Visual Vocabulary sent his servants to Hercules to tell him of A hydra (HY druh) the next task. “Go to the swamp of Lerna is a serpent monster with nine heads that and defeat the hydra, who lives at the can regrow. confluence of the three springs.”

Practice the Skills 2

Key Reading Skill Clarifying The twelve great labors of Hercules are amazing and exciting, but they might be hard to keep track of! Clarify by writing in your Learner’s Notebook each time Hercules begins a new task.


Key Literary Element Cultural Context The goddess Hera made Hercules crazy. Because of this, he killed his relatives. Even though he didn’t know what he was doing, Hercules wants to make up for the terrible crime. What does this say about what the ancient Greeks thought of personal responsibility?

2. To expiate (EX pee ate) is to try to make up for having done something bad. 3. Eurystheus (yoo RIS thee us) 4. Air that is dank is damp and uncomfortable.

Vocabulary remorse (rih MORS), n. feeling of guilt and regret The Twelve Labors of Hercules 651 The Art Archive/Bargello Museum Florence / Dagli Orti

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Hercules and one of his surviving nephews, Iolaus, found the monster in the depths of the swamp, at the confluence of three springs. Hercules shot his arrows at the monster so as to anger it enough to attack and come close enough for him to fight it with his oaken club. The monster had nine heads and came toward them screaming with rage, belching great gouts of poison bloody mud. Hercules began to knock off the creature’s heads, but saw that three heads grew back from where one was knocked off! Iolaus lit the branch of a tree R with fire, and held his torch against the neck-stubs where Hercules knocked the heads off. The burnt blood prevented the heads from growing back. With this the tide of the battle turned. The creature was weakening. Finally, Hercules tore off the central head, the primary one. He carried it away and buried it in the ground with a great rock over it, so that it could not rejoin the body and come alive again. Then Hercules dipped his arrow points in the poison blood of the hydra, which lay in pools all around, so as to make them deadly. 4 Other labors followed, and they took Hercules far and wide. In the forest of Ceryneia he chased a deer with golden antlers for an entire year, caught it and carried it alive to King Eurystheus, then returned to Ceryneia and let the deer go. Earlier, he had gone to the land of King Augeias, who kept a stable filled with thousands upon thousands of cattle, which L had never been cleaned. Eurystheus, gleefully imagining Hercules carrying baskets and baskets of dung, had ordered him to clean those stables. But Hercules diverted the course of two rivers and sent them through the stables so that they were entirely cleaned in one day. 5 On Mount Erymanthus there lived a great boar. Searching amid the lower slopes of this mountain Hercules met an old friend Visual Vocabulary of his, Pholos the centaur, who lived in a A centaur (SEN tawr) village of centaurs. Hercules shared a meal is a creature that is half man and with his friend, but accidentally spilled a half horse. drop or two of wine upon the ground. The

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Clarifying One way to clarify a difficult sentence is to break it into parts. For example, look at the last sentence in this paragraph. It might be easier to understand if you turn it into three simple sentences: “Hercules dipped his arrows in the poison blood of hydra. The poison blood lay in pools all around. The poison blood made the arrows deadly.”


Key Literary Element Cultural Context Hercules was a hero to the Greeks. What does that tell you about the Greeks? What qualities did they admire? Write your answer in your Learner’s Notebook.

Vocabulary diverted (dih VUR tid) v. turned from one course to another

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smell of the wine drove the centaurs insane, and they attacked Hercules, who responded with a volley of arrows tipped with the hydra’s poison blood. Many were killed. Pholos was burying their bodies when an arrow came loose from one of them, fell down and pierced the flesh near his hoof. The poison entered his veins and killed him. By this time, Hercules was on the upper part of the R1 mountain hunting for the boar, but when he heard of his friend’s death he returned to the centaur village and in great sadness helped with the funeral. But he had made enemies with some of the centaurs, and one of them, Nessus, swore revenge. Hercules returned to the hunt for the boar and chased it into deep snowdrifts, where he caught it. After that he went to the land of Thrace and fought against Diomedes, killing him and his man-eating horses. 6 Another labor brought Hercules to the marshes of Stymphalus. Somewhere in these vast marshes there lived grotesque vicious birds that shot their feathers like arrows into people. Then they tore the people into pieces and carried their chunks of flesh away into the marshes where they devoured them. No one could get to the place from which they came. Hercules came very close to their lair, but not close enough. The foliage was so thick not even he could hack through it with his sword, so that his forward motion was stopped, and he sat upon the ground in despair. Here an ally came to him, the goddess Athena. She helped him. She R2 caused a set of brazen cymbals to appear upon the ground next to his feet, and spoke these words into his consciousness:

Wild Boar, 1999. Mark Adlington. Graphite, conte, and charcoal on paper. Private collection.


Key Reading Skill Clarifying How many tasks has Hercules completed? Is fighting the centaurs one of the tasks he was sent to accomplish?

Vocabulary grotesque (groh TESK) adj. bizarre or distorted in appearance devoured (dih VOW urd) v. ate greedily foliage (FOH lee ij) n. a cluster of leaves and branches The Twelve Labors of Hercules 653 Mark Adlington/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

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“Strike the cymbals together. The sound of their brassy clashing will startle the birds from their branches and nests. They will fly into the air and become targets for your arrows.” Hercules followed her instructions. As fast as the birds flew up his arrows pierced them. Most were killed and those who lived flew away and never returned. He came to Themiscyra, where the river Thermodon flowed into the sea, in a place of many cliffs and rocky hiding places. This was the land of the Amazons, womanwarriors, whose queen, Hippolyte, had a sword-belt made of bronze and iridescent glass, given to her by the god of war, Ares. Hercules was to take this belt from her. Expecting a battle, he was surprised when Hippolyte gave it to him freely, but outside their meeting place, the goddess Hera filled Garden of the Hesperides, 1869–73. Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Tempera, gouache, and oil on card and canvas. Hamburger the minds of the Amazons with rumors of Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany. war, so that as Hercules left he was suddenly attacked by battalions of Amazons. Once more his poison arrows did their deadly work, and, with the belt, he made his escape. In Crete, he carried away the bull Poseidon gave to King Minos. On the island of Erytheia, he killed Geyron, a giant man-monster with one head and three bodies, and his twoheaded dog, Orthrus. He took the herd of cattle they guarded—cattle whose hides were red as the rays of the setting sun. Helios the sun-god caused a floating golden cup to appear in the sea, and Hercules drove the bull of Crete and 7 English Language Coach the red cattle onto this cup and floated back to Tiryns. 7 “Your next to last task requires that you find the garden Words from Names The name Helios gave us helium beyond the world. There, in the Garden of the Hesperides, (the lighter-than-air gas used grow the golden apples upon the branches of a tree guarded in balloons) and heliotrope (a by the serpent that never sleeps. Bring back those apples.” plant whose flowers turn toward Hercules had no sooner heard these orders than he was off. the sun).

Practice the Skills

Vocabulary iridescent (ir ih DES unt) adj. showing shimmering colors that look like a rainbow

654 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Garden of the Hesperides, 1869-73 (tempera, gouache and oil on card and canvas)


At the world’s edge he met Atlas, the giant who holds up the sky. “The three sisters who live there are my own daughters. Let me bring back the apples. I am the only one they will let have them. But you must hold up the sky while I am gone.” So Atlas said as he waited for Hercules to climb atop the high mountain preparatory to taking upon himself the burden of the sky. Once the load was transferred, Hercules stood with the sky upon his back, watching Atlas stride away, already waist-deep in the Heracles leading Cerberus to Eurystheus. Black figure hydria. 530–525 BCE, ocean that encircles the world. Roman. Louvre, Paris, France. Some few moments, hours, days, or months later Atlas returned, holding a branch with three golden apples. “Let me take the apples back to Eurystheus. You go on holding up the sky, for I am tired of it.” Atlas was getting ready to go when Hercules said, “Friend, let me do just one thing before you’re off. That lion’s skin lying there— I carry it with me wherever I go. It would make a good pad to cushion my shoulders against this mighty burden. Kindly take up the sky again for a moment as I gather it up. Then you can return the load to me.” Atlas agreed to do so, but once the sky was returned to his keeping Hercules took the branch and walked away, ignoring Atlas’s angry cries for him 8 English Language Coach to return. 8 Words from Names The name Atlas also gave us another The final labor required Hercules to go down to the world proper name—Atlantic Ocean. of the dead and bring back Cerberus, the fierce three-headed 5 6 dog. The gods Hermes and Athena met him at the river between the two worlds and helped him. He carried Cerberus back to Tiryns and showed it to King Eurystheus. The three 9 heads barked at him and bared their teeth, and Eurystheus Does Hercules have the qualities died of fright. 9 ❍ of a real-life hero? Find a partner

Practice the Skills

5. Hermes (HUR meez) is the messenger god. 6. Athena (uh THEE nuh) is the goddess of wisdom.

and discuss. Write your conclusions on the “Twelve Labors of Hercules” page of Foldable 6. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later. The Twelve Labors of Hercules 655

Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY


After You Read

The Twelve Labors of Hercules Answering the 1. Why do you think Hercules has been such a popular hero since ancient times? 2. Demonstrate Give two examples that show that King Eurystheus was a coward. T IP Author and Me

Critical Thinking 3. Analyze Hercules had the traits of a hero, but he wasn’t perfect. Give at least two examples from the story that show the human side of Hercules. T IP Author and Me 4. Infer Why did Hercules undertake the twelve labors? T IP Author and Me 5. Compare Name one major similarity and one major difference between Hercules and Anansi. T IP Author and Me 6. Assess What powers did the gods and goddesses in this story have? How do you know that there were limits to their powers? T IP Author and Me

Write About Your Reading Objectives (pp. 656–657) Reading Clarify ideas and text Literature Identify key literary elements: cultural context Vocabulary Explore word origins: words from names Writing Plan and organize a movie script Grammar Write compound sentences

656 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Archive Timothy McCarthy/Art Resource, NY

Pretend that you are writing a movie script for a modern version of this myth. In your version, Hercules is a hero enlisted by the President of the United States to solve twelve problems. Plan and organize the plot for your script. • List the twelve problems you want Hercules to solve. • List the difficulties he will encounter. • List the skills he will use to solve each problem.


Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Clarifying 7. Look at the list of tasks you wrote in your Learner’s Notebook. Do you have twelve listed? If not, go back and find the tasks you’re missing.

Key Literary Element: Cultural Context 8. What beliefs of ancient Greeks do you see in this myth? 9. What weaknesses in the gods and goddesses do you see in this myth? 10. Why do you think the Greeks created imperfect heroes?

Vocabulary Check Choose the best word from the list to complete each sentence below. Rewrite each sentence with the correct word in place. consciousness foliage delusion remorse 11. When Hercules thought that he was at war and . had to kill his enemies, he was under a 12. The gods sometimes interfered with humans by getting into their . 13. The was so thick around the birds that even Hercules couldn’t cut through it. 14. When Hercules killed his relatives, he was overcome with .

Grammar Link: Combine Sentences Too many short sentences can make writing sound choppy or boring. One way to make your writing more interesting is to combine sentences that have closely related ideas into one longer sentence. One way to combine sentences is to use coordinating conjunctions like and, but, so, and or. Place a comma before the conjunction. Hercules was strong. He liked challenges. Hercules was strong, and he liked challenges.

Grammar Practice Combine each pair of sentences below using and, but, so, and or. Place a comma before the conjuction. 17. Hercules was courageous. He was smart. 18. Hera wanted to hurt Hercules. She made him temporarily insane. 19. Hercules killed Pholos. It was an accident. 20. Sam has three sisters. Matt has only one. 21. The hurricane season has begun. Fewer people are visiting Florida. 22. I might have spaghetti for dinner. My mom might order pizza.

English Language Coach 15. If you are given a herculean task to do, is it an easy one or a difficult one? 16. What does heliocentric mean? (Hint: Our solar system is this.)

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

The Twelve Labors of Hercules 657


Before You Read Meet the Author Mary Pope Osborne has written more than fifty books. She is best known for her Magic Tree House books. Born in Oklahoma in 1949, Osborne feels lucky to have explored exciting topics through her books. As she puts it, “I’ve taken journeys to the times of dinosaurs, knights, mummies, pirates, and ninjas.” See page R5 of the Author Files for more on Mary Pope Osborne.

Pecos Bill

Vocabulary Preview desolate (DES uh lit) adj. deserted or uninhabited (p. 660) Much of the land was desolate at that time. spunk (spunk) n. courage, spirit, and determination (p. 663) Cowboys needed a lot of spunk to survive in the Wild West. V drought (drowt) n. a long period of very dry weather (p. 664) Because of the drought, there was no water to drink. barren (BAIR un) adj. having little or no plant life; empty (p. 666) The land was so barren that the cattle had no grass to eat. Write to Learn For each vocabulary word, write a sentence using it correctly.

English Language Coach Author Search For more about Mary Pope Osborne, go to www

Borrowed Words The English language has borrowed words for just about everything—clothing, colors, weather, animals, cars, and sports. Tulip and peach are Persian. Tea and typhoon are Chinese. Banana and okra come from Africa. Partner Talk With a partner, match the lists of words below with the languages they were borrowed from. Use a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or the Internet to help you. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

tornado, coyote, rodeo karate, tycoon, haiku balcony, macaroni chimpanzee, zebra, jumbo jungle, shampoo, bandana boomerang, kangaroo, koala

a. b. c. d.

Italian Spanish Japanese languages of Australia and New Zealand e. languages of India f. languages of Africa

Then, with your partner, look up each of the following words in a dictionary to learn what language it was borrowed from. Objectives (pp. 658–659) Reading Clarify ideas and text Literature Identify key literary elements: cultural context Vocabulary Explore word origins: borrowed words

1. barbecue 2. hurricane 3. spaghetti

4. canoe 5. yak 6. bungalow

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Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Clarifying

Connect to the Reading

While you read about Pecos Bill, write down anything you don’t understand. Also write down any words you don’t know. Look up the answers in a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or on the Internet.

This folktale is about a hero who is “larger than life.” You’ve probably read about larger-than-life heroes— comic-book superheroes, for example.

Partner Talk On the left are some words used in movies and books about the Wild West. With a partner, see how many you can match with words that have the same meaning in Standard American English. Wild West Slang 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

howdy pardner yonder chow fetch pokey

Standard American English a. b. c. d. e. f.

get jail over there hello food partner

Key Literary Element: Cultural Context The cultural context of a story has a lot to do with who tells the story. Each time and place in history has a different culture filled with people who have different beliefs and practices. Each person might tell the same story from a different cultural context. For example, “Pecos Bill” is a story about the American West. A story about the West could be told by • a Native American • a cowboy • a Chinese immigrant Depending on who is telling the story, the cultural context may change and a very different story will be told about the same time and place in history.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Class Talk Discuss who are today’s most popular larger-than-life heroes.

Build Background Folktales about the American West started being created almost as soon as the first European settlers arrived there. Books, stories, movies, and TV shows have all added to this folklore over the years. These tales often exaggerate the danger, excitement, and wildness of the area, which is why it became known as the Wild West. The folktale you are about to read is a “tall tale.” In a tall tale, things are exaggerated to be bigger and more amazing than they could possibly be in real life. A character in a tall tale might, for example, bite a nail in two or tame a tornado!

Set Purposes for Reading As you read, think about why settlers in the American West created heroes such as Pecos Bill. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn about heroes in folktales? Write your own purpose on the “Pecos Bill” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. Pecos Bill 659


Pecos Bill by Mary Pope Osborne

Bill riding his horse “Widow Maker.” Illustration from American Tall Tales.


sk any coyote near the Pecos River in western Texas who was the best cowboy who ever lived, and he’ll throw back his head and howl, “Ah-hooo!” If you didn’t know already, that’s coyote language for Pecos Bill. 1 When Pecos Bill was a little baby, he was as tough as a pine knot. He teethed on horseshoes instead of teething rings and played with grizzly bears instead of teddy bears. He could have grown up just fine in the untamed land of eastern Texas. But one day his pappy1 ran in from the fields, hollering, “Pack up, Ma! Neighbors movin’ in fifty miles away! It’s gettin’ too crowded!” 2 Before sundown Bill’s folks loaded their fifteen kids and all their belongings into their covered wagon and started west. As they clattered across the desolate land of western Texas, the crushing heat nearly drove them all crazy. Baby Bill got so hot and cross that he began to wallop his big brothers. Pretty soon all fifteen kids were going at one another tooth and nail. Before they turned each other into catfish bait, Bill fell out of the wagon and landed kerplop on the sun-scorched desert.

Practice the Skills 1

English Language Coach Borrowed Words What language was coyote borrowed from? Write your answer in your Learner’s Notebook.


Key Literary Element Cultural Context Think of the culture of American settlers in the Wild West. How does the description of Bill show what is important to that culture?

1. The word pappy is a changed form of papa, so it refers to a person’s father.

Vocabulary desolate (DES uh lit) adj. deserted or uninhabited

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The others were so busy fighting that they didn’t even notice the baby was missing until it was too late to do anything about it. Well, tough little Bill just sat there in the dirt, watching his family rattle off in a cloud of dust, until an old coyote walked over and sniffed him. 3 “Goo-goo!” Bill said. Now it’s an amazing coincidence, but “Goo-goo” happens to mean something similar to “Glad to meet you” in coyote language. Naturally the old coyote figured he’d come across one of his own kind. He gave Bill a big lick and picked him up by the scruff of the neck and carried him home to his den. Bill soon discovered the coyote’s kinfolk2 were about the wildest, roughest bunch you could imagine. Before he knew it, he was roaming the prairies with the pack. He howled at the moon, sniffed the brush, and chased lizards across the sand. He was having such a good time, scuttling about naked and dirty on all fours, that he completely forgot what it was like to be a human. Pecos Bill’s coyote days came to an end about seventeen years later. One evening as he was sniffing the sagebrush, a cowpoke came loping by on a big horse. “Hey, you!” he shouted. “What in the world are you?” Bill sat on his haunches3 and stared at the feller.4 “What are you?” asked the cowpoke5 again. “Varmint,”6 said Bill hoarsely, for he hadn’t used his human voice in seventeen years. “No, you ain’t!” “Yeah, I am. I got fleas, don’t I?” “Well, that don’t mean nothing. A lot of Texans got fleas. The thing varmints got that you ain’t got is a tail.” “Oh, yes, I do have a tail,” said Pecos Bill. “Lemme see it then,” said the cowpoke. Bill turned around to look at his rear end, and for the first time in his life he realized he didn’t have a tail. “Dang,” he said. “But if I’m not a varmint, what am I?”

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Clarifying Be sure to read the footnotes for the meanings of words you don’t understand and then reread the sentence or paragraph. That way, you won’t miss any of the humor.

2. Kinfolk is another word for relatives. 3. To sit on your haunches is to squat. 4. Feller means a boy or man. 5. Cowpoke is cowboy slang for a cowboy. 6. A varmint is a pesky, annoying animal or person.

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Pecos Bill and the Hell’s Gate Gang. Illustration from American Tall Tales. Analyzing the Art Pecos Bill stories are filled with exaggerated adventures and impossible happenings. What animal is Bill riding? What animals are on his shoulder and arm? How do the other cowboys seem to be reacting? Read on to learn what this picture is all about.

“You’re a cowboy! So start acting like one!” Bill just growled at the feller like any coyote worth his salt would. But deep down in his heart of hearts he knew the cowpoke was right. For the last seventeen years he’d had a sneaking suspicion that he was different from that pack of coyotes. For one thing, none of them seemed to smell quite as bad as he did. So with a heavy heart he said good-bye to his four-legged friends and took off with the cowpoke for the nearest ranch. Acting like a human wasn’t all that easy for Pecos Bill. Even though he soon started dressing right, he never bothered to shave or comb his hair. He’d just throw some water on his face in the morning and go around the rest of the day looking like a wet dog. Ignorant cowpokes claimed Bill wasn’t too smart. Some of the meaner ones liked to joke that he wore a ten-dollar hat on a five-cent head. 4 The truth was Pecos Bill would soon prove to be one of the greatest cowboys who ever lived. He just needed to find the kind of folks who’d appreciate him. One night when he was licking his dinner plate, his ears perked up. A couple of ranch hands were going on about a gang of wild cowboys. 662 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Michael McCurdy

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Clarifying What does “he wore a ten-dollar hat on a five-cent head” mean?


“Yep. Those fellas are more animal than human,” one ranch hand was saying. 5 “Yep. Them’s the toughest bunch I ever come across. Heck, they’re so tough, they can kick fire out of flint rock with their bare toes!” “Yep. ‘N’ they like to bite nails in half for fun!” “Who are these fellers?” asked Bill. “The Hell’s Gate Gang,” said the ranch hand. “The mangiest,7 meanest, most low-down bunch of low-life varmints that ever grew hair.” “Sounds like my kind of folks,” said Bill, and before anyone could holler whoa, he jumped on his horse and took off for Hell’s Gate Canyon. Bill hadn’t gone far when disaster struck. His horse stepped in a hole and broke its ankle. “Dang!” said Bill as he stumbled up from the spill. He draped the lame critter around his neck and hurried on. After he’d walked about a hundred more miles, Bill heard some mean rattling. Then a fifty-foot rattlesnake reared up its ugly head and stuck out its long, forked tongue, ready to fight. “Knock it off, you scaly-hided fool. I’m in a hurry,” Bill said. The snake didn’t give a spit for Bill’s plans. He just rattled on. Before the cussed8 varmint could strike, Bill had no choice but to knock him cross-eyed. “Hey, feller,” he said, holding up the dazed snake. “I like your spunk. Come go with us.” Then he wrapped the rattler around his arm and continued on his way. After Bill had hiked another hundred miles with his horse around his neck and his snake around his arm, he heard a terrible growl. A huge mountain lion was crouching on a cliff, getting ready to leap on top of him.

Practice the Skills 5

English Language Coach Borrowed Words The word ranch was borrowed from the Spanish word rancho. Do you know what a ranch hand is? If not, look up hand in a dictionary and find a meaning that makes helps you define ranch hand.

7. The word mangiest comes from mange, a skin disease of animals that causes loss of hair in spots. So “the mangiest” means “the most shabby or worn out in appearance.” 8. The word cussed (KUS ud) means stubborn and difficult to deal with.

Vocabulary spunk (spunk) n. courage, spirit, and determination Pecos Bill 663


“Don’t jump, you mangy bobtailed fleabag!” Bill said. Well, call any mountain lion a mangy bobtailed fleabag, and he’ll jump on your back for sure. After this one leaped onto Bill, so much fur began to fly that it darkened the sky. Bill wrestled that mountain lion into a headlock, then squeezed him so tight that the big cat had to cry uncle. 6 When the embarrassed old critter started to slink off, Bill felt sorry for him. “Aw, c’mon, you big silly,” he said. “You’re more like me than most humans I meet.” He saddled up the cat, jumped on his back, and the four of them headed for the canyon, with the mountain lion screeching, the horse neighing, the rattler rattling, and Pecos Bill hollering a wild war whoop. When the Hell’s Gate Gang heard those noises coming from the prairie, they nearly fainted. They dropped their dinner plates, and their faces turned as white as bleached desert bones. Their knees knocked and their six-guns shook. “Hey, there!” Bill said as he sidled up to their campfire, grinning. “Who’s the boss around here?” A nine-foot feller with ten pistols at his sides stepped forward and in a shaky voice said, “Stranger, I was. But from now on, it’ll be you.” “Well, thanky, pardner,” said Bill. “Get on with your dinner, boys. Don’t let me interrupt.” Once Bill settled down with the Hell’s Gate Gang, his true genius revealed itself. With his gang’s help, he put together the biggest ranch in the southwest. He used New Mexico as a corral and Arizona as a pasture. 7 He invented tarantulas and scorpions as practical jokes. He also invented roping. Some say his rope was exactly as long as the equator; others argue it was two Visual Vocabulary feet shorter. A tarantula is a large, hairy spider. Things were going fine for Bill until Texas Its sting can be began to suffer the worst drought in its painful, but it is not usually dangerous to history. It was so dry that all the rivers humans. turned as powdery as biscuit flour. Vocabulary drought (drowt) n. a long period of very dry weather

664 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Mary Clay/Getty Images

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Cultural Context Is this story beginning to remind you of the Hercules myth you read? How are the stories similar so far? How do their cultural contexts make them different?


English Language Coach Borrowed Words What language does corral come from? Look it up.


The parched9 grass was catching fire everywhere. For a while Bill and his gang managed to lasso water from the Rio Grande.10 When that river dried up, they lassoed water from the Gulf of Mexico. No matter what he did, though, Bill couldn’t get enough water to stay ahead of the drought. All his horses and cows were starting to dry up and blow away like balls of tumbleweed. It was horrible. Just when the end seemed near, the sky turned a deep shade of purple. From the distant mountains came a terrible roar. The cattle began to stampede, and a huge black funnel of a cyclone appeared, heading straight for Bill’s ranch. The rest of the Hell’s Gate Gang shouted, “Help!” and ran. But Pecos Bill wasn’t scared in the least. “Yahoo!” he hollered, and he swung his lariat and lassoed that cyclone around its neck. Bill held on tight as he got sucked up into the middle of the swirling cloud. He grabbed the cyclone by the ears and pulled himself onto her back. Then he let out a whoop and headed that twister across Texas. The mighty cyclone bucked, arched, and screamed like a wild bronco. But Pecos Bill just held on with his legs and used his strong hands to wring the rain out of her wind. He wrung out rain that flooded Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, until finally he slid off the shriveled-up funnel and fell into California. The earth sank about two hundred feet below sea level in the spot where Bill landed, creating the area known today as Death Valley. 8 “There. That little waterin’ should hold things for a while,” he said, brushing himself off. After his cyclone ride, no horse was too wild for Pecos Bill. He soon found a young colt that was as tough as a tiger and as crazy as a streak of lightning. He named the colt Widow Maker and raised him on barbed wire11 and dynamite. Whenever the two rode together, they back-flipped and somersaulted all over Texas, loving every minute of it. 9 9. Something that is parched is dried out. 10. The Rio Grande is a large river that forms part of the border between Texas and Mexico. The words mean “large river” in Spanish.

Practice the Skills


English Language Coach Borrowed Words The words lariat and bronco come from the same language. What is that language? What does each word mean?


Key Reading Skill Clarifying Why does Pecos Bill name his horse Widow Maker? What do you think the name means?

11. Barbed wire has sharp points. On the plains, fences were made from barbed wire to keep cattle in and cattle thieves out.

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One day when Bill and Widow Maker were bouncing around the Pecos River, they came across an awesome sight: a wild-looking, red-haired woman riding on the back of the biggest catfish Bill had ever seen. The woman looked like she was having a ball, screeching, “Ride ‘em, cowgirl!” as the catfish whipped her around in the air. “What’s your name?” Bill shouted. “Slue-foot Sue! What’s it to you?” she said. Then she warwhooped away over the windy water. Thereafter all Pecos Bill could think of was Slue-foot Sue. He spent more and more time away from the Hell’s Gate Gang as he wandered the barren cattle-lands, looking for her. When he finally found her lonely little cabin, he was so love-struck he reverted12 to some of his old coyote ways. He sat on his haunches in the moonlight and began a-howling and ah-hooing. Well, the good news was that Sue had a bit of coyote in her too, so she completely understood Bill’s language. She stuck her head out her window and ah-hooed back to him that she loved him, too. Consequently Bill and Sue decided to get married. 10 On the day of the wedding Sue wore a beautiful white dress with a steel-spring bustle,13 and Bill appeared in an elegant buckskin suit. But after a lovely ceremony, a terrible catastrophe occurred. Slue-foot Sue got it into her head that she just had to have a ride on Bill’s wild bronco, Widow Maker. “You can’t do that, honey,” Bill said. “He won’t let any human toss a leg over him but me.” “Don’t worry,” said Sue. “You know I can ride anything on four legs, not to mention what flies or swims.” Bill tried his best to talk Sue out of it, but she wouldn’t listen. She was dying to buck on the back of that bronco. Wearing her white wedding dress with the bustle, she jumped on Widow Maker and kicked him with her spurs.

12. The word reverted here means “returned to an earlier behavior.” 13. A bustle is a pad or frame once worn by women under their skirts.

Vocabulary barren (BAIR un) adj. having little or no plant life; empty

666 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Clarifying Have you understood the last two paragraphs? Were any parts confusing? Were any words unfamiliar? Reread the two paragraphs carefully. Look up any words you don’t know. Then, in your own words, tell what happens in the paragraphs.

Michael McCurdy


Well, that bronco didn’t need any thorns in his side to start bucking to beat the band. He bounded up in the air with such amazing force that suddenly Sue was flying high into the Texas sky. She flew over plains and mesas, over canyons, deserts, and prairies. She flew so high that she looped over the new moon and fell back to earth. But when Sue landed on her steel-spring bustle, she rebounded right back into the heavens! As she bounced back and forth between heaven and earth, Bill whirled his lariat above his head, then lassoed her. But instead of bringing Sue back down to earth, he got yanked into the night sky alongside her! Together Pecos Bill and Slue-foot Sue bounced off the earth and went flying to the moon. And at that point Bill must have gotten some sort of foothold in a moon crater—because neither he nor Sue returned to earth. Not ever. Folks figure those two must have dug their boot heels into some moon cheese and raised a pack of wild coyotes just like themselves. Texans’ll tell you that every time you hear thunder rolling over the desolate land near the Pecos River, it’s just Bill’s family having a good laugh upstairs. When you hear a strange ah-hooing in the dark night, don’t be fooled— that’s the sound of Bill howling on the moon instead of at it. And when lights flash across the midnight sky, you can bet it’s Bill and Sue riding the backs of some white-hot shooting stars. 11 ❍

Practice the Skills

11 Was Pecos Bill a hero? On the “Pecos Bill” page of Foldable 6, write at least two reasons to support your answer. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.

Pecos Bill and Slue-foot Sue bouncing over the moon. Illustration from American Tall Tales. Analyzing the Art Which sentence from the story tells what’s happening in this picture?

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After You Read

Pecos Bill

Answering the 1. Do you think Pecos Bill, as a hero, is more like Anansi or Hercules? Compare his qualities with those of Anansi and Hercules. 2. Recall When Pecos Bill met the Hell’s Gate Gang, how many animals did he have with him and what were they? T IP Right There 3. Recall How did Pecos Bill start out in life? What event caused his life to be different from that of his brothers and sisters? T IP Right There 4. Identify After Pecos Bill defeats the Hell’s Gate Gang, there are two more small plots, or subplots, to the story. In the first subplot, he faces a new problem. In the second subplot, he has a new goal. Identify these two subplots. T IP Think and Search

Critical Thinking 5. Analyze What do you think is the biggest exaggeration in this story? T IP Author and Me 6. Evaluate What personality traits of Pecos Bill do you admire? T IP On Your Own

Talk About Your Reading Objectives (pp. 668–669) Reading Clarify ideas and text Literature Identify key literary elements: cultural context Vocabulary Explore word origins: borrowed words Grammar Write complex sentences

Work with a partner to create a tall tale about an imaginary hero in your school. First think of a problem that needs to be solved. Then create a hero with exaggerated traits who will tackle the problem. How can you make your school, the problem, and your hero larger than life?

Parts of my tall tale my school the problem the hero

668 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Michael McCurdy

Exaggerated descriptions


Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Clarifying 7. In your Learner’s Notebook, read the list of things you needed to clarify in this folktale. If you haven’t looked them all up, do it now. 8. Give one example of how the skill of clarifying helped you understand this story. Write your answer in your Learner’s Notebook.

Key Literary Element: Cultural Context 9. Think about the character of Pecos Bill. What do his special qualities tell you about the culture of the American West? 10. Is Pecos Bill mean or violent? Why or why not? What does that tell you about the culture in the American West? 11. How does Pecos Bill interact with nature? What does that tell you about the culture of the American West?

Grammar Link: Combining Sentence Clauses A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. A complex sentence can sometimes make your meaning more clear than two or more simple sentences. When you write two or more sentences that are closely related in meaning, try combining them to form a complex sentence. A dependent clause has a subject and a predicate, but it does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause is always used with an independent clause. Realizing that he was not a coyote,

Pecos Bill went to live with people.

dependent clause

independent clause

Before the cussed varmint could strike,

Bill had no choice but to knock him cross-eyed.

Vocabulary Check

dependent clause

independent clause

Write your own fill-in-the-blank sentences for the vocabulary words below. Include enough context clues for a classmate to complete each sentence correctly. Then exchange papers and fill in your classmate’s exercise. 12. drought 13. spunk 14. desolate 15. barren 16. English Language Coach Many of the words in this story were borrowed from Spanish. What does this tell you about the American West and who lived there?

Grammar Practice Write each sentence. Underline each dependent clause. 17. When Pecos Bill got thirsty, he squeezed a cloud to drink. 18. Pecos Bill became the leader of the Hell’s Gate Gang because he was so tough. 19. Slue-foot Sue rode a huge catfish on the Pecos River, which ran through the Wild West.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

Pecos Bill 669

READING WORKSHOP 3 Skills Focus You will practice using these skills when you read the following selections: • “Dragon, Dragon,” p. 674 • “The King of Mazy May,” p. 688


Skill Lesson

Comparing and Contrasting

• Comparing and contrasting

Learn It!

Literature • Recognizing and analyzing theme

Vocabulary • Understanding word sources and histories

Writing/Grammar • Using commas in compound and complex sentences

What Is It? Comparing and contrasting means looking for similarities and differences. We do this all the time. You compare your teachers to one another and your classmates to one another, don’t you? You also compare foods, the weather, cars, TV shows, and music. Sometimes an author wants you to compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or ideas to help you understand or feel parts of a story. For example, if one character is a coward, you may have a better appreciation of how brave another character is.

© 1995 Randy Glasbergen.

Analyzing Cartoons Objectives (pp. 670–671) Reading Compare and contrast

670 UNIT 6 Randy Glasbergen

The dolphins contrast themselves to humans. Why is their comparison funny?

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Why Is It Important? When you pay attention to similarities and differences, you understand things better. For example, if you are a football player and you want to understand soccer, it helps to find out how it’s both similar to and different from the game of football. How Do I Do It? As you read, be alert for things to compare. You will read a folktale about three brothers seeking their fortune. Compare and contrast everything the brothers do and say. Sometimes it’s a good idea to compare and contrast something you read about to something or someone you already know—like yourself!

Study Central Visit www.glencoe .com and click on Study Central to review comparing and contrasting.

Here’s how one student compared two characters in “Persephone.”

Persephone was a high-spirited, sunny girl who loved springtime and flowers and running outdoors with her friends . . . Suddenly the earth split open at her feet. Out dashed a golden chariot pulled by black horses and driven by a stern-faced man in black armor.

Persephone’s bright and loves running in the sunlight. The man is wearing black armor and his chariot is pulled from underground by black horses. She’s happy, and he’s stern. I have a feeling that these differences between the characters are going to be an important part of the story.

Practice It! Make a list of similarities between four of the characters you’ve read about in Unit 6: Persephone, Hades, Pecos Bill, and Hercules. Then make a list of their differences. You can compare and contrast their strengths, weaknesses, physical traits, character traits, their actions, or ideas about why they are heroes.

Use It! As you read “Dragon, Dragon,” compare and contrast the three brothers to each other. When you begin “The King of Mazy May,” notice how the author compares and contrasts the main character to other boys.

Reading Workshop 3 Comparing and Contrasting 671 Stockbyte/Creatas

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Before You Read

Dragon, Dragon

Vocabulary Preview


Ga r d n e r

Meet the Author John Gardner wrote novels, short stories and other selections for young readers, books on how to write, and more. Gardner was also a teacher and studied classic literature. Gardner wanted his books to deliver a moral message. “True art is moral,” he said. “It seeks to improve life.” See page R3 of the Author Files for more on John Gardner.

Author Search For more about John Gardner, go to www

Objectives (pp. 672–683) Reading Compare and contrast • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: theme Vocabulary Explore word histories

672 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Bettmann/CORBIS

plagued (playgd) v. was greatly troubled or distressed; form of the verb plague (p. 675) The kingdom was plagued by a dragon. ravaged (RAV ijd) v. destroyed violently; ruined; form of the verb ravage (p. 675) The dragon ravaged villages and farms. tyrant (TY runt) n. a cruel, unjust ruler (p. 676) The king was no tyrant; he loved his people and treated them well. quest (kwest) n. a search for a particular object or goal (p. 679) The cobbler’s son went on a quest to kill the dragon. meekly (MEEK lee) adv. in a timid and mild manner; gently (p. 679) After hearing the dragon’s roar, the boy responded meekly. lunged (lunjd) v. made a sudden forward movement; charged; form of the verb lunge (p. 679) The dragon lunged before the boy had time to think or run. Write to Learn In your Learner’s Notebook, write at least one synonym for each vocabulary word.

English Language Coach Word Histories So far in this book, you’ve learned that many English words are based on words from other languages. You’ve learned to recognize roots, base words, prefixes, and suffixes. You’ve learned about compound words, borrowed words, and words from names. All these things are part of etymology (et uh MOL uh jee), the study of words and their histories. People who study words enjoy discovering interesting and unusual word origins. For example, in “Dragon, Dragon,” the king’s magician says a spell. This word first meant simply “a talk” or “to talk.” In the 1500s, when many people believed in magic, an additional meaning came into use—“words thought to have magical power.” Write to Learn Abracadabra is a well-known “magic” word (and a fun one to spell out too). What language did it come from? Write your guess in your Learner’s Notebook, and then look it up.

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Comparing and Contrasting

Connect to the Reading

To compare and contrast means to look for similarities and differences between characters, settings, events, and ideas. To compare characters, look for the words the author uses to describe them. Notice the similarities and differences in different kinds of characters. For example, do all the female characters act in one way? Do all the elderly characters do the same thing? You can also compare and contrast details and ideas in the story. Partner Talk With a partner, choose two stories you’ve read in this unit. Make a list of the differences between the stories in genre, setting, and heroes. Then list their similarities.

Key Literary Element: Theme The theme is the main idea or meaning behind a story. It may be the moral of the story or simply an idea to think about, such as: • Hard work pays off, or • How can a member of society still be an individual? It can be difficult to find the theme of a story. Often the author doesn’t state it directly, so you must figure it out for yourself. Write to Learn Think of a theme you might like to express in a short story. Write your theme in your Learner’s Notebook.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

What do you think it would be like to live in the time of castles, kings, queens, knights, wizards, and dragons? What fairy-tale character would you like to be? Why? Class Talk Brainstorm a list of characters that often appear in fairy tales. Then brainstorm a list of events that usually happen. Write these lists on the board.

Build Background This story seems to be a typical fairy tale or folktale at first. There are all the usual characters doing the usual things. But you’ll notice one difference very soon—the humor. Here are some places to look for humor: • the dragon—the ways it troubles the kingdom • the queen—what she’s turned into and how she’s taken care of • the cobbler—the advice he gives his sons Read carefully to be sure you understand all of the jokes.

Set Purposes for Reading Read “Dragon, Dragon” to meet a different sort of hero. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from the story to help you answer the Big Question? Write your own purpose on the “Dragon, Dragon” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. Dragon, Dragon 673


by John Gardner

674 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?



here was once a king whose kingdom was plagued by a dragon. The king did not know which way to turn. The king’s knights were all cowards who hid under their beds whenever the dragon came in sight, so they were of no use to the king at all. And the king’s wizard1 could not help either because, being old, he had forgotten his magic spells. Nor could the wizard look up the spells that had slipped his mind, for he had unfortunately misplaced his wizard’s book many years before. The king was at his wit’s end. 1 2 Every time there was a full moon the dragon came out of his lair and ravaged the countryside. He frightened maidens and stopped up chimneys and broke store windows and set people’s clocks back and made dogs bark until no one could hear himself think. He tipped over fences and robbed graves and put frogs in people’s drinking water and tore the last chapters out of novels and changed house numbers around so that people crawled into bed with their neighbors’ wives. He stole spark plugs out of people’s cars and put firecrackers in people’s cigars and stole the clappers from all the church bells and sprung every bear trap for miles around so the bears could wander wherever they pleased. And to top it all off, he changed around all the roads in the kingdom so that people could not get anywhere except by starting out in the wrong direction. 3 “That,” said the king in a fury, “is enough!” And he called a meeting of everyone in the kingdom. Now it happened that there lived in the kingdom a wise old cobbler2 who had a wife and three sons. The cobbler and his family came to the king’s meeting and stood way in back by the door, for the cobbler had a feeling that since he was nobody important there had probably been some mistake, and no doubt the king had intended the meeting for everyone in the kingdom except his family and him.

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting So far, does this fairy tale seem like most others you know? As you read, compare and contrast how this tale is the same as and different from what you might expect.


English Language Coach Word Histories Wizard comes from a Middle English word (wys), meaning “wise.” Another word near the end of this paragraph also comes from wys. Can you find it?


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Think of a monster from a movie and compare and contrast it to this dragon. First describe two or more qualities or actions that are similar about the two beasts. Then describe two or more qualities or actions that are different between the two beasts.

1. A wizard is a magician or sorcerer. 2. A cobbler is a person who makes or mends shoes.

Vocabulary plagued (playgd) v. was greatly troubled or distressed ravaged (RAV ijd) v. destroyed violently; ruined Dragon, Dragon 675


“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the king when everyone was present. “I’ve put up with that dragon as long as I can. He has got to be stopped.” All the people whispered amongst themselves, and the king smiled, pleased with the impression he had made. But the wise cobbler said gloomily, “It’s all very well to talk about it—but how are you going to do it?” And now all the people smiled and winked as if to say, “Well, King, he’s got you there!” The king frowned. “It’s not that His Majesty hasn’t tried,” the queen spoke up loyally. “Yes,” said the king, “I’ve told my knights again and again that they ought to slay that dragon. But I can’t force them to go. I’m not a tyrant.” 4 “Why doesn’t the wizard say a magic spell?” asked the cobbler. “He’s done the best he can,” said the king.

Vocabulary tyrant (TY runt) n. a cruel, unjust ruler

676 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills

4 At this point in the story, who do you think will be a hero—the king, the wizard, one of the knights, or the cobbler? Explain your answer. Analyzing the Art Make a list of words that you would use to describe the dragon in this illustration.


The wizard blushed and everyone looked embarrassed. “I used to do all sorts of spells and chants when I was younger,” the wizard explained. “But I’ve lost my spell book, and I begin to fear I’m losing my memory too. For instance, I’ve been trying for days to recall one spell I used to do. I forget, just now, what the deuce it was for. It went something like— 5

Practice the Skills


Word Histories The Latin word for “two” came into French and English as deuce (doos). It normally refers to two of something. However, in the expression “what the deuce,” deuce is a polite substitution for the word devil.

Bimble Wimble Cha, Cha CHOOMPF! Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the queen turned into a rosebush. “Oh dear,” said the wizard. “Now you’ve done it,” groaned the king. “Poor Mother,” said the princess. “I don’t know what can have happened,” the wizard said nervously, “but don’t worry, I’ll have her changed back in a jiffy.” He shut his eyes and racked his brain for a spell that would change her back. But the king said quickly, “You’d better leave well enough alone. If you change her into a rattlesnake we’ll have to chop off her head.” Meanwhile the cobbler stood with his hands in his pockets, sighing at the waste of time. “About the dragon . . .” he began. “Oh yes,” said the king. “I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give the princess’ hand in marriage to anyone who can make the dragon stop.” “It’s not enough,” said the cobbler. “She’s a nice enough girl, you understand. But how would an ordinary person support her? Also, what about those of us that are already married?” 6 “In that case,” said the king, “I’ll offer the princess’ hand or half the kingdom or both—whichever is most convenient.” The cobbler scratched his chin and considered it. “It’s not enough,” he said at last. “It’s a good enough kingdom, you understand, but it’s too much responsibility.”

English Language Coach


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Constrasting At this point in the story, how would you describe the cobbler’s behavior? How is the cobbler different from the king? How is he different from the wizard?

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“Take it or leave it,” the king said. “I’ll leave it,” said the cobbler. And he shrugged and went home. But the cobbler’s eldest son thought the bargain was a good one, for the princess was very beautiful and he liked the idea of having half the kingdom to run as he pleased. So he said to the king, “I’ll accept those terms, Your Majesty. By tomorrow morning the dragon will be slain.” 7 “Bless you!” cried the king. “Hooray, hooray, hooray!” cried all the people, throwing their hats in the air. The cobbler’s eldest son beamed with pride, and the second eldest son looked at him enviously. The youngest son said timidly, “Excuse me, Your Majesty, but don’t you think the queen looks a little unwell? If I were you I think I’d water her.” “Good heavens,” cried the king, glancing at the queen who had been changed into a rosebush, “I’m glad you mentioned it!”


ow the cobbler’s eldest son was very clever and was known far and wide for how quickly he could multiply fractions in his head. He was perfectly sure he could slay the dragon by somehow or other playing a trick on him, and he didn’t feel that he needed his wise old father’s advice. But he thought it was only polite to ask, and so he went to his father, who was working as usual at his cobbler’s bench, and said, “Well, Father, I’m off to slay the dragon. Have you any advice to give me?” The cobbler thought a moment and replied, “When and if you come to the dragon’s lair, recite the following poem. Dragon, dragon, how do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you. Say it very loudly and firmly and the dragon will fall, God willing, at your feet.” “How curious!” said the eldest son. And he thought to himself, “The old man is not as wise as I thought. If I say something like that to the dragon, he will eat me up in an instant. The way to kill a dragon is to outfox3 him.” And

3. To outfox means to outsmart.

678 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills


English Language Coach Word Histories In Old English, eld meant “old.” The word changed over time to old, but the original word left us the words elder, elderly, and eldest.


keeping his opinion to himself, the eldest son set forth on his quest. When he came at last to the dragon’s lair, which was a cave, the eldest son slyly disguised himself as a peddler and knocked on the door and called out, “Hello there!” “There’s nobody home!” roared a voice. The voice was as loud as an earthquake, and the eldest son’s knees knocked together in terror. “I don’t come to trouble you,” the eldest son said meekly . “I merely thought you might be interested in looking at some of our brushes. Or if you’d prefer,” he added quickly, “I could leave our catalog with you and I could drop by again, say, early next week.” “I don’t want any brushes,” the voice roared, “and I especially don’t want any brushes next week.” “Oh,” said the eldest son. By now his knees were knocking together so badly that he had to sit down. Suddenly a great shadow fell over him, and the eldest son looked up. It was the dragon. The eldest son drew his sword, but the dragon lunged and swallowed him in a single gulp, sword and all, and the eldest son found himself in the dark of the dragon’s belly. “What a fool I was not to listen to my wise old father!” thought the eldest son. And he began to weep bitterly. “Well,” sighed the king the next morning, “I see the dragon has not been slain yet.” “I’m just as glad, personally,” said the princess, sprinkling the queen. “I would have had to marry that eldest son, and he had warts.” 8


ow the cobbler’s middle son decided it was his turn to try. The middle son was very strong and was known far and wide for being able to lift up the corner of a church. He felt perfectly sure he could slay the dragon by simply laying into him, but he thought it would be only polite to ask his father’s advice. So he went to his father and said to him, “Well,

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Theme What could the main idea or the meaning behind the story be? Do you expect there to be a moral or an important idea to think about? Write down one or more possible themes in your Learner’s Notebook.

Vocabulary quest (kwest) n. a search for a particular object or goal meekly (MEEK lee) adv. in a timid and mild manner; gently lunged (lunjd) v. made a sudden forward movement; charged Dragon, Dragon 679


Father, I’m off to slay the dragon. Have you any advice for me?” The cobbler told the middle son exactly what he’d told the eldest. “When and if you come to the dragon’s lair, recite the following poem.

Practice the Skills

Dragon, dragon, how do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you. Say it very loudly and firmly, and the dragon will fall, God willing, at your feet.” “What an odd thing to say,” thought the middle son. “The old man is not as wise as I thought. You have to take these dragons by surprise.” But he kept his opinion to himself and set forth. When he came in sight of the dragon’s lair, the middle son spurred his horse to a gallop and thundered into the entrance swinging his sword with all his might. But the dragon had seen him while he was still a long way off, and being very clever, the dragon had crawled up on top of the door so that when the son came charging in he went under the dragon and on to the back of the cave and slammed into the wall. Then the dragon chuckled and got down off the door, taking his time, and strolled back to where the man and the horse lay unconscious from the terrific blow. Opening his mouth as if for a yawn, the dragon swallowed the middle son in a single gulp and put the horse in the freezer to eat another day. “What a fool I was not to listen to my wise old father,” thought the middle son when he came to in the dragon’s belly. And he too began to weep bitterly. 9 That night there was a full moon, and the dragon ravaged the countryside so terribly that several families moved to another kingdom. “Well,” sighed the king in the morning, “still no luck in this dragon business, I see.” “I’m just as glad, myself,” said the princess, moving her mother, pot and all, to the window where the sun could get at her. “The cobbler’s middle son was a kind of humpback.”

680 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Name at least three ways the eldest two brothers are alike and at least three ways their characters and actions are different.



ow the cobbler’s youngest son saw that his turn had come. He was very upset and nervous, and he wished he had never been born. He was not clever, like his eldest brother, and he was not strong, like his second-eldest brother. He was a decent, honest boy who always minded his elders. 10 He borrowed a suit of armor from a friend of his who was a knight, and when the youngest son put the armor on it was so heavy he could hardly walk. From another knight he borrowed a sword, and that was so heavy that the only way the youngest son could get it to the dragon’s lair was to drag it along behind his horse like a plow. When everything was in readiness, the youngest son went for a last conversation with his father. “Father, have you any advice to give me?” he asked. “Only this,” said the cobbler. “When and if you come to the dragon’s lair, recite the following poem.

The cobbler’s youngest son came to the dragon’s cave with heavy armor and a huge sword.

Practice the Skills 10

Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting How is the youngest son different from his two brothers?

Dragon, dragon, how do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you. Say it very loudly and firmly, and the dragon will fall, God willing, at your feet.” “Are you certain?” asked the youngest son uneasily. “As certain as one can ever be in these matters,” said the wise old cobbler. And so the youngest son set forth on his quest. He traveled over hill and dale and at last came to the dragon’s cave. The dragon, who had seen the cobbler’s youngest son while he

Dragon, Dragon 681


was still a long way off, was seated up above the door, inside the cave, waiting and smiling to himself. But minutes passed and no one came thundering in. The dragon frowned, puzzled, and was tempted to peek out. However, reflecting that patience seldom goes unrewarded, the dragon kept his head up out of sight and went on waiting. At last, when he could stand it no longer, the dragon craned his neck and looked. There at the entrance of the cave stood a trembling young man in a suit of armor twice his size, struggling with a sword so heavy he could lift only one end of it at a time. At sight of the dragon, the cobbler’s youngest son began to tremble so violently that his armor rattled like a house caving in. He heaved4 with all his might at the sword and got the handle up level with his chest, but even now the point was down in the dirt. As loudly and firmly as he could manage, the youngest son cried—

Practice the Skills

Dragon, dragon, how do you do? I’ve come from the king to murder you. “What?” cried the dragon, flabbergasted.5 “You? You? Murder Me???” All at once he began to laugh, pointing at the little cobbler’s son. “He he he ho ha!” he roared, shaking all over, and tears filled his eyes. “He he he ho ho ho ha ha!” laughed the dragon. He was laughing so hard he had to hang onto his sides, and he fell off the door and landed on his back, still laughing, kicking his legs helplessly, rolling from side to side, laughing and laughing and laughing. The cobbler’s son was annoyed. “I do come from the king to murder you,” he said. “A person doesn’t like to be laughed at for a thing like that.” “He he he!” wailed the dragon, almost sobbing, gasping for breath. “Of course not, poor dear boy! But really, he he, the idea of it, ha ha ha! And that simply ridiculous poem!” Tears streamed from the dragon’s eyes and he lay on his back perfectly helpless with laughter. 11 “It’s a good poem,” said the cobbler’s youngest son loyally. “My father made it up.” And growing angrier he shouted,

4. Here heaved means “lifted an object with force.” 5. To be flabbergasted is to be astonished.

682 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting List some ways the cobbler’s youngest son and the dragon are different from each other.


“I want you to stop that laughing, or I’ll—I’ll—” But the dragon could not stop for the life of him. And suddenly, in a terrific rage, the cobbler’s son began flopping the sword end over end in the direction of the dragon. Sweat ran off the youngest son’s forehead, but he labored on, blistering mad, and at last, with one supreme heave, he had the sword standing on its handle a foot from the dragon’s throat. Of its own weight the sword fell, slicing the dragon’s head off. 12 Reviewing Skill “He he ho huk,” went the dragon—and then he lay dead. 12 The two older brothers crawled out and thanked their Understanding Cause and Effect Name two different younger brother for saving their lives. “We have learned our causes that led to the death of lesson,” they said. the dragon. Then the three brothers gathered all the treasures from the dragon’s cave and tied them to the back end of the youngest brother’s horse, and tied the dragon’s head on behind the treasures, and started home. “I’m glad I listened to my father,” the youngest son thought. “Now I’ll be the richest man in the kingdom.” 13 13 There were hand-carved picture frames and silver spoons Do you think that the youngest son is the hero of the story? Why and boxes of jewels and chests of money and silver compasses or why not? Write your answers and maps telling where there were more treasures buried on the “Dragon, Dragon” page when these ran out. There was also a curious old book with a of Foldable 6. Your response picture of an owl on the cover, and inside, poems and odd will help you complete the Unit sentences and recipes that seemed to make no sense. Challenge later. When they reached the king’s castle the people all leaped for joy to see that the dragon was dead, and the princess ran out and kissed the youngest brother on the forehead, for secretly she had hoped it would be him. “Well,” said the king, “which half of the kingdom do you want?” “My wizard’s book!” exclaimed the wizard. “He’s found my wizard’s book!” He opened the book and ran his finger under the words and then said in a loud voice, “Glmuzk, shkzmlp, blam!” Instantly the queen stood before them in her natural shape, except she was soaking wet from being sprinkled too often. 14 Key Literary Element She glared at the king. Theme Spend a minute or “Oh dear,” said the king, hurrying toward the door. 14 ❍ two thinking about the whole

Practice the Skills

story. Then write a sentence or a phrase in your Learner’s Notebook stating the story’s theme. Dragon, Dragon 683

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

After You Read

Dragon, Dragon

Answering the 1. What ideas does this tale offer about what makes a hero—or what does not make a hero? Explain your answer, using information from the story. 2. Recall What trait was the eldest son known for and what example showed that trait? What trait was the middle son known for and what example showed his trait? T IP Right There 3. Summarize Briefly describe the damage the dragon caused throughout the kingdom. T IP Author and Me

Critical Thinking 4. Contrast In what way is the ending of this tale different from the typical ending of a fairy tale or folktale? Give an example of a typical ending to help support your answer. T IP Author and Me 5. Infer The author describes the wizard’s book as having an owl on the cover. What do you think the owl stands for? The inside of the book contains “poems and odd sentences and recipes that seemed to make no sense.” What do you think the author is implying with this description? T IP Author and Me

Write About Your Reading

Objectives (pp. 684–685) Reading Compare and contrast Literature Identify key literary elements: theme Vocabulary Explore word histories Writing Respond to literature Grammar Use punctuation: commas in compound sentences

684 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Patrick Kelley

Most of the characters in fairy tales play traditional roles. The men are strong and hunt and kill monsters. The women stay home waiting to be rescued and get married. Poor people work for rich people and risk their lives to save others. And all monsters are bad. Imagine what this fairy tale would be like if the characters played different roles. In your Learner’s Notebook, write about how you would change the characters and events in this fairy tale and why you would make those changes.

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Comparing and Contrasting 6. What did you learn about the brothers by comparing and contrasting them? How did this help you to understand and enjoy the fairy tale? 7. How is this tale similar to a typical fairy tale? How is it different? Do the similarities and differences make the story funnier? Why or why not?

Key Literary Element: Theme 8. Why do you think stories have themes? What purpose do they serve? 9. Does the author directly state the tale’s theme or let readers figure it out? Explain your answer. 10. If you wrote a story about your life, what would be the theme?

Reviewing Skills: Understanding Cause and Effect 11. What did the wizard do to cause the queen to turn into a rosebush? 12. What did the youngest son do to make the dragon laugh?

Vocabulary Check Rewrite each sentence, filling in the blank with the correct word from the list. quest tyrant plagued lunged . 13. The king claimed that he was not a 14. The kingdom was with problems caused by a dragon. 15. The three brothers all went on a to slay the dragon. 16. The dragon at the eldest son and swallowed him in a gulp.

17. English Language Coach Remember that wizard came from wys (“wise”). Which of the following words does not come from wys? wish

wit witch

Grammar Link: Commas in Compound Sentences A compound sentence contains two or more simple sentences. When you combine the simple sentences with a coordinating conjunction like and or but, you must place a comma before the conjunction. The people all leaped for joy to see that the dragon was dead. The princess ran out and kissed the youngest brother. The people all leaped for joy to see that the dragon was dead, and the princess ran out and kissed the youngest brother.

Grammar Practice Copy each sentence below, adding a comma where it belongs. 18. The wizard didn’t know what happened but he said he’d change the queen back into a woman. 19. The dragon robbed graves and he put frogs in people’s drinking water. 20. The eldest son didn’t think he needed his father’s advice but he thought it was only polite to ask. Writing Application Read the ideas you wrote in your Learner’s Notebook about making changes to “Dragon, Dragon.” Make sure you have commas before coordinating conjunctions in your compound sentences.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

Dragon, Dragon 685

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Before You Read Meet the Author Jack London is considered one of the greatest adventure writers of all time. He drew on his life as a pirate, sailor, and Alaskan gold prospector for locations, events, and characters in his novels and stories. “The proper function of man is to live, not exist,” he once declared. See page R4 of the Author Files for more on Jack London.

Author Search For more about Jack London, go to www.glencoe .com.

The King of Mazy May

Vocabulary Preview endured (en DURD) v. held up under pain or hardship; form of the verb endure (p. 689) Walt and his father endured many troubles. industrious (in DUS tree us) adj. hardworking (p. 690) Finding and mining gold required people who were industrious. prospectors (PRAH spek turz) n. people who explore an area for mineral or oil deposits (p. 690) Prospectors discovered gold in the Yukon and Klondike territories. perilously (PAIR uh lus lee) adv. dangerously; at risk of injury (p. 694) The sled went perilously near the edge of the cliff. floundering (FLOUN dur ing) v. struggling to move or gain balance; form of the verb flounder (p. 696) The dogs were floundering in the deep snow. Partner Talk With your partner, use each vocabulary word in a different question about life in the Klondike territory of northwestern Canada in the 1890s.

English Language Coach Word Histories It isn’t surprising that cowboys invented the word stampede to describe cattle running wild. Mexican cowboys brought estampida to the United States in the 1820s. American cowboys knew a good word when they heard it, and they just changed the pronunciation and spelling a little. Old German stampfon v. to beat or pound, especially with the feet Spanish


estampar v.

stamp, stomp v.

Mexican Spanish Objectives (p. 686–699) Reading Compare and contrast • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: theme Vocabulary Explore word histories

estampida n. a sudden rush of animals

stampede n. a sudden rush of animals or people

Partner Talk What do you suppose a stampede was called before the word stampede existed? With a partner, invent a new word that has the same meaning. You can use stamp or stomp as part of your word or, if you prefer, think up a whole new word.

686 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

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READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Comparing and Contrasting

Connect to the Reading

Sometimes when people read, they compare and contrast what they read with what they know. They think about how characters are like themselves or other people in their lives. Or they compare and contrast the events in the text with events they have lived or read about. This kind of comparing and contrasting can help bring a text alive with meaning. Write to Learn Draw a two-column chart in your Learner’s Notebook. Label one column Similarities and one column Differences. While you read, fill in the chart by comparing and contrasting yourself with the King of Mazy May.

Key Literary Element: Theme The theme of a story is the central idea the author wants you to understand or think about. It’s what makes a story mean something to you. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find the theme, but the challenge makes it more worthwhile. Use these tips to find the theme: • Stories usually have a conflict between two characters or forces. What people or forces are in conflict in “The King of Mazy May”? • Often the good character or the good force wins the conflict. Who wins the conflict in this story? How does he win the conflict? • The ending of the conflict shows readers what the theme of the story is. What do you think the author wants you to learn from this story? Partner Talk With a partner, select one of the stories that you read in this unit. Work together to apply the above tips and find the theme.

The boy in “The King of Mazy May” knows what to do when he sees an injustice. Have you ever stood up for someone who was being treated badly? Class Talk Have a discussion about movies, books, and stories you know that involve injustice. What was the injustice? Did someone do something to make things right? What risks were involved? Do you know anyone personally who’s stood up for something that was right?

Build Background In 1896 gold was discovered in the Klondike of Canada. Thousands set out to strike it rich. Perhaps they’d have stayed home if they’d known the following: • They’d risk their lives to carry tons of needed equipment across steep, frozen mountain passes. • Local people had already claimed most of the gold. • The gold that remained was ten feet below permanently frozen ground. Most fortune-seekers found only hardship—if they were lucky enough to survive!

Set Purposes for Reading The hero of this story is only fourteen. How could a boy that age be a hero? Read “The King of Mazy May” to find out. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from the story to help you answer the Big Question? Write your own purpose on the “King of Mazy May” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. The King of Mazy May 687



Ki ng of Maz Ma zy May by Jack London


alt Masters is not a very large boy, but there is manliness in his make-up, and he himself, although he does not know a great deal that most boys know, knows much that other boys do not know. 1 He has never seen a train of cars or an elevator in his life, and for that matter, he has never once looked upon a cornfield, a plow, a cow, or even a chicken. He has never had a pair of shoes on his feet, or gone to a picnic or a party, or talked to a girl. But he has seen the sun at midnight, watched the ice-jams on one of the mightiest of rivers, and played beneath the northern lights,1 the one white child in thousands of square miles of frozen wilderness.

1. The northern lights are beautiful streams and arches of moving colored light. They’re seen at times in the night sky over northern regions of Earth. The light comes from atoms speeding through Earth’s magnetic field. When such lights appear in the southern hemisphere, they’re called the “southern lights.”

688 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Rolf Kopfle/Bruce Coleman

Practice the Skills 1

Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting How does the author use comparing and contrasting to help you get to know the character of Walt?


Walt has walked all the fourteen years of his life in sun-tanned, moose-hide moccasins, and he can go to the Indian camps and “talk big” with the men, and trade calico2 and beads with them for their precious furs. He can make bread without Visual Vocabulary baking-powder, yeast or hops, shoot a Moccasins are soft leather shoes with moose at three hundred yards, and drive the sole and sides the wild wolf-dogs fifty miles a day on the made of one piece. packed trail. Last of all, he has a good heart, and is not afraid of the darkness and loneliness, of man or beast or thing. His father is a good man, strong and brave, and Walt is growing up like him. 2 Walt was born a thousand miles or so down the Yukon, in a trading-post below the Ramparts. After his mother died, his father and he came on up the river, step by step, from camp to camp, till now they are settled down on the Mazy May Creek in the Klondike3 country. Last year they and several others had spent much toil and time on the Mazy May, and endured great hardships; the creek, in turn, was just beginning to show up its richness and to reward them for their heavy labor. But with the news of their discoveries, strange men began to come and go through the short days and long nights, and many unjust things they did to the men who had worked so long upon the creek.

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting In the table you prepared in your Learner’s Notebook, use the information in the first four paragraphs to fill in differences and similarities between yourself and Walt Masters. Klondike Gold Rush, Summer 1898, Julius Price in the Illustrated London News 20 August 1898.

2. Calico is a type of cotton cloth with a pattern on it. The word comes from Calicut, the town in India where the cloth was made. 3. The Yukon River flows from Canada’s Yukon Territory through Alaska to the Bering Sea. It was a major route to the Klondike during the gold rush of 1897–1898. The Klondike is the name of both a river and a gold-mining region in the Yukon Territory of Canada near the Alaskan border.

Vocabulary endured (en DURD) v. held up under pain or hardship

Analyzing the Art Which characters mentioned on this page might this art show? Explain your answer.

The King of Mazy May 689 Werner Forman/CORBIS, Mary Evans Picture Library


Si Hartman had gone away on a moose-hunt, to return and find new stakes driven and his claim jumped.4 George Lukens and his brother had lost their claims in a like manner, having delayed too long on the way to Dawson to record them. In short, it was an old story, and quite a number of the earnest, industrious prospectors had suffered similar losses. But Walt Masters’s father had recorded his claim at the start, so Walt had nothing to fear, now that his father had gone on a short trip up the White River prospecting for quartz. Walt was well able C1 to stay by himself in the cabin, cook his three meals a day, and look after things. Not only did he look after his father’s claim, but he had agreed to keep an eye on the adjoining5 one of Loren Hall, who had started for Dawson to record it. 3 Loren Hall was an old man, and he had no C2 dogs, so he had to travel very slowly. After he had been gone some time, word came up the river that he had broken through the ice at Rosebud Creek, and frozen his feet so badly that he would not be able to travel for a couple of weeks. Then Walt Masters received the news that old Loren was nearly all right again, and about to move on afoot for Dawson, as fast as a weakened man could. Walt was worried, however; the claim was liable to be jumped at any moment because of this delay, and a fresh stampede6 had started in on the Mazy May. He did not like the looks of the newcomers, and one day, when five of them came by with crack7 dog-teams and the lightest of camping

Shooting the white-horse rapids en route to the Klondike gold fields, 1898. Hand-colored halftone.


Key Literary Element Theme Do you see the beginning of a conflict here? Who do you think the “good” character will be? Write your thoughts in your Learner’s Notebook.

4. A claim was a piece of land that a prospector claimed to be his or her own. The prospector drove wooden stakes into the ground to mark its boundaries, and then recorded the claim with the gold commissioner in the city of Dawson. Someone who jumped a claim took over and recorded a claim for land that had been staked out, but not yet recorded, by someone else. 5. Adjoining means “located next to.” 6. Usually a stampede is a sudden rush of animals. In this story, the word refers to the rush of people searching for gold in the Klondike. 7. Here crack means “excellent, first-rate.”

Vocabulary industrious (in DUS tree us) adj. hardworking prospectors (PRAH spek turz) n. people who explore an area for mineral or oil deposits

690 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? North Wind Picture Archives

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The result of the year’s “wash up”: A sketch in the Bank of British North America, Dawson City, 1898. Julius Price. Illustration from From Euston to Klondike. Analyzing the Art: What do you think the man is weighing? How important is the measurement?

outfits, he could see that they were prepared to make speed, and resolved to keep an eye on them. So he locked up the cabin and followed them, being at the same time careful to remain hidden. 4 He had not watched them long before he was sure that they were professional stampeders, bent8 on jumping all the claims in sight. Walt crept along the snow at the rim of the creek and saw them change many stakes, destroy old ones, and set up new ones. In the afternoon, with Walt always trailing on their heels, they came back down the creek, unharnessed their dogs, and went into camp within two claims of his cabin. When he saw them make preparations to cook, he hurried home to get something to eat himself, and then hurried back. He crept so

Practice the Skills 4

Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Walt is given a lot of freedom but also many responsibilities. Compare and contrast this with the freedom and responsibilities in your own life.

8. Here bent means “determined” or “intending.”

The King of Mazy May 691 North Wind Picture Archives


close that he could hear them talking quite plainly, and by pushing the underbrush aside he could catch occasional glimpses of them. They had finished eating and were smoking around the fire. “The creek is all right, boys,” a large, black-bearded man, evidently the leader said, “and I think the best thing we can do is to pull out tonight. The dogs can follow the trail; besides, it’s going to be moonlight. What say you?” “But it’s going to be beastly cold,” objected one of the party. “It’s forty below zero now.” “An’sure, can’t ye keep warm by jumpin’ off the sleds an’ runnin’ after the dogs?” cried an Irishman. “An’ who wouldn’t? The creek as rich as a United States mint! Faith, it’s an ilegant chanst9 to be gettin’ a run fer yer money! An’ if ye don’t run, it’s mebbe you’ll not get the money at all, at all.” “That’s it,” said the leader. “If we can get to Dawson and record, we’re rich men; and there is no telling who’s been sneaking along in our tracks, watching us, and perhaps now off to give the alarm. The thing for us to do is to rest the dogs a bit, and then hit the trail as hard as we can. What do you say?” Evidently the men had agreed with their leader, for Walt Masters could hear nothing but the rattle of the tin dishes which were being washed. Peering out cautiously, he could see the leader studying a piece of paper. Walt knew what it was at a glance—a list of all the unrecorded claims on Mazy May. Any man could get these lists by applying to the gold commissioner at Dawson. 5

9. Ilegant chanst is the character’s way of saying “elegant chance,” meaning “excellent opportunity.”

692 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Mary Evans Picture Library

Klondike Gold Rush, 1904, artist unknown.


Reviewing Skills Understanding Cause and Effect Walt followed the claimjumpers. What was the effect of his actions?


“Thirty-two,” the leader said, lifting his face to the men. “Thirty-two isn’t recorded, and this is thirty-three. Come on; let’s take a look at it. I saw somebody had been working on it when we came up this morning.” Three of the men went with him, leaving one man to remain in camp. Walt crept carefully after them till they came to Loren Hall’s shaft. One of the men went down and built a fire on the bottom to thaw out the frozen gravel, while the others built another fire on the dump and melted water in a couple of gold-pans. This they poured into a piece of canvas stretched between two logs, used by Loren Hall in which to wash his gold. In a short time a couple of buckets of dirt were sent up by the man in the shaft, and Walt could see the others grouped anxiously about their leader as he proceeded to wash it. When this was finished, they stared at the broad streak of black sand and yellow gold-grains on the bottom of the pan, and one of them called excitedly for the man who had remained in camp to come. Loren Hall had struck it rich, and his claim was not yet recorded. It was plain that they were going to jump it. Walt lay in the snow, thinking rapidly. He was only a boy, but in the face of the threatened injustice against old lame Loren Hall he felt that he must do something. He waited and watched, with his mind made up, till he saw the men begin to square up new stakes. Then he crawled away till out of hearing, and broke into a run for the camp of the stampeders. Walt’s father had taken their own dogs with him prospecting, and the boy knew how impossible it was him to undertake the seventy miles to Dawson without the aid of dogs. 6 Gaining the camp, he picked out, with an experienced eye, the easiest running sled and started to harness up the stampeders’ dogs. There were three teams of six each, and from these he chose ten of the best. Realizing how necessary it was to have a good head-dog, he strove to discover a leader amongst them; but he had little time in which to do it, for he could hear the voices of the returning men. By the time the team was in shape and everything ready, the claim-jumpers came into sight in an open place not more than a hundred yards from the trail, which ran down the bed of the creek. They cried out to him, but he gave no heed, grabbing up one

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Add entries to your table to contrast how Walt travels to where he needs to go and how you get around.

The King of Mazy May 693


of their fur sleeping-robes which lay loosely in the snow, and leaping upon the sled. “Mush! Hi! Mush on!” he cried to the animals, snapping the keen-lashed whip among them. 7 The dogs sprang against the yoke-straps,10 and the sled jerked under way so suddenly as to almost throw him off. Then it curved into the creek, poising perilously on one runner. He was almost breathless with suspense, when it finally righted with a bound and sprang ahead again. The creek bank was high and he could not see, although he could hear the cries of the men and knew they were running to cut him off. He did not dare to think what would happen if they caught him; he only clung to the sled, his heart beating wildly, and watched the snow-rim of the bank above him. Suddenly, over this snow-rim came the flying body of the Irishman, who had leaped straight for the sled in a desperate attempt to capture it; but he was an instant too late. Striking on the very rear of it, he was thrown from his feet, backward, into the snow. Yet, with the quickness of a cat, he had clutched the end of the sled with one hand, turned over, and was dragging behind on his breast, swearing at the boy and threatening all kinds of terrible things if he did not stop the dogs; but Walt cracked him sharply across the knuckles with the butt of the dog-whip till he let go. It was eight miles from Walt’s claim to the Yukon—eight very crooked miles, for the creek wound back and forth like a snake, “tying knots in itself,” as George Lukens said. And because it was so crooked, the dogs could not get up their best speed, while the sled ground heavily on its side against the curves, now to the right, now to the left. Travelers who had come up and down the Mazy May on foot, with packs on their backs, had declined to go around all the bends, and instead had made short cuts across the narrow necks of creek bottom. Two of his pursuers had gone back to

10. A yoke-strap is part of the dog’s harness.

Vocabulary perilously (PAIR uh lus lee) adv. dangerously; at risk of injury

694 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills 7

English Language Coach Word Histories The word mush as a command to dogs was first recorded in 1862. In French, marche means “go” or “march.” French-Canadian dogsledders got their dogs to move by shouting “Marchon!” (mar SHAWN), meaning “Let’s go!” English-speaking dogsledders mispronounced the command, saying “Mush on!”


harness the remaining dogs, but the others took advantage of these short cuts, running on foot, and before he knew it they had almost overtaken him. “Halt!” they cried after him. “Stop, or we’ll shoot!” But Walt only yelled the harder at the dogs, and dashed round the bend with a couple of revolver bullets singing after him. At the next bend they had drawn up closer still, and the bullets struck uncomfortably near to him; but at this point the Mazy May straightened out and ran for half a mile as the crow flies. Here the dogs stretched out in their long wolf-swing, and the stampeders, quickly winded, slowed down and waited for their own sled to come up. 8 Looking over his shoulder, Walt reasoned that they had not given up the chase for good, and that they would soon be after him again. So he wrapped the fur robe about him to shut out the stinging air, and lay flat on the empty sled, encouraging the dogs, as he well knew how. At last, twisting abruptly between two river islands, he came upon the mighty Yukon sweeping grandly to the north. He could not see from bank to bank, and in the quick-falling twilight it loomed11 a great white sea of frozen stillness. There was not a sound, save the breathing of the dogs, and the churn of the steel-shod sled. No snow had fallen for several weeks, and the traffic had packed the main-river trail till it was hard and glassy as glare ice. Over this the sled flew along, and the dogs kept the trail fairly well, although Walt quickly discovered that he had made a mistake in choosing the leader. As they were driven in single file, without reins, he had to guide them by his voice, and it was evident the head-dog had never learned the meaning of “gee” and “haw.”12 He hugged the inside of the curves too closely, often forcing his comrades behind him into the soft snow, while several times he thus capsized the sled.

Ad for the S. S. City of Columbia to Klondike Country.

Practice the Skills 8 Do you think Walt has the qualities of a real-life hero? Support your answer with details from the story.

11. Something that loomed, came into view in a way that seemed large and threatening. 12. These are commands used to direct the dogs. Gee means “to the right” and haw means “to the left.”

The King of Mazy May 695 North Wind Picture Archives


On the Klondike. 1890s. Edward Roper. Analyzing the Art Compare the men in this painting with the stampeders.

There was no wind, but the speed at which he traveled created a bitter blast, and with the thermometer down to forty below, this bit through fur and flesh to the very bones. Aware that if he remained constantly upon the sled he would freeze to death, and knowing the practice of Arctic travelers, Walt shortened up one of the lashing-thongs, and whenever he felt chilled, seized hold of it, jumped off, and ran behind till warmth was restored. Then he would climb on and rest till the process had to be repeated. 9 Looking back he could see the sled of his pursuers, drawn by eight dogs, rising and falling over the ice hummocks13 like a boat in a seaway. The Irishman and the black-bearded leader were with it, taking turns in running and riding. Night fell, and in the blackness of the first hour or so, Walt toiled desperately with his dogs. On account of the poor leaddog, they were constantly floundering off the beaten track 13. Hummocks are ridges or hills on the ice.

Vocabulary floundering (FLOUN dur ing) v. struggling to move or gain balance

696 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? North Wind Picture Archives

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Comparing and Contrasting Add a final row to your table comparing the weather where Walt lived and the weather where you live.


into the soft snow, and the sled was as often riding on its side or top as it was in the proper way. This work and strain tried his strength sorely. Had he not been in such haste he could have avoided much of it, but he feared the stampeders would creep up in the darkness and overtake him. However, he could hear them occasionally yelling to their dogs, and knew from the sounds that they were coming up very slowly. When the moon rose he was off Sixty Mile, and Dawson was only fifty miles away. He was almost exhausted, and breathed a sigh of relief as he climbed on the sled again. Looking back, he saw his enemies had crawled up within four hundred yards. At this space they remained, a black speck of motion on the white river-breast. Strive as they would, they could not shorten this distance, and strive as he would he could not increase it. He had now discovered the proper lead-dog, and he knew he could easily run away from them if he could only change the bad leader for the good one. But this was impossible, for a moment’s delay, at the speed they were running, would bring the men behind upon him. When he got off the mouth of Rosebud Creek, just as he was topping a rise, the ping of a bullet on the ice beside him, and the report14 of a gun, told him that they were this time shooting at him with a rifle. And from then on, as he cleared the summit of each ice-jam, he stretched flat on the leaping sled till the rifle-shot from the rear warned him that he was safe till the next ice-jam. Now it is very hard to lie on a moving sled, jumping and plunging and yawing15 like a boat before the wind, and to shoot through the deceiving moonlight at an object four hundred yards away on another moving sled performing equally wild antics.16 So it is not to be wondered at that the black-bearded leader did not hit him. 10 After several hours of this, during which, perhaps, a score17 of bullets had struck about him, their ammunition began to give out and their fire slackened. They took greater care, and

Practice the Skills


Reviewing Skills Understanding Cause and Effect The claim-jumper could not hit Walt no matter how many times he shot at the boy. What was the cause of this effect?

14. A gun’s report is the sound it makes when fired. 15. When a sled is yawing, it is turning from side to side and going off the course. 16. Antics are odd, silly, or comical actions. 17. A score is twenty.

The King of Mazy May 697


only whipped a shot at him at the most favorable

R opportunities. He was also beginning to leave them behind, the distance slowly increasing to six hundred yards. Lifting clear on the crest of a great jam off Indian River, Walt Masters met his first accident. A bullet sang past his ears, and struck the bad lead-dog. The poor brute plunged in a heap, with the rest of the team on top of him. Like a flash, Walt was by the leader. Cutting the traces with his hunting knife, he dragged the dying animal to one side and straightened out the team. 11 He glanced back. The other sled was coming up like an express-train. With half the dogs still over their traces, he cried, “Mush on!” and leaped upon the sled just as the pursuing team dashed abreast of him. The Irishman was just preparing to spring for him,—they were so sure they had him that they did not shoot,—when Walt turned fiercely upon them with his whip.

Klondike Gold Rush. Edward Roper. The Illustrated London News 30 October 1897, page 618.


English Language Coach Word Histories Traces are leather straps that connect a dog’s yoke-strap to the sled. The word came from the French trait (“harness”), which came from a much older Latin word.

698 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Mary Evans Picture Library

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He struck at their faces, and men must save their faces with their hands. So there was no shooting just then. Before they could recover from the hot rain of blows, Walt reached out from his sled, catching their wheel-dog18 by the fore legs in mid-spring, and throwing him heavily. This brought the whole team into a snarl, capsizing the sled and tangling his enemies up beautifully. Away Walt flew, the runners of his sled fairly screaming as they bounded over the frozen surface. And what had seemed an accident proved to be a blessing in disguise. The proper lead-dog was now to the fore, and he stretched low to the trail and whined with joy as he jerked his comrades along. By the time he reached Ainslie’s Creek, seventeen miles from Dawson, Walt had left his pursuers, a tiny speck, far behind. At Monte Cristo Island he could no longer see them. And at Swede Creek, just as daylight was silvering the pines, he ran plump into the camp of old Loren Hall. Almost as quick as it takes to tell it, Loren had his sleepingfurs rolled up, and had joined Walt on the sled. They permitted the dogs to travel more slowly, as there was no sign of the chase in the rear, and just as they pulled up at the gold commissioner’s office in Dawson, Walt, who had kept his eyes open to the last, fell asleep. And because of what Walt Masters did on this night, the men of the Yukon have become very proud of him, and always speak of him now as the King of Mazy May. 12 13 ❍ 12

Practice the Skills

What qualities make Walt a hero to the people of the Mazy May Creek? How do you think he developed those qualities at such a young age? On the “King of Mazy May” page of your Foldable, write a short paragraph to support your answers. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.


18. The wheel-dog is the dog nearest the front end of the sled. The term was borrowed from horse teams in which the wheel horse is the horse nearest the front wheels of a wagon or carriage.

Key Literary Element Theme What is the theme of this story? Write a statement of the theme in your Learner’s Notebook using one or two sentences.

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READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

After You Read

The King of Mazy May

Answering the 1. Walt’s life and property were not in danger, yet he stole the stampeders’ dogs and sled. Can someone steal and still be a hero? Explain. 2. Recall What evidence did Walt have that the newcomers were going to “jump” Loren Hall’s claim? T IP Right There 3. Support Give an example of a time when Walt used his brains rather than his physical strength and endurance to help him come out ahead in the race. T IP Author and Me

Critical Thinking 4. Interpret At the end of the story, the men of the Yukon call Walt “the King of Mazy May.” What might the word “king” suggest about the way Walt will be treated after this incident? T IP On My Own 5. Explain Jack London once declared, “The proper function of man is to live, not exist.” Explain how Walt carried out the author’s idea of the “proper function” even before he became a man. T IP Author and Me 6. Infer Walt saw the leader of the newcomers studying a piece of paper and “knew at a glance” what it was. Why did Walt think he knew what the paper was? Do you think Walt was right to be so sure? T IP Author and Me

Write About Your Reading Objectives (700–701) Reading Compare and contrast • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: theme Vocabulary Explore word histories Writing Respond to literature: personal letter Grammar Use punctuation: commas in complex sentences

700 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Rolf Kopfle/Bruce Coleman

Imagine that it’s 1898, and you’ve gone to the Klondike to search for gold. You’re about to write a letter to a family member back home. • Decide who you are. You can be any kind of character you want. Use a “voice” that sounds natural for that character. • Plan what you’ll write. To make your letter believable, you’ll need plenty of details. What’s the weather like? What hardships did you suffer to get here? What are you going through now? What adventures have you had? • Now write your letter.

READING WORKSHOP 3 • Comparing and Contrasting

Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Comparing and Contrasting 7. While you read, you used a chart to compare and contrast your life to Walt’s. Write three or four sentences to summarize the major similarities and differences.

Key Literary Element: Theme 8. Can you connect the theme of this story to your life? Explain why or why not. 9. Did thinking about the story’s theme make the story more meaningful to you? Why or why not?

Reviewing Skills: Understanding Cause and Effect 10. What do you think caused the Gold Rush in the United States and Canada?

Vocabulary Check Rewrite each sentence, filling in the blank with the correct word from the list. industrious floundering perilously prospectors endured wanted to find lots of gold. 11. All of the 12. It was not easy to find gold, and miners had to be to succeed. 13. The dogs were without a good leader. 14. The bullets came close to hitting Walt. 15. Walt in spite of all the difficulties. 16. English Language Coach What is the most common meaning of the word stampede? What does stampede mean in this story?

Grammar Link: Commas in Complex Sentences A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. An independent clause has a subject and a predicate and can stand alone as a sentence. A dependent clause has a subject and a predicate but cannot stand alone. A dependent clause that comes before an independent clause should be followed by a comma. • Since the dragon moved to the kingdom, he has lived on the outside of town. A dependent clause that comes after an independent clause should not be followed by a comma if the dependent clause is necessary to understand the independent clause. • Everyone says that the dragon eats the people who live in the town. If the dependent clause is not necessary to understand the independent clause, it should be set apart with commas. • The dragon, who lived on the outside of town, scared the people in the kingdom.

Grammar Practice Put commas in the complex sentences below to separate the dependent clauses from the independent clauses. 17. When you work hard you deserve what you get. 18. Susan the captain of the cheerleading team had the highest score on the math test. 19. Although the city fixed all the roads they still hadn’t repaired the sidewalks. Writing Application Read the letter you wrote about your trip to the Klondike. Make sure you used commas to set apart any dependent clauses in your complex sentences.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to The King of Mazy May 701

WRITING WORKSHOP PART 2 Fable Revising, Editing, and Presenting

ASSIGNMENT Write a fable Purpose: To write a fable that teaches a moral Audience: You, your teacher, and your classmates

Revising Rubric Your revised folktale should have • well-developed characters • a conflict • three main events • a moral • dialogue • correct spelling and grammar

You started planning your fable and writing your first draft in Part 1 of this Writing Workshop. If you didn’t finish your first draft, do that now. Use the story guide you created earlier to finish writing your draft. Revising

Make It Better Read your draft and answer the following questions: • Does the story have a moral? • Is there a main character? • Does the story include three main events and a conflict?

How Do I Create Characters? You are special and different from anyone else. Each character you create should be special and different too. Write such characters by giving them their own personalities. The easiest way to express a character’s personality is through dialogue. The way a character speaks and responds to other characters tells the reader about his or her personality. Read this example from “The Tortoise and the Hare.” A conceited Hare boasted about her speed to everyone who would listen. “Not even the North Wind is as fast as I am!” she declared. “No animal in the forest can beat me in a race!” What can you tell about the Hare’s personality by the way she talks?

Try It Objectives (pp. 702—705) Writing Revise writing for key elements, style, voice, and dialogue Grammar Write compound and complex sentences Listening, Speaking, and Viewing Present fable • Use appropriate expressions and gestures • Maintain effective eye contact and posture • Ask for feedback

702 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Add dialogue to your story to express your characters’ personalities. Start a new line of text every time a different character speaks. “Without my feathers, I don’t have any friends!” cried Peter. “Sure you do. I’m still your friend,” said Polly. “You really want to be my friend even though I don’t have any feathers?” asked Peter. “Of course I do!”


Finish It Up Use the editing checklist to find and correct errors in your fable. ✓ Sentences are complete. ✓ Compound and complex sentences are correctly punctuated. ✓ Dialogue includes quotation marks and correct punctuation. ✓ Spelling is correct.

Writing Tip Read your dialogue aloud to make sure your characters have their own ways of speaking.


Show It Off Print out your final draft or use your best handwriting to copy it onto a fresh sheet of paper. Writer’s Model

Active Writing Model

Fair-Feathered Friends By Laticia Arnold Peter the Peacock lived in the forest with his peacock friends. Peter was the most handsome peacock in the forest because his feathers magically changed from one magnificent color to another. One day, Polly the Pig walked by the pond where Peter and his friends were brushing their feathers. “Stay away from me,” warned Peter. “You’ll get mud on my feathers.” “Get lost, you ugly pig!” said Peter’s friend Pierre. “You don’t belong with us,” said Peter. “You’re fat and filthy and you don’t even have any feathers!” While Peter spoke, his own feathers changed from light purple to dark red, and the other peacocks cheered.

The writer introduces the main character and setting in the first paragraph.

The writer does a good job of creating Peter; the way he speaks shows the reader that Peter is proud and thoughtless and says mean things.

Writing Workshop Part 2

Fable 703


Active Writing Model Writer’s Model

This is a complex sentence that begins with a dependent clause, so the word bath is followed by a comma.

The writer uses dialogue to express the characters’ personalities.

The conflict is between appearance and behavior. Here, Peter faces the same problem Polly faced earlier.

704 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Polly slunk away, hid under a tree, and cried. When she had no more tears to shed, she decided to improve her appearance. She washed herself in a pond on the other side of the forest. After she finished her bath, she rolled around in the grass to cover her body with daisies, violets, and bright green leaves. Then she admired her reflection in the pond and said, “How beautiful I look!” She hurried back to the pond, certain that now the peacocks would be her friends. Polly couldn’t have been more wrong. The peacocks took one look at her and burst out laughing. “She thinks that trash from the forest floor is as beautiful as our feathers!” jeered Peter. “And she’s got grass and soil stains on her back,” another peacock said. “Will you be my friend?” Polly asked Peter. “Your feathers change colors, so it won’t matter if I stain them a little.” “Me be friends with you?” Peter laughed. “Why should I spend time with a fat, ugly, old pig when I have the loveliest feathers in the forest?” Peter puffed up his feathers so hard that two of them fell out. For the next few days, Peter’s feathers continued to fall out. As he lost his feathers, he also lost his friends. “You look like a plucked chicken!” the other peacocks told him. “You don’t belong with us anymore.” Peter slunk away, hid under a tree, and cried. Polly came along and asked, “What’s wrong?” “Without my feathers, I don’t have any friends,” Peter sobbed. “Sure you do. I still want to be your friend,” said Polly. “You still want to be my friend even though I don’t have any feathers?” asked Peter. “Of course I do!” “You forgive me for being mean to you?” “I’m sure you’ll be nicer now that you know how it feels to be hurt.”


Active Writing Model

Polly taught Peter how to have fun splashing in the pond, rolling in the grass, and decorating himself with flowers and leaves. Before long, his feathers grew back. They even changed colors. But Peter didn’t change his colors toward Polly. When Peter’s peacock friends wanted him back, he said, “I’m sticking with Polly. She stuck by me when I lost my good looks. I don’t need fair-feathered friends!”

This is the resolution of the conflict. The fable ends with the moral. Peter learns that a beautiful appearance doesn’t guarantee true friendship.

Moral: Don’t judge others based on appearances.

Listening, Speaking, and Viewing


How Do I Do It?

Whenever you get together with your friends, stories are told—about sport events, dances, trips, or what happened in yesterday’s math class. Stories are an easy way to share information about events at school and in your community.

The main purpose of telling a story is to make the story as memorable as possible for the audience. In this workshop you will tell your fable to your classmates. The following tips will help you prepare to tell your fable: 1. Read your fable silently to yourself. 2. Read your fable aloud to a partner. 3. Start at the beginning of your fable; underline all of the important events that lead to the conclusion. 4. Consider the characters in your fable. What do their voices sound like? Use different voices when different characters speak. 5. Practice telling your fable aloud. Memorize it. 6. Keep your eyes on the audience instead of your script.

What Is Storytelling? Storytelling is a very old art form. Before people invented newspapers, television, or the Internet, storytelling was the only way to share information. History, legends, and myths were passed from generation to generation by professional storytellers who memorized important information and turned it into stories.

Why Is Storytelling Important? Storytelling is fun and entertaining. It is also a good way to share a lesson or a moral. Before writing was invented, folktales were shared through storytelling. The tales were often rhymed or put to music to make them even more enjoyable.

Gather Round Tell your fable to a small group of listeners. Make your fable as entertaining as possible by changing your voice for different characters, moving your body, or using props.

Writing Workshop Part 2

Fable 705

READING WORKSHOP 4 Skills Focus You will practice using these skills when you read the following selections: • “Aunt Millicent,” p. 710 • “A Mason-Dixon Memory,” p. 734


Skill Lesson

Predicting Learn It!

• Predicting

Literature • Analyzing the setting

Vocabulary • Understanding English word histories

Writing/Grammar • Identifying and correcting run-on sentences

What Is It? Have you ever said to yourself while watching a movie, “I know what’s going to happen!”? If so, you were making a prediction. You thought about what was going on in the movie, you picked up clues, and then you made an educated guess about what would happen. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, it’s always fun to make predictions. The skill of predicting is just as useful, satisfying, and fun when you read as when you watch a movie. Why Is It Important? Predicting gives you another good reason to read. You want to find out if your prediction matches the events, don’t you? If your prediction doesn’t look like it’s working out, don’t worry, you can always make new predictions as the text changes. As you read, adjust or change your prediction if it doesn’t fit what you learn.

Syndicate. with permission of King Features © Patrick McDonnell. Reprinted

Analyzing Cartoons Objectives (pp. 706–707) Reading Make predictions

706 UNIT 6 Patrick McDonnell. Reprinted with permission of King Features Syndicate.

Based on this cartoon, how would you rate these two “mutts” on their skill of making predictions?


How Do I Do It? Combine what you already know about an author or subject with what you learn as you read to guess what will happen next. Do these things as you read: • Pay attention to details. Be on the hunt for clues. • Stop occasionally and think about what you know. • Ask yourself questions about what might happen. • As the story unfolds, adjust your predictions and make new ones.

Study Central Visit www.glencoe .com and click on Study Central to review predicting.

Here’s how one student made a prediction while reading “The King of Mazy May.”

Looking back he could see the sled of his pursuers, drawn by eight dogs, rising and falling over the ice hummocks like a boat in a seaway. The Irishman and the black-bearded leader were with it, taking turns in running and riding. Night fell, and in the blackness of the first hour or so, Walt toiled desperately with his dogs . . .

I don’t know if Walt is going to escape, I think he will get away because of the title of the story. Also, since the story’s about Walt I think he is going to be the King of Mazy May. They can’t catch up with him now! He can only be the King if he escapes. I’ll have to keep reading to see if I’m right.

Practice It! Below are two events in “Aunt Millicent.” Write at least one prediction for each situation. You might have more than one prediction; if you think of other predictions write them down too. • The teacher assigns a report about an aunt or uncle, but Jamie doesn’t have any aunts or uncles. • Angelica has nineteen aunts and uncles and can’t decide which one to write her report about.

Use It! As you read “Aunt Millicent,” remember the predictions you made. If you make other predictions, add them to your notes.

Reading Workshop 4 Predicting 707 CORBIS


Before You Read Meet the Author Mary Steele is one of Australia’s best-loved writers for children. She writes in a humorous, lighthearted, and optimistic way. She says, “I believe that most children are born with a natural tendency toward fun and laughter.”

Author Search For more about Mary Steele, go to www

Aunt Millicent

Vocabulary Preview tedious (TEE dee us) adj. boring; tiresome (p. 711) The teacher found Angelica’s bragging tedious. drab (drab) adj. lacking brightness; dull (p. 714) Most people felt drab in comparison to Jamie’s exciting aunt. expedition (ek spuh DISH un) n. a journey taken for a special purpose, such as exploration (p. 716) Aunt Millicent was on an expedition to map the Cameroons. exotic (eg ZOT ik) adj. excitingly different; unusual; foreign (p. 720) Jamie’s mother brought home exotic hunting spears from Kenya. encounter (en KOWN tur) n. an unexpected or unpleasant meeting (p. 723) Dr. Nutbeam did not enjoy his encounter with Mrs. Tonks. hoax (hohks) n. an act meant to fool or trick (p. 727) Some people might say that Aunt Millicent was part of a hoax. Partner Talk Write each vocabulary word on a separate note card. Turn the note card over and write the word’s definition and part of speech on the back. Take turns testing a partner by flashing each other the cards. Say each word in a sentence when you give the definition.

English Language Coach Word Histories Another way that words come into English is, well, sort of mysterious. Some words just don’t have clear histories. Take hoax, for example. The experts say that hoax is “probably” a shortened version of hocus pocus. Look that up, and you see that it is (again) “probably” a form of a Latin phrase. Write to Learn The three words listed below are also related to hocus pocus. Copy each word into your Learner’s Notebook, and tell what you know it means or might mean. Then look up the words in a good dictionary and copy one meaning for each word. Objectives (pp. 708–729) Reading Make predictions • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: setting Vocabulary Explore word histories


hokey hokeypokey hokum

708 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

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Skills Preview Key Reading Skill: Predicting When you make predictions, you use your prior knowledge and the information you gather from reading to guess what will happen next. As you gather more information you might want to change your predictions. Sometimes you’ll find that your guesses are right. A couple of things to ask yourself as you predict are: • What will happen next? • Why do I think that will happen next? Write to Learn Read the first five paragraphs of “Aunt Millicent” and write a prediction.

Key Literary Element: Setting Setting is the time and place in which a story’s events occur. Sometimes authors give the time and place at the beginning of the story. The author may tell the setting later or gradually reveal it with clues. In “Aunt Millicent,” you won’t learn about the setting right away, but it is revealed eventually. There can be more than one setting; for example, Aunt Millicent’s travels call to mind other, more mysterious places. Remember the following as you think about the setting: • You might not learn about the setting right away. When is the setting revealed? • A story can have more than one setting. If the story moves to another place or time, that’s a new setting. Do you notice more than one setting? If so, what events occur in each setting? Is there a reason events occur in different settings? • Descriptions of characters and places, the way characters speak, and the time in which the story occurs can help show the setting. What details help you picture the setting? What’s Your Setting? Write a few sentences to describe one important setting in your life.

Get Ready to Read Connect to the Reading Think about what it would be like to travel all over the world and live the life of an explorer. Where would you go? What places have you always wanted to visit? Write to Learn Make a list of the top three places you would travel to if you could go anywhere. Pick one of those places and write a paragraph explaining why you picked that place above all the others on your list.

Build Background Jamie’s exciting Aunt Millicent is rumored to be in Cameroon at one point and climbing a peak in the Peruvian Andes at another. That’s the life of an explorer! • Cameroon, officially called Republic of Cameroon, is in West Africa. • Lima is the capital of Peru; the Andes Mountains run through Peru along the western part of South America.

Set Purposes for Reading Read “Aunt Millicent” to learn about a family’s new—and suprising—hero. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from the story to help you answer the Big Question? Write your purpose on the “Aunt Millicent” page of Foldable 6.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. Aunt Millicent 709


Aunt Millicent by Mary Steele


said Angelica Tonks, grandly, “have eight uncles and eleven aunts.” Angelica Tonks had more of most things than anyone else. She held the class record for pairs of fashion sneakers and Derwent pencil sets, and her pocket-money supply was endless. Now, it seemed, she also had the largest uncle-andaunt collection in town. Her classmates squirmed and made faces at each other. Awful Angelica Tonks. Mr. Wilfred Starling dusted the chalk from his bony hands and sighed. “Well, Angelica, aren’t you a lucky one to have nineteen uncles and aunts. You’ll just have to choose the most interesting one to write about, won’t you?” “But they’re all interesting,” objected Angelica. “The Tonks family is a wonderfully interesting family, you know. It will be terribly hard to choose just one.” 1 There were more squirms. The class was fed up with the wonderfully interesting Tonks family. In fact, Mr. Wilfred Starling nearly screamed. He just managed to swallow his exasperation, which sank down to form a hard bubble in his stomach. Straightening his thin shoulders, he said, “Right, everyone, copy down this week’s homework assignment from

710 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Y. Arthus-Bertrand/Peter Arnold, Inc.

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting What do you know about Angelica Tonks at this point? Do you predict that she will be a character that you like? Why or why not?


the board. And remember, Angelica, a pen-portrait1 of just one aunt or uncle is all I want. Just one.” Please not a whole gallery of tedious and terrible Tonkses, he thought to himself. The class began to write. Jamie Nutbeam, sitting behind Angelica, leaned forward and hissed, “If the rest of your family is so wonderfully interesting, they must be a big improvement on you, Honky!2 And, anyway, I bet the aunt I write about will beat any of yours!” “I bet she won’t,” Angelica hissed back. “She’ll be so boring. What’s her name, this boring aunt?” Jamie finished copying and put down his pen. “Aunt Millicent, and she’s pretty special.” “Millicent!” scoffed Angelica. “What a name! No one’s called Millicent these days!” “QUIET, you two!” barked Mr. Starling, massaging his stomach, “and start tidying up, everyone—it’s time for the bell.” Oh bliss, he thought. As the classroom emptied, Jamie lingered behind. “What is it, Jamie?” asked Mr. Starling wearily, piling his books and papers together and trying not to burp. “Well, the trouble is I haven’t any aunts or uncles to do a portrait of,” said Jamie, turning rather red, “so is it all right if I make one up? An aunt?” “Oh, I see! Well, in that case . . . yes, perfectly all right,” replied Mr. Starling. He gazed rather sadly out the window. “The most interesting characters in the world are usually the made-up ones, you know, Jamie. Think of Sherlock Holmes and Alice and Dr. Who and Indiana Jones . . .” Jamie interrupted. “Does anyone need to know I’ve made her up? This aunt?” “Well, I won’t say anything,” promised Mr. Starling. “It’s for you to make her seem real so we all believe in her. You go home and see what you can dream up.” 2

1. The pen-portrait is an assignment to write a descriptive report about someone or something. 2. Adding this nickname to Angelica’s last name makes her Honky Tonks, and honky-tonks just happens to be a term for cheap, noisy nightclubs.

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Setting What would you say is the main setting of the story so far? What clues tell you that? Has the author described it in great detail?

Vocabulary tedious (TEE dee us) adj. boring; tiresome Aunt Millicent 711


“She has a name already,” Jamie called back as he left the room. “She’s Aunt Millicent.” Aunt Millicent Nutbeam! The hard bubble in Mr. Starling’s stomach began to melt away. 3

Practice the Skills 3

Predicting What do you predict will happen next, and why? What details have already happened to make you think that? Write your prediction in your Learner’s Notebook.


hat evening, Jamie Nutbeam said to his family at large, “Did you know that awful Angelica Tonks has eight uncles and eleven aunts?” “Well, everybody knows that they’re a big family,” replied his mother. “Prolific,3 I’d call it,” grunted Jamie’s father from behind his newspaper. “Yes, dear—prolific. Now, Mrs. Tonks was a Miss Blizzard,” continued Mrs. Nutbeam, “and there are lots of Blizzards around here as well as Tonkses, all related, no doubt. But fancy 4 nineteen! Who told you there were nineteen, Jamie?” “She did—old Honky Tonks herself. She told the whole class and Mr. Starling—boasting away as usual. She’s a pill.” Jamie was jotting things on paper as he talked. “We have to write a pen-portrait of an aunt or uncle for homework, and Honky can’t decide which one to do because they’re all so wonderfully interesting, she says. Urk!” He paused and then added, “I’m doing Aunt Millicent.” Jamie’s father peered over the top of his newspaper. “Aunt who?” “Who’s Aunt Millicent?” demanded Jamie’s sister, Nerissa. “You haven’t got an Aunt Millicent,” said his mother. “You haven’t any aunts at all, or uncles, for that matter.” “I know I haven’t,” Jamie snapped. “It’s hopeless belonging to a nuclear family!5 It’s unfair—I mean, awful Honky has nineteen aunts and uncles and Nerissa and I haven’t got any, not one.” Jamie ground the pencil between his teeth. 4 “You won’t have any teeth either, if you munch pencils like that,” remarked his father, who was a dentist. Jamie glowered, spitting out wet splinters. “Anyway, he’s right,” announced Nerissa. “It would be

3. Here prolific refers to having many children. 4. Here fancy means “imagine,” said with surprise. 5. Parents and their children make up a nuclear family. Angelica has an extended family, which includes aunts, uncles, cousins, and other close relatives.

712 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Key Reading Skills


English Language Coach Word Histories The word nuclear was first used in English in 1833, but it wasn’t used to refer to a family until 1949! It comes from the Latin nucleus, meaning “inner part.” An atom’s nucleus is its center, and the nucleus of a family is the parents and their children.


great to have even one aunt or uncle. Then we might have some cousins, too. Everyone else has cousins. Angelica Tonks probably has about a hundred-and-twenty-seven.” “Well, I’m sorry,” sighed Mrs. Nutbeam, “but your father and I are both ‘onlys’ and there’s nothing we can do about that, is there? Not a thing! Now, what’s all this about an Aunt Millicent?” “Oh, it’s okay,” grumbled her son. “Mr. Starling said to write about an aunt or uncle, not exactly my aunt or uncle. He says I can invent one.” “Will you explain that she’s not real?” asked Nerissa, doubtfully. “Mr. Starling says I don’t have to, and he’s not going to tell. He says I have to make people believe that she is real. Anyway, I don’t want Honky Tonks to know that she’s made up, because Aunt Millicent is going to be amazing—much better than any of those boring Tonkses. It’s time Honky was taken down a peg or two.”6 5 Dr. Nutbeam quite understood how Jamie felt. From time to time Angelica Tonks visited his dentist’s chair. She would brag about her “perfect” teeth if there was nothing to be fixed, but if she needed a filling her shrieks of “agony” would upset everyone in the waiting room and Mrs. Tonks would call Dr. Nutbeam a brute. He was often tempted to give Angelica a general anesthetic and post her home in a large jiffy bag. Now he folded his newspaper; Jamie’s project sounded rather fun. “Right, Jamie,” he said, “tell us about Aunt Millicent and let us get some facts straight. Is she my sister, or Mum’s? We must get that settled to start with.” “I can’t decide,” frowned Jamie. “What do you think?” 6 “She’d better be your sister, dear,” said Mrs. Nutbeam calmly to her husband. “I grew up here and everyone knows I was an only child, but you came from another town. You’re more mysterious.” Dr. Nutbeam looked pleased. “Mm . . . mm. That’s nice . . . having a sister, I mean. Is she younger than me?” “No, older,” said Jamie.

Practice the Skills


Reviewing Skills Responding It might seem surprising that Mr. Starling agrees to let Jamie invent an aunt. How does that make you feel about Mr. Starling? Do you like him? Explain. How do you feel about Jamie, and what do you think of his plan?


Key Reading Skill Predicting Now Jamie’s entire family is interested in his project. The project even sounds “rather fun” to his father. What do you think will happen? What clues affect your decision?

6. The expression taken down a peg means “made less proud and more humble.”

Aunt Millicent 713


“Where does she live?” asked Nerissa. “Has she a family of her own? Lots of cousins for us?” “No way—she hasn’t time for all that sort of thing. And she doesn’t live anywhere in particular.” Mrs. Nutbeam looked puzzled. “What do you mean, dear? What does Auntie Millicent do, exactly?” “She’s an explorer,” said Jamie, proudly. “She works for foreign governments, and she’s terribly busy—flat out.” There was something of a pause. Then Dr. Nutbeam said, “Ah,” and stroked his bald patch. “That explains why we haven’t seen her for so long.” “What does she explore?” demanded Nerissa. “Is there anything left in the world to look for?” Jamie was beginning to feel a bit rushed. “Well, I’m not sure yet, but foreign governments need people like her to search for water in deserts and rich mineral deposits and endangered species and things . . . you know.” 7 Nerissa lay on the floor with her eyes closed and began to imagine her new aunt slashing a path through tangled jungle vines, searching for a rare species of dark blue frog. The mosquitoes were savage. The leeches were huge and bloated. Aunt Visual Vocabulary Millicent’s machete was razor sharp . . . A machete (muh SHET ee) is a wide, “This is all very unexpected,” murmured heavy knife that can Mrs. Nutbeam, “to have a sister-in-law who be used as a weapon and a tool. is an explorer, I mean. I wonder how you get started in that sort of career?” Her own job as an assistant in an antique and curio shop7 suddenly seemed rather drab. Dr. Nutbeam was staring at the wall. In his mind’s eye he clearly saw his sister on a swaying rope suspension bridge above a terrifying ravine.8 She was leading a band of native bearers to the other side. How much more adventurous, he

7. A curio shop sells rare or unusual objects. 8. In this case, the suspension bridge hangs from ropes attached to posts at each end of the ravine, which is a narrow steep-sided valley.

Vocabulary drab (drab) adj. lacking brightness; dull

714 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Doug Martin

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting Do you predict that Jamie will fool everyone at school into believing that Aunt Millicent is a real person? Explain.


thought, than drilling little holes in people’s teeth. He wrenched his gaze back to Jamie and asked, “Do we know what Millie is actually exploring at present?” 8 Jamie munched his pencil for a moment and then said, “She’s in Africa, somewhere near the middle, but I’m not sure where, exactly.” “In the middle of Africa, is she?” echoed Dr. Nutbeam. “Mm . . . then it wouldn’t surprise me if she were in the Cameroons. There’s a lot of dense forest in the Cameroons, you know.” “I thought Cameroons were things to eat,” frowned Nerissa. “Sort of coconut biscuits.” “No, no, dear, those are macaroons,” said her mother. “They’re bad for your teeth, too,” remarked her father, absently, “like eating pencils.” Jamie fetched the atlas and found a map of Africa. His father stood behind him, peering at it. “There it is, in the middle on the left-hand side, just under the bump.” “It’s called Cameroon here,” Jamie said. “Just one of them.” “Well, there’s East Cameroon and West Cameroon, see,” pointed his father, “and sometimes you lump them together and call them Cameroons. Look—here’s the equator just to the south, so it must be pretty hot and steamy at sea-level.” “Poor Millicent,” sighed Mrs. Nutbeam. “I do hope her feet don’t swell in the heat, with all that walking.” Jamie examined the map closely. “That’s peculiar—the north border of the Cameroons seems to be floating in a big lake . . . um, Lake Chad9 . . . it looks all swampy, with funny

Aunt Millicent might have sent back a picture like this one from her travels in Africa.


Key Literary Element Setting A few different settings have just been described, including Nerissa’s image of the jungle and Dr. Nutbeam’s image of the suspension bridge. How are these settings different from the story’s “real” setting?

9. Lake Chad, in the nation of Chad, is on the northeastern border of Cameroon.

Aunt Millicent 715 Ric Ergenbright Photography


dotted lines and things. I bet that bit needs exploring. They’ve probably lost their border in the mud and Aunt Millicent could be on an expedition to find it.” 9 “Is she all by herself?” asked Nerissa. “I’d be scared in a place like that.” “Of course she’s not by herself,” snorted Jamie. “She works for a foreign government, don’t forget, and she’d have a whole support team of porters and cooks and scientists and things.” “She must be an expert at something herself, don’t you think?” suggested Mrs. Nutbeam. “I would imagine that she’s a surveyor.”10 “Yes, she’d use one of those instruments you look through, on legs,” added Nerissa. Visual Vocabulary “You mean a theodolite, dimwit,” A theodolite (thee answered her brother. OH duh lite) is used by surveyors to measure “She’d certainly need one of those, if she’s angles. measuring angles and distances and drawing maps,” agreed Dr. Nutbeam. “My word, what a clever old sister I have!” “I wonder if she was good at geography at school?” said Nerissa. “Well, you’ll be able to ask Grandma tomorrow. She’s coming for her winter visit, remember?” “Oh help! What’ll Grandma say?” gasped Jamie. “Do you think she’ll mind? I mean—we’ve invented a daughter for her without asking!” “I shouldn’t think she’d mind,” said his mother. “We’ll break the news to her carefully and see how she takes it.”


randma Nutbeam, as it turned out, was delighted. “How exciting!” she exclaimed. “I always wanted a daughter, and it’s been very lonely since Grandpa died. Now I’ll have a new interest! Just show me on the map where Millicent is at the moment, please dear.”

10. A surveyor is a person who measures angles and distances of land to determine its boundaries, area, or elevations.

Vocabulary expedition (ek spuh DISH un) n. a journey taken for a special purpose, such as exploration

716 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Natalie Fobes/CORBIS

Practice the Skills 9

Key Literary Element Setting Jamie has thought of a setting for his story about Aunt Millicent. He has put her in a time and place. Pay close attention to how the settings help to make Aunt Millicent both real and mysterious.


Jamie pointed to the dotted lines in swampy Lake Chad near the top end of the Cameroons, and Grandma stared in astonishment. 10 “Gracious heaven! What an extraordinary place to go to, the silly girl! I hope she’s remembered her quinine11 tablets. Millicent was never very good at looking after herself, you know. Let me see—I think I’ll get some wool tomorrow and knit her some good stout hiking socks.” Jamie blinked. “There’s no need to do that, Grandma. She’s not really real, you know.” “Well, she’ll be more real to me if I make her some socks,” Grandma declared. “Wouldn’t they be rather hot in the Cameroons?” objected Nerissa. “It’s awfully near the equator, don’t forget.” “Woollen socks are best in any climate,” said Grandma firmly. “They breathe.” “Now, Mother,” interrupted Dr. Nutbeam, “you can tell us what Millicent was like as a girl. I can’t remember her very well, as she was so much older than me, but I have a feeling that she ran away from home a lot.” Grandma pondered a moment. “Now that you mention it, she did. She did indeed. I thought we’d have to chain her up sometimes! We lived near the edge of town, you’ll remember, and Millie would look out towards the paddocks12 and hills and say that she wanted to know what was over the horizon, or where the birds were flying to, or where the clouds came from behind the hills. We never knew where she’d be off to next—but she certainly ended up in the right job! I’m so glad she became an explorer. If I were a bit younger and had better feet, I might even go and join

Practice the Skills 10

Key Reading Skill Predicting What do you think Aunt Millicent will be like? Will she be kind, brave, stubborn, angry, mean, or something else entirely?

11. Quinine (QWY nine) is a drug made from the bark of a tree, used to treat malaria and other diseases. 12. Paddocks are small, fenced fields in which animals can graze and exercise.

Aunt Millicent 717


her. It would be most interesting to see the Cameroons. It’s full of monkeys, I believe.” “Was Aunt Millicent good at geography at school?” Nerissa remembered to ask. “Let me think—yes, she must have been because one year she won a prize for it, and the prize was a book called Lives of the Great Explorers.” “Well, there you are,” remarked Mrs. Nutbeam. “That’s probably how it all started.” Next day, Grandma Nutbeam began to knit a pair of explorer’s socks. She decided on khaki with dark blue stripes round the top.

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Angelica Tonks had found it so difficult to select one of the nineteen aunts and uncles, that her pen-portrait was left until the very last minute and then scrawled out in a great hurry. She had finally chosen Aunt Daisy Blizzard, Mrs. Tonks’s 11 Key Reading Skill eldest sister. 11 Mr. Wilfred Starling asked Angelica to read her portrait to Predicting What do you think will happen when the students the class first, to get it over with. As he had expected and as present their pen-portraits? Jamie Nutbeam had hoped, Angelica’s aunt sounded anything but wonderfully interesting. She had always lived in the same street, her favorite color was deep purple and she grew African violets on the bathroom shelf, but that was about all. Many of the other portraits weren’t much better, although there was one uncle who had fallen into Lake Burley Griffin and been rescued by a passing Member of Parliament.13 Someone else’s aunt had competed in a penny-farthing bicycle race in Northern Tasmania,14 only to capsize and sprain both her knees; and there was a great-uncle who had been present at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, but couldn’t remember it at all as he’d been asleep in his pram15 at the time.

13. Lake Burley Griffin is a man-made lake near the Parliament buildings in Canberra, the capital of Australia. 14. Tasmania is an island off the southeastern coast of Australia. The penny-farthing is a type of bicycle that has a very large front wheel and a very small back wheel. 15. Sydney Harbour Bridge is in the city of Sydney in southern Australia. A pram is what Australians call a baby carriage.

718 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Mr. Starling saved Jamie’s portrait until last, hoping for the best. Jamie cleared his throat nervously and began: “I have never met Aunt Millicent and no one in my family knows her very well, as she hasn’t been in Australia for a long time. This is because Aunt Millicent is an explorer . . .” Mr. Wilfred Starling had been hoping for a bright spot in his day, and Aunt Millicent Nutbeam was it. He smiled happily when Jamie explained how Millicent had gained her early training as an explorer by regularly running away from home. He sighed with pleasure as Jamie described the swampy region of Lake Chad, where Millicent was searching through the mud and papyrus16 for the northern border of the Cameroons. He positively beamed when he heard that Grandma Nutbeam was knitting explorer’s socks for her daughter. The rest of the class sat spellbound as Jamie read on, except for Angelica Tonks, whose scowl grew darker by the minute. Jamie had barely finished his portrait when her hand was waving furiously. Mr. Starling’s beam faded. “What is it, Angelica?” “I don’t believe it. Women don’t go exploring! I think Jamie’s made it all up! He’s a cheat!” Mr. Starling’s stomach lurched, but before he had time to say anything the other girls in the class rose up in a passion and rounded on Angelica. “Who says women don’t go exploring?” “Women can do anything they want to these days, Angelica 12 English Language Coach Tonks! Don’t you know that?” Word Histories Like hoax, “I’d really like to be an explorer or something—maybe a machete is a word whose origin test-pilot.” is not certain. American natives had invented the knife long “Well, I’d like to be a diver and explore the ocean floor and before Europeans came to the 17 have a good look at the Titanic.” New World. Spanish explorers “What does your aunt wear when she’s at work?” probably adapted their noun “What color are her new socks?” macho (“big hammer”). Though The boys began to join in. we usually think of a machete as a cutting tool, its wide, flat side is “Can your aunt really use a machete?” 12 good for pounding. “How many languages can she speak?”

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16. Surrounded by swamps, Lake Chad is the sort of place where papyrus, a tall grassy plant, grows well. 17. The Titanic was an ocean liner that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912 after hitting an iceberg.

Aunt Millicent 719


“Does she always carry a gun? I bet she’s a crack shot!” “How does a theodolite work?” The clamor18 was so great that hardly anyone heard the bell. Angelica Tonks heard it and vanished in a sulk. Mr. Starling heard it and happily gathered up his books. He gave Jamie a secret wink as he left the room. 13

Practice the Skills


Predicting Aunt Millicent is very popular with all of the students, and even Mr. Starling is pleased with her. Angelica, on the other hand, thinks that Jamie “made it all up.” Now that Aunt Millicent is such a hit, what do you think will happen to her? What clues help with your prediction?


he end of the assignment was not the end of Aunt Millicent. At school, the careers teacher ran some special sessions on “Challenging Occupations for Women” after he had been stormed by the girls from Jamie’s class for information about becoming test-pilots, mobile-crane drivers, buffalo hunters and ocean-floor mappers. The science teacher was asked to explain the workings of a theodolite to the class. At home, Aunt Millicent settled happily into the Nutbeam family, who all followed her adventures with great interest. Dr. Nutbeam brought home library books about the Cameroons and Central Africa. Jamie roared his way through one called The Bafut Beagles. Mrs. Nutbeam rummaged through an old storeroom at the curio shop and began to collect exotic objects. She brought home a brace19 of hunting spears from Kenya, which she hung on the family-room wall. “Just the sort of souvenir Millicent could have sent us,” she explained. “See—those marks on the blades are very probably dried bloodstains.” 14 Another time she unwrapped a stuffed Visual Vocabulary A mongoose is a mongoose, announcing that Auntie had small mammal native sent this from India on one of her to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe. It earlier trips. has a pointy face and Jamie and Nerissa stroked it. “What shaggy fur and is two a funny animal,” said Nerissa. “Like to three feet long. a weasel.”

18. A clamor is a loud noise. 19. Here a brace is a pair.

Vocabulary exotic (eg ZOT ik) adj. excitingly different; unusual; foreign

720 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? ABI/Lonely Planet Images

Key Reading Skill


English Language Coach Word Histories The word souvenir comes from the Latin word subvenire. Sub means “up,” and venire means “to come.” So subvenire meant “to come up” or “to come to mind.” In English, the word became souvenir, or something that reminds us of where we’ve been.


Grandma was knitting her way down the second sock leg. “That funny animal is a very brave creature,” she admonished,20 tapping the mongoose with her knitting needle. “I’ll always remember Kipling’s story of Rikki-TikkiTavi and how he fought that dreadful king cobra. Brrr!” “Who won?” asked Jamie. “You could read it yourself and find out, young man,” said Grandma, starting to knit a new row. “I expect Millicent has met a few cobras in her time.” Nerissa had splendid dreams nearly every night. Aunt Millicent strode through most of them, wielding her machete or shouldering her theodolite. Sometimes Nerissa found herself wading through swirling rivers or swinging on jungle vines like a gibbon. Jamie was often there, too, or some of her school friends, or Grandma followed by a mongoose on a lead.21 Once, Mrs. Nutbeam speared a giant toad, which exploded and woke Nerissa up. Visual Vocabulary A gibbon is a type of In another dream, Nerissa’s father was small ape. polishing the fangs of a grinning crocodile, which lay back in the dentist’s chair with its long tail tucked neatly under the sterilizer. It looked slightly like Mrs. Tonks. Mrs. Nutbeam brought home still more curios: a bamboo flute and a small tom-tom which Jamie and Nerissa soon learnt to play. Mysterious drumbeats and thin flutey tunes drifted along the street from the Nutbeams’ house. School friends came to beat the tom-tom and to stroke the mongoose and to see how the explorer’s socks were growing. 15 Visual Vocabulary The bamboo flute “Will you be sending them off soon, to is a woodwind the Cameroons?” they asked Grandma, instrument. It has an airy sound and is who was turning the heel of the usually hand carved. second sock. A tom-tom is a long “I think I’ll make another pair, perhaps narrow drum that is typically beaten with even three pairs,” replied Grandma. the hands. “I might just as well send a large parcel as a small one.”

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English Language Coach Word Histories Curios are objects that are considered rare or strange. Curio is a shortened form of curiosity.

20. Admonished means “scolded mildly.” 21. The mongoose is on a leash, or lead.

Aunt Millicent 721 (l)Tom McHugh/Photo Researchers, (r)David Wall/Lonely Planet Images


“Yes, and then Aunt Millie will have spare pairs of socks she can wash,” said Nerissa. “Socks must get very smelly near the equator.” Word of Millicent Nutbeam, intrepid22 explorer, began to spread through the town. Children told their families about the spears, the tom-tom, the mongoose and the khaki socks. Not every small town could claim to be connected to a famous international explorer—it was exciting news. 16 Angelica Tonks, however, told her mother that she didn’t believe Jamie’s aunt was an explorer at all. “I bet he just invented that to make his aunt seem more interesting than all the rest,” she scoffed. Mrs. Tonks sniffed a good deal and then decided it was time to have a dental check-up. “I’ll get to the bottom of that Millicent Nutbeam, you mark my words,” she told Angelica, as she telephoned Dr. Nutbeam’s surgery23 for an appointment.

Practice the Skills

16 How and why has Aunt Millicent become a hero for the town? Does a hero have to be real? Think about how the girls in Jamie’s class view her. Think about how the town views her.


ell, well—good morning Mrs. Tonks,” said Dr. Nutbeam, a few days later. “We haven’t seen you for a while! Just lie right back in the chair please, and relax!” Mrs. Tonks lay back, but she didn’t relax one bit. Her eyes were sharp and suspicious. “Good morning, Dr. Nutbeam. How is the family?” she enquired. “And how is your sister?” Dr. Nutbeam pulled on his rubber gloves. “My sister? Which one? . . . Er, probe, please nurse.” Before he could say “Open wide,” Mrs. Tonks snapped, “Your sister the so-called explorer. Huh! The one in the Cameroons.” “Ah, that sister. You mean Millicent . . . now, just open wider and turn this way a little. Yes, our Millie, she does work so hard . . . oops, there’s a beaut cavity! A real crater!” He crammed six plugs of cotton wool around

22. Someone who is intrepid is very brave. 23. In Australia a doctor’s or dentist’s office is called a surgery.

722 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Frank Kroenke/Peter Arnold, Inc.

Here’s another picture that Aunt Millicent might have sent from her travels in Africa.


Mrs. Tonks’s gums. “My word, what a lot of saliva! We’ll have some suction please nurse, and just wipe that dribble from the patient’s chin.” He continued to poke and scrape Mrs. Tonks’s molars, none too gently. “Ah, here’s another trouble spot. Mm . . . have you ever been to the Cameroons, Mrs. Tonks?” Mrs. Tonks’s eyes glared. She tried to shake her head, but could only gurgle, “Arggg . . .” 17 “No, I didn’t think you had. Such a fascinating place!” Dr. Nutbeam turned on the squealing high-speed drill and bored into her decaying tooth, spraying water all over her chin. When he had told his family about this encounter with Mrs. Tonks, his wife complained, “It’s all very well for you. You can just cram people’s mouths full of wadding and metal contraptions and suction tubes if they start asking awkward questions, but what am I supposed to do?” The truth was that increasing numbers of townsfolk were calling at the antique shop where Mrs. Nutbeam worked. They were eager to know more about Millicent Nutbeam and her adventurous life. They felt proud of her. “It’s getting quite tricky,” Mrs. Nutbeam explained. “People are asking to see photos of Millicent and wanting us to talk at the elderly citizens’ club about her. This aunt is becoming an embarrassment. I wish people weren’t so curious. Sometimes I don’t know what to say!” Grandma found herself on slippery ground, too, when she met the postman at the gate. “Morning,” he said, sorting through his mailbag. “You must be Jamie’s grandmother, then.” “Yes, I am,” Grandma replied, rather surprised. “Mother of the explorer, eh?” “Gracious!” exclaimed Grandma. “Fancy you knowing about that!” “Oh, my girl Julie has told us all about it. She’s in Jamie’s class at school. Funny thing—Julie’s gone round the twist since she heard about all that exploring business. Says she

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Setting So far the story has more than one setting. What is the setting for this encounter? Can you think of two other settings you have noticed besides this one? What clues give the setting away? Think about Dr. Nutbeam’s job.


Vocabulary encounter (en KOWN tur) n. an unexpected or unpleasant meeting Aunt Millicent 723

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wants to buy a camel and ride it round Australia, and one of her friends is going to apply for a job on an oil rig. I ask you!” “Well, that’s nice,” said Grandma, soothingly. “Girls are so enterprising24 these days.” “Huh! Mad, I call it.” The postman held out a bundle of letters. “Here you are. Now, that’s another funny thing—the Nutbeams don’t get much foreign mail, come to think of it. You’d think the explorer would write to them more often, her being in the traveling line.” Grandma breathed deeply. “Oh, it’s not easy, you know, writing letters when you’re exploring. For one thing, there’s never a decent light in the tent at night—and besides, there’s hardly ever a post office to hand when you need it. She glanced through the letters. “Goodness! There’s one from South America . . . Peru.” 18 “That’s what made me wonder. Is it from her?” asked the postman, eagerly. “Her? Ah . . . Millicent. I don’t know. It’s for Dr. Nutbeam, my son, and it’s typed. Anyway, as far as we know, Millicent is still in the Cameroons, although we’ve not had word for some time.” “She could have moved on, couldn’t she?” suggested the postman, “Peru, eh? Oh well, I’d better move on, too. G’day to you!”

24. Someone who is enterprising is ready and willing to undertake new projects.

724 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Robert Frerck/Panoramic Images

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting Who do you think wrote the letter from Peru?


Practice the Skills


t school, Julie the postman’s daughter said to Jamie, “Why has your auntie gone to South America? What’s she exploring now?” “Who said she’s gone to South America?” demanded Jamie. He felt he was losing control of Aunt Millicent. “My dad said there was a letter from her in Peru,” replied Julie. “Well, no one told me,” growled Jamie. At home he announced, “Julie is telling everybody that our Aunt Millicent is in Peru! What’s she talking about? What’s happening?” Grandma stopped knitting. “Julie. Is that the name of the postman’s girl?” “Yes—her dad said there was a letter for us from Auntie in Peru, or somewhere mad.” “Oh, I remember—he asked me about it,” said Grandma. 19 Key Reading Skill “Well . . . what did you say?” wailed Jamie. Predicting Did you predict “I just said I didn’t know who the letter was from and that I earlier that the Nutbeams would thought Millicent was still in the Cameroons, but that we fool the town into thinking that Aunt Millicent was a real person? hadn’t heard for a while where she was. That’s all.” Is your prediction the same now? “The letter from Peru,” chuckled Dr. Nutbeam, “is about Explain. the World Dental Conference on plaque, which is being held next year in Lima.25 It has nothing to do with Millicent.” “Well of course it hasn’t,” spluttered Jamie. “She doesn’t exist!” “But Jamie, in a funny sort of way she does exist,” said Mrs. Nutbeam. His father grinned. “My sister is quite a girl! She’s begun to live a life of her own!” “That’s the trouble,” said Jamie. “She seems to be doing things we don’t know about.” 19

25. This kind of plaque (plak) is film that forms on teeth if not removed by cleaning. The conference is in Lima (LEE muh), the capital of Peru.

Analyzing the Photos Describe what you see in these pictures from the Andes.

Aunt Millicent 725 David L. Perry


While they were talking, the telephone rang. Dr. Nutbeam was no longer grinning when he came back from answering it. “That was Frank Figgis from the local paper.” “Frank, the editor?” asked Mrs. Nutbeam. “What did he want?” “He wants to do a full-page feature on our Millicent,” groaned her husband. “He’s heard that she’s about to set out on a climbing expedition in the Andes! Up some peak that has never yet been conquered!” “What nonsense!” snapped Grandma. “She’s too old for that sort of thing.” “It’s just a rumor!” shouted Jamie. “Who said she’s going to the Andes? I didn’t say she was going there. She’s still in the Cameroons!” “Calm down, dear,” said his mother, “and let’s hear what Dad said to Frank Figgis.” Dr. Nutbeam was rubbing his head. “I stalled for time—I said we’d not heard she was in the Andes, but that we’d make enquiries26 and let him know. Whatever happens, Millicent mustn’t get into print. We’ll all be up on a charge of false pretenses27 or something!” Jamie snorted. “Well, if she’s climbing an Ande, it might be best if she fell off and was never seen again.” Nerissa shrieked, “No! She mustn’t—she’s our only aunt and we’ve only just got her!” Mrs. Nutbeam sighed. “Listen, Jamie, perhaps the time has come to own up28 that Aunt Millicent is not real.” “We can’t do that!” wailed Jamie. “Everyone would think we’re loony . . . and that Grandma’s absolutely bonkers, knitting socks for an aunt who isn’t there. And what about the mongoose? Anyway, I can’t let Honky Tonks find out now—she’d never stop crowing and she’d be more awful than ever.” 20 Jamie decided to lay the whole problem of Aunt Millicent Nutbeam before Mr. Starling, right up to her unexpected expedition to the Andes and Mr. Figgis’s plan to write a full-page feature about her for the local paper. He finished by saying, “I think I might have to kill her off.” 26. To make enquiries is to ask questions. 27. The term false pretenses refers to acts of lying or misleading. 28. The expression own up means to “confess fully.”

726 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Key Reading Skill Predicting What do you think will happen to Aunt Millicent?


“That’d be a shame,” sighed Mr. Starling. “She’s quite a lady, your aunt!” “It would be pretty easy to get rid of her,” Jamie went on. “In her sort of job she could sink into a quicksand, or be trampled by a herd of elephants, or something.” Mr. Starling shook his head violently. “No, no—it would only make things worse if she died a bloodcurdling death like that. No one would be likely to forget her if she was squashed flat by a stampeding elephant. She’d become more interesting than ever!” “Well, she could die of something boring, like pneumonia,” said Jamie. “Or . . . will I have to own up that she isn’t real?” “Do you want to own up?” “Not really. I’d feel stupid, and I specially don’t want Angelica Tonks to know I invented an aunt.” Mr. Starling quite understood. “I see! Anyway, a lot of people would be sad to discover that Millicent Nutbeam was a hoax. The girls in your class, for example—she means a lot to them.” “What’ll I do then?” “If you want people to lose interest in her, you’ll just have to make her less interesting. I think she should retire from exploring, for a start.” “Aw, gee!” Jamie felt very disappointed. “I suppose so. I’ll see what they think at home.” 21


hat he means,” said Dr. Nutbeam, when Jamie had repeated Mr. Starling’s advice, “is that it’s time my dear sister Millicent settled down.” “I quite agree with that,” remarked Grandma, who was up to the sixth sock foot. “She’s not as young as she was, and it’s high time she had some normal home life. I think she should get married, even though she’s getting on a bit. Perhaps to a widower.” “That sounds terribly boring,” yawned Nerissa. “Well, that’s what we need,” said Jamie, “something terribly boring to make people lose interest.”

Practice the Skills

21 Key Reading Skill Predicting Now that rumors about Aunt Millicent are out of control, Jamie doesn’t know what to do with her. She has taken on a life of her own! What do you think will become of Aunt Millicent?

Vocabulary hoax (hohks) n. an act meant to fool or trick Aunt Millicent 727


Grandma sniffed. “In my day it would have been called a happy ending.” “Well, I suppose it’s a happier ending than being squashed by an elephant,” conceded Jamie. “How about marrying her to a retired accountant who used to work for a cardboard box company?” suggested his father. “That sounds pretty dull.” “Good heavens, it’s all rather sudden!” said Mrs. Nutbeam. “Last time we heard of her she was climbing the Andes!” “No, she wasn’t.” At last Jamie felt he had hold of Aunt Millicent again. “That South American stuff was just a rumor. The postman started it because of the letter from Peru, and then the story just grew!” Dr. Nutbeam nodded. “Stories seem to have a habit of doing that, and so do rumors! But we can easily squash this one about the Andes. I’ll just explain about the World Dental Conference on plaque. I even have the letter to prove it.” Dr. Nutbeam called Frank Figgis on the phone. He explained about the letter from Peru and about the ridiculous rumor which the postman had started. “In your profession Frank,” he added sternly, “you should be much more careful than to listen to baseless rumor.29 It could get you into all sorts of trouble! In any case, Millicent is giving up exploring to marry a retired accountant. She’s had enough.” Frank Figgis was fast losing interest. “I see—well, sometime when she’s in Australia we could do an interview about her former life . . . maybe.” “Maybe, although she has no immediate plans to return here. I believe she and her husband are going to settle down 22 Key Literary Element in England—somewhere on the seafront, like Bognor.” 22 Jamie passed on the same information to his classmates. Setting Compared to other places mentioned in the story, The girls were shocked. what do you imagine Bognor, “She’s what?” England, would be like? What “Getting married to an accountant?” was the most detailed setting in “She can’t be!” the entire story? How did that “How boring for her!” affect the story?

29. A baseless rumor is a rumor that cannot be supported by facts.

728 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


“Where in the world is Bognor? Is there really such a place?” Angelica Tonks smiled like a smug pussycat. “See! Your Aunt Millicent is just like any other old aunt, after all!” Jamie caught Mr. Starling’s eye. It winked.

Practice the Skills


unt Millicent Nutbeam retired, not to Bognor but to live quietly with her family. Nerissa still had wonderful dreams. Dr. Nutbeam still brought home books about far-off places. The blood-stained spears remained on the wall and the mongoose on the shelf. Jamie and Nerissa still played the tom-tom and the bamboo flute. Grandma Nutbeam’s holiday came to an end and she packed up to return home. She left a parcel for Jamie. When he opened it, he found three pairs of khaki socks with dark blue stripes, and a card which said: Dear Jamie, Aunt Millicent won’t have any use for these now that she has settled down, so you might as well have them for school camps. Isn’t it lucky that they are just your size! With love from Grandma 23 ❍

23 Who do you think is most like a real-life hero in this story? Explain. Write your conclusions on the “Aunt Millicent” page of Foldable 6. Your responses to all of the Big Question sidenotes will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.

Aunt Millicent 729


After You Read

Aunt Millicent

Answering the 1. Does Aunt Millicent have qualities of a real-life hero? Explain. 2. Recall Why wasn’t Angelica’s pen-portrait as good as she said it would be? T IP Right There

Critical Thinking 3. Analyze What lasting effect has the story of Aunt Millicent had on the Nutbeam family? What lasting effect has the story had on the students at the school? Give evidence from the story to support your answer. T IP Author and Me 4. Evaluate Does marrying an accountant and retiring sound like something Aunt Millicent would really do? Explain. T IP On My Own 5. Synthesize Imagine that Jamie created an Uncle Milton rather than Aunt Millicent. Do you think the story would have been as meaningful to Jamie’s classmates? Why or why not? T IP On My Own 6. Interpret At the end of the story, Grandma sends Jamie three pairs of socks with a card that says, “Isn’t it lucky that they are just your size.” What do you think that message means? T IP On My Own

Talk About Your Reading

Objectives (pp. 730–731) Reading Make predictions Literature Identify key literary elements: setting Vocabulary Explore word histories Grammar Identify run-ons

730 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Y. Arthus-Bertrand/Peter Arnold, Inc.

With a partner, or in a small group, think up an imaginary person with an interesting life. Decide on the age, gender, appearance, and past history of your imaginary person. Then introduce your imaginary person to the class, telling a bit about him or her. Think about these questions to get started, but don’t stop there. Let the person take on a life of his or her own, like Jamie’s Aunt Millicent. • How would you describe this person? • What job qualities, hobbies, or traits does this person have that make him or her interesting? • What adventures has this person had? • Where does this person live?


Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Predicting 7. At what point in the story did you have to change one of your predictions? Explain why you changed it and what your new prediction was.

Key Literary Element: Setting 8. Describe the main setting of this story in one or two sentences. Pick another setting and describe it in one or two sentences. 9. How did Jamie’s use of setting help to make Aunt Millicent’s travels seem real to other characters in the story?

Reviewing Skills: Responding 10. Would you want a relative like Aunt Millicent? Why or why not?

Vocabulary Check Rewrite this postcard from an explorer and put the vocabulary words in the correct spaces. tedious drab expedition exotic encounter hoax after our exciting 12. to an Life seemed 11. island that wasn’t on the map. We had hoped for an 13. with an 14. bird believed to be extinct. Rumor had it that the bird could still be found on the island. We never saw the bird, so the tales could have been a 15. , but who knows! Its feathers are 16. in color and it blends in with tree bark (making it hard to spot). 17. English Language Coach Why are word histories important?

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

Grammar Link: Recognizing Run-on Sentences Remember, an independent clause has a subject and a predicate. It can stand alone as a complete sentence. Sometimes, though, a writer puts together two independent clauses, or sentences, without the correct punctuation. A run-on sentence is two or more sentences incorrectly written as one sentence. Example: Tonight we are going to a skating competition I hope it is like the Olympics. Now study these three ways to correct a run-on sentence. A. Separate the two independent clauses with a period. Begin the second sentence with a capital letter. Example: Tonight we are going to a skating competition. I hope it is like the Olympics. B. Place a comma and a coordinating conjunction between two independent clauses. Example: Tonight we are going to a skating competition, and I hope it is like the Olympics. C. Place a semicolon between to two independent clauses. Example: Tonight we are going to a skating competition; I hope it is like the Olympics.

Grammar Practice On a separate sheet of paper, write a correct version of each run-on sentence. 18. Yori took an aspirin there was only one left. 19. Of all the birds at the pet store, we liked the parrots best. 20. Look at all the people at the parade I wonder where we can sit. 21. The actors are sewing their own costumes it is quite a challenge.

Aunt Millicent 731


Before You Read Meet the Author Clifton Davis is an actor, singer, and songwriter. One of his songs, “Never Can Say Goodbye,” sold two million records. He has acted in several movies, Broadway plays, and TV shows. Davis told his “Mason-Dixon Memory” story to Mel White, who wrote it in Davis’s voice.

Author Search For more about Clifton Davis, go to www.glencoe .com.

A Mason-Dixon Memory

Vocabulary Preview civic (SIV ik) adj. having to do with a city or the duties of a citizen (p. 734) Civic leaders from around the country came to hear Dondré Green speak. predominantly (prih DOM uh nunt lee) adv. mainly; mostly (p. 734) Dondré attended a predominantly white school in Louisiana. resolve (rih ZOLV) v. to make a firm decision (p. 737) The boys could give up, or they could resolve to stand up for Dondré. ominous (OM ih nus) adj. threatening (p. 738) The woman explained the Mason-Dixon line in ominous tones. bigotry (BIG uh tree) n. unfair and unreasonable opinions or treatment of a person or group (p. 740) Dondré learned that love can overcome hatred and bigotry. Vocabulary Concentration With a partner, copy the words onto one set of note cards and the definitions onto another set. Mix the cards up and place them face down on a desk or table. Take turns turning the cards over two at a time. When you match a word and its definition take the pair; use the word in a sentence once you make a match.

English Language Coach Word Histories Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out how a modern word came from a very different older word. For example, look at these words from the selection you’re about to read: • banquet (BANK wut) n. a large meal celebrating a special event [Middle French, from Old Italian banchetto, from banca “bench”] • chaperone (SHAP uh rohn) n. a person who goes with and is responsible for a group of young people [French chaperon, from earlier French chape, from Latin cappa “head covering; cloak”]

Objectives (pp. 732–741) Reading Make predictions • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: setting Vocabulary Explore word histories

732 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Class Discussion Using your imagination and logic, discuss how • banquet could come from a word meaning “bench.” • chaperone could come from a word meaning “head covering; cloak.”


Skills Preview

Get Ready to Read

Key Reading Skill: Predicting

Connect to the Reading

“A Mason-Dixon Memory” is told in three parts. There are many places you could pause and make a prediction. Whenever you notice a break in the story, ask yourself what you think will happen in the next part. As you read, adjust or change your predictions if you notice the story isn’t turning out as you first predicted.

What would you do if someone you know was experiencing discrimination? What if you had to make the decision to defend them or do nothing?

Partner Talk With a partner, discuss the passage below and make predictions about what you think might happen next. Although most of his friends and classmates were white, Dondré’s race was never an issue. Then, on April 17, 1991, Dondré’s black skin provoked an incident that made nationwide news.

Key Literary Element: Setting The setting often helps to create an atmosphere, or mood. Knowing the setting will help you to understand a story by “placing” the events—connecting them to other things you know about that time and place. “A Mason-Dixon Memory” brings together two incidents that happened in different places and times. The two settings are thirty-two years and almost a thousand miles apart. As you think about the setting notice • the different times and places in the story Do the differences in time and place affect each situation? • descriptions of places and the way characters speak What details help you picture the setting? Partner Talk After you read the selection, discuss the questions above with a partner.

Interactive Literary Elements Handbook To review or learn more about the literary elements, go to

Write to Learn Write about a time you made the right decision while others pressured you to do something that would affect another person in a negative way. Answer these questions as you write: • What was the situation (bullying, discriminating, lying) and what decision did you make? • How did you know what the right decision was? • Why did you decide as you did?

Build Background In the story you are about to read, the Mason-Dixon line is described as “a kind of invisible border between the North and the South.” • Originally, the Mason-Dixon line was the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. • It was a 233-mile-long invisible line determined by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in 1765–68 to settle a land dispute between the Penn family of Pennsylvania and the Calvert family of Maryland. • By 1820 the Mason-Dixon line was used to show the dividing line between the slave states to the south and the free states to the north.

Set Purposes for Reading Read to find out how real boys fought against racism and became heroes. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from the story to help you answer the Big Question? Write your own purpose on the “A MasonDixon Memory” page of Foldable 6.

Keep Moving Use these skills as you read the following selection. A Mason-Dixon Memory 733


by Clifton Davis


ondré Green glanced uneasily at the civic leaders and sports figures filling the hotel ballroom in Cleveland. They had come from across the nation to attend a fund-raiser for the National Minority College Golf Scholarship Foundation. I was the banquet’s featured entertainer. Dondre, an 18-yearold high school senior from Monroe, Louisiana, was the evening’s honored guest. “Nervous?” I asked the handsome young man in his starched white shirt and rented tuxedo. “A little,” he whispered, grinning. One month earlier, Dondré had been just one more black student attending a predominately white school. Although most of his friends and classmates were white, Dondre’s race was never an issue. Then, on April 17, 1991, Dondré’s black skin provoked1 an incident that made nationwide news. 1 1. Provoked means “caused to feel or act.”

Vocabulary civic (SIV ik) adj. having to do with a city or the duties of a citizen predominantly (prih DOM uh nunt lee) adv. mainly; mostly

734 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Lee Snider/Photo Images/CORBIS

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Setting In what time and place does the story begin? Although the author hasn’t mentioned the exact year, does it seem to be taking place recently or long ago? Explain.


“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee said, “our special guest, Dondré Green.” As the audience stood applauding, Dondré walked to the microphone and began his story. “I love golf,” he said quietly. “For the past two years, I’ve been a member of the St. Frederick High School golf team. And though I was the only black member, I’ve always felt at home playing at mostly white country clubs across Louisiana.” The audience leaned forward; even the waiters and busboys stopped to listen. As I listened, a memory buried in my heart since childhood fought its way to life. “Our team had driven from Monroe,” Dondré continued. “When we arrived at the Caldwell Parish Country Club in Columbia, we walked to the putting green.” Dondré and his teammates were too absorbed to notice the conversation between a man and St. Frederick athletic director James Murphy. After disappearing into the clubhouse, Murphy returned to his players. 2 “I want to see the seniors,” he said. “On the double!” His face seemed strained as he gathered the four students, including Dondré. “I don’t know how to tell you this,” he said, “but the Caldwell Parish Country Club is reserved for whites only.” Murphy paused and looked at Dondré. His teammates glanced at each other in disbelief. “I want you seniors to decide what our response should be,” Murphy continued. “If we leave, we forfeit this tournament. If we stay, Dondré can’t play.” As I listened, my own childhood memory from 32 years ago broke free. 3

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting What do you think Coach Murphy is going to talk to his players about? How do you know?


Key Reading Skill Predicting Now that you’ve come to the first break, think about what you know. The narrator has begun to tell you a story about someone else, Dondré Green. What do you think the narrator will tell you about in the next section? Find two clues that lead you to your prediction.

Dondré Green (top row, 2nd from left) poses for the yearbook with his golf team.

A Mason-Dixon Memory 735 Getty Images



n 1959 I was thirteen years old, a poor black kid living with my mother and stepfather in a small black ghetto on Long Island, New York. My mother worked nights in a hospital, and my stepfather drove a coal truck. Needless to say, our standard of living was somewhat short of the American dream. 4 Nevertheless, when my eighthgrade teacher announced a graduation trip to Washington, D.C., it never crossed my mind that I would be left behind. Besides a complete tour of the nation’s capital, we would visit The White House Glen Echo Amusement Park in Maryland. In my imagination, Glen Echo was Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Magic Mountain rolled into one. My heart beating wildly, I raced home to deliver the mimeographed2 letter describing the journey. But when my mother saw how much the trip cost, she just shook her head. We couldn’t afford it. After feeling sad for ten seconds, I decided to try to fund the trip myself. For the next eight weeks, I sold candy bars door-to-door, delivered newspapers, and mowed lawns. Three days before the deadline, I’d made just barely enough. I was going! The day of the trip, trembling with excitement, I climbed onto the train. I was the only nonwhite in our section. Our hotel was not far from the White House. My roommate was Frank Miller, the son of a businessman. Leaning together out of our window and dropping water balloons on tourists quickly cemented our new friendship.

2. If a letter was mimeographed, many copies were made.

736 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Joseph Sohm; Visions of America/CORBIS

Practice the Skills 4

Key Literary Element Setting The author introduces a new setting in this paragraph. Use at least three details from the paragraph to describe the setting.


The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a tribute to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is a symbol of freedom and the sacrifices of the Civil War.

Every morning, almost a hundred of us loaded noisily onto our bus for another adventure. We sang our school fight song dozens of times–en route3 to Arlington National Cemetery and even on an afternoon cruise down the Potomac River. 5 We visited the Lincoln Memorial twice, once in daylight, the second time at dusk. My classmates and I fell silent as we walked in the shadows of those thirty–six marble columns, one for every state in the Union that Lincoln labored to preserve. I stood next to Frank at the base of the nineteen-foot seated statue. Spotlights made the white Georgian marble seem to glow. Together, we read those famous words from Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, remembering the most bloody battle in the War Between the States: “. . . we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom . . .” As Frank motioned me into place to take my picture, I took one last look at Lincoln’s face. He seemed alive and so terribly sad.


English Language Coach Word Histories Some word histories reveal how people’s thinking changes over time. School came from the Latin word schola and meant “school.” But the original Greek word meant “spare time.” Thousands of years ago in Greece, only rich people had time to study at what we now call school.

3. En route (awn ROOT) means “on the way.”

Vocabulary resolve (rih ZOLV) v. to make a firm decision A Mason-Dixon Memory 737 Ron Watts/CORBIS


The next morning, I understood a little better why he wasn’t smiling. “Clifton,” a chaperone said, “could I see you for a moment?” The other guys at my table, especially Frank, turned pale. We had been joking about the previous night’s direct waterballoon hit on a fat lady and her poodle. It was a stupid, dangerous act, but luckily nobody got hurt. We were celebrating our escape from punishment when the chaperone asked to see me. “Clifton,” she began, “do you know about the MasonDixon line?” “No,” I said, wondering what this had to do with drenching fat ladies. “Before the Civil War,” she explained, “the Mason-Dixon line was originally the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania — the dividing line between the slave and free states.” Having escaped one disaster, I could feel another brewing. I noticed that her eyes were damp and her hands were shaking. “Today,” she continued, “the Mason-Dixon line is a kind of invisible border between the North and the South. When you cross that invisible line out of Washington, D.C., into Maryland, things change.” There was an ominous drift to this conversation, but I wasn’t following it. Why did she look and sound so nervous? “Glen Echo Amusement Park is in Maryland,” she said at last, “and the management doesn’t allow Negroes inside.” She stared at me in silence. 6 7 I was still grinning and nodding when the meaning finally sank in. “You mean I can’t go to the park,” I stuttered, “because I’m a Negro?” She nodded slowly. “I’m sorry, Clifton,” she said, taking my hand. “You’ll have to stay in the hotel tonight. Why don’t you and I watch a movie on television?” I walked to the elevators feeling confusion, disbelief, anger,

Vocabulary ominous (OM ih nus) adj. threatening

738 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting Did you predict what the chaperone would say? Were you right? Sometimes an author will lead you to make a certain prediction, but what you thought would happen turns out to be wrong. Why would an author do this?


Key Literary Element Setting The chaperone talks about a difference in the settings between North and South. How is the Mason-Dixon line an important part of the setting, even though it is an “invisible border”? Think about what you learned in the Build Background, and add that to what the chaperone tells Clifton.


and a deep sadness. “What happened, Clifton?” Frank said when I got back to the room. “Did the fat lady tell on us?” Without saying a word, I walked over to my bed, lay down, and began to cry. Frank was stunned into silence. Junior-high boys didn’t cry, at least not in front of each other. It wasn’t just missing the class adventure that made me feel so sad. For the first time in my life, I was learning what it felt like to be a “nigger.” Of course there was discrimination in the North, but the color of my skin had never officially kept me out of a coffee shop, a church — or an amusement park. “Clifton,” Frank whispered, “what is the matter?” “They won’t let me go to Glen Echo Park tonight,” I sobbed. “Because of the water balloon?” he asked. “No,” I answered, “because I’m a Negro.” “Well, that’s a relief!” Frank said, and then he laughed, obviously relieved to have escaped punishment for our caper with the balloons. “I thought it was serious!” Wiping away the tears with my sleeve, I stared at him. “It is serious. They don’t let Negroes into the park. I can’t go with you!” I shouted. “That’s pretty damn serious to me.” I was about to wipe the silly grin off Frank’s face with a blow to his jaw when I heard him say, “Then I won’t go either.” For an instant we just froze. Then Frank grinned. I will never forget that moment. Frank was just a kid. He wanted to go to that amusement park as much as I did, but there was something even more important than the class night out. Still, he didn’t explain or expand. 8 The next thing I knew, the room was filled with kids listening to Frank. “They don’t allow Negroes in the park,” he said, “so I’m staying with Clifton.”

Practice the Skills


Reviewing Skills Interpreting The author points out that Frank didn’t “explain or expand” about why he decided to stay behind. He also mentions that it was because “there was something more important than the class night out.” What is the author really saying? What do you already know that can help you interpret those sentences? A Mason-Dixon Memory 739

From the files of the National Park Service; Photographer: William J. Moore


“Me, too,” a second boy said. “Those jerks,” a third muttered. “I’m with you, Clifton.” My heart raced. Suddenly, I was not alone. A pint-size revolution had been born. The “water-balloon brigade,”4 eleven white boys from Long Island, had made its decision: “We won’t go.” And as I sat on my bed in the center of it all, I felt grateful. But, above all, I was filled with pride. 9


ondré Green’s story brought that childhood memory back to life. His golfing teammates, like my childhood friends, faced an important decision. If they stood by their friend it would cost them dearly. But when it came time to decide, no one hesitated. “Let’s get out of here,” one of them whispered. “They just turned and walked toward the van,” Dondré told us. “They didn’t debate it. And the younger players joined us without looking back.” Dondré was astounded by the response of his friends — and the people of Louisiana. The whole state was outraged and tried to make it right. The Louisiana House of Representatives proclaimed a Dondré Green Day and passed legislation permitting lawsuits for damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs against any private facility that invites a team, then bars any member because of race. As Dondré concluded, his eyes glistened with tears. “I love my coach and my teammates for sticking by me,” he said. “It goes to show that there are always good people who will not give in to bigotry. The kind of love they showed me that day will conquer hatred every time.”


y friends, too, had shown that kind of love. As we sat in the hotel, a chaperone came in waving an envelope. “Boys!” he shouted. “I’ve just bought thirteen tickets to the Senators-Tigers game. Anybody want to go?” 4. A brigade (brih GAYD) is a group of people organized for a specific purpose.

Vocabulary bigotry (BIG uh tree) n. unfair and unreasonable opinions or treatment of a person or group

740 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

Practice the Skills


Key Reading Skill Predicting A break in the text is a good time to predict. What do you think will happen next? Keep in mind that there are really two stories: Clifton’s and Dondré Green’s. Have you heard the rest of Dondré’s story yet? How do you think it will relate to Clifton’s story?


The room erupted5 in cheers. Not one of us had ever been to a professional baseball game in a real baseball park. On the way to the stadium, we grew silent as our driver paused before the Lincoln Memorial. For one long moment, I stared through the marble pillars at Mr. Lincoln, bathed in that warm, yellow light. There was still no smile and no sign of hope in his sad and tired eyes. “. . . We here highly resolve . . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom . . .” 10 In his words and in his life, Lincoln made it clear, that freedom is not free. Every time the color of a person’s skin keeps him out of an amusement park or off a country-club fairway, the war for freedom begins again. Sometimes the battle is fought with fists and guns, but more often the most effective weapon is a simple act of love and courage. Whenever I hear those words from Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, I remember my eleven white friends, and I feel hope once again. I like to imagine that when we paused that night at the foot of his great monument, Mr. Lincoln smiled at last. As Dondré said, “The kind of love they showed me that day will conquer hatred every time.” 11 ❍ 5. Erupted means exploded or burst forth.

Practice the Skills


Key Literary Element Setting Thinking of all the different settings in this story, why do you suppose the author chose to end at the Lincoln Memorial? What happened when he was there earlier? How did he feel? How does a return to this setting add to the story’s meaning?

11 How many heroes did you read about in “A Mason-Dixon Memory?” On the “Mason-Dixon Memory” page of Foldable 6, list and write about the heroes in this selection. Explain what each one of them did to become a hero. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later.

A Mason-Dixon Memory 741 Miles Ertman/Masterfile


After You Read

A Mason-Dixon Memory

Answering the 1. The author states that “freedom is not free.” In what ways did the heroes in this story have to pay for freedom? 2. Summarize In what ways did Dondré’s experience prompt the state of Louisiana to make changes? Give two examples of those changes. T IP Think and Search 3. Recall Where did the author, Clifton Davis, have his experience with racism? Name the state and place. T IP Right There

Critical Thinking 4. Evaluate Were the heroes in the story born heroes or just ordinary people who did the right thing? Support your answer by explaining your definition of a hero. T IP On My Own 5. Draw Conclusions In both cases, do you think the other boys would have defended Dondré or the narrator if they had not known them? Explain. T IP Author and Me 6. Analyze What is the Mason-Dixon line a symbol of in this story? T IP Author and Me

Write About Your Reading

Objectives (pp. 742–743) Reading Make predictions • Make connections from text to self Literature Identify key literary elements: setting Vocabulary Explore word histories Writing Write a paragraph: compare and contrast Grammar Correct run-ons

742 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Lee Snider/Photo Images/CORBIS

Answer the questions to trace the similarities and differences between the two experiences—Dondré’s and Clifton’s. Use your answers to write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the two experiences. • In what year did each experience take place? • How old was the narrator? Dondré? • In what state did the narrator grow up? Dondré? • Where did they experience racism? Write the state and setting. • Who stood up for the narrator? Dondré? • List the heroes in each case. Why are they heroes?


Skills Review Key Reading Skill: Predicting 7. Did anything happen in this story that you did not predict? Explain. 8. How did predicting help you to understand the story better?

Key Literary Element: Setting 9. How were the settings important to both Dondré’s and the narrator’s experiences? 10. What does the title of the story have to do with setting? 11. How does the difference in time play a part in the outcomes of both experiences?

Reviewing Skills: Interpreting 12. What does the Lincoln Memorial mean to the author? What does it come to stand for by the end of the story? Explain.

Vocabulary Check Choose the best word from the list to complete each sentence below. Rewrite each sentence with the correct word in place. ominous bigotry civic resolve predominantly 13. The goldfish were ___ orange, but a few were white. 14. To have a world free of ___ you must learn to understand people who are different from you. 15. You should write your ___ leaders if you want to influence their decisions. 16. Every New Year’s Eve, we ___ to watch less television. 17. We came in after the sky turned to a scary, ___ gray and the thunder began to boom. 18. English Language Coach In a sentence or two, tell how the modern meaning of the noun banquet relates to the Old Italian word that meant “bench.”

Grammar Link: Correcting Run-on Sentences A run-on sentence is two or more sentences incorrectly written as one sentence. Example: Jordon won the race the crowd cheered. Correct a run-on sentence by • writing separate sentences Jordon won the race. The crowd cheered. • combining the sentences with a semicolon (;) Jordon won the race; the crowd cheered. • combining the sentences with a comma and and, or, or but. Jordon won the race, and the crowd cheered.

Grammar Practice Rewrite this paragraph, correcting the run-on sentences. If you’re looking for something to do with your free time, start a collection. Collecting is fun, collecting can be profitable. The items you collect can increase in value over the years, stamps, and coins are a good example. Some people collect baseball cards, some people collect the autographs of famous people, did you know there are even some people who collect shopping bags from different stores? Writing Application Read the comparison and contrast you wrote about Dondré and the narrator’s experiences. Correct any run-on sentences in your paragraph.

Web Activities For eFlashcards, Selection Quick Checks, and other Web activities, go to

A Mason-Dixon Memory 743



Toad and


Donkey by Toni Cade Bambara


Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby by Virginia Hamilton

Skills Focus You will use these skills as you read and compare the following selections: • “The Toad and the Donkey,” p. 748 • “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby,” p. 757

Reading • Making connections across texts • Comparing and contrasting myths, fables, and their heroes

Literature • Recognizing and analyzing heroes

A real-life hero overcomes hardship or danger to do something generous for someone else. So are all heroes equal? No. You learned in this unit that a hero in literature can be very different from a real-life hero. In fact, one kind of literary hero—the trickster—often does not seem like a hero at all.

How to Compare Literature: Heroes Trickster tales are found all around the world. In fact, they’re especially common on cartoon shows you might have watched. Bugs Bunny, for example, is a trickster hero. In a trickster tale, the trickster hero uses clever tricks to defeat an opponent who’s usually bigger, stronger, or faster than he is. Some trickster heroes have good reasons for playing tricks. Other tricksters might just want to cheat someone or steal something. When you compare trickster tales, think about who the trickster hero is and why he’s tricking his opponent.

Objectives (pp. 744–745) Reading Compare and contrast heroes

744 UNIT 6


Get Ready to Compare In a trickster tale, the trickster’s opponent usually has some weakness that allows him or her to be tricked. The opponent may not be as smart as the trickster, or he may be greedy or self-centered. The trickster then takes advantage of this weakness to defeat his opponent. To understand the trickster tales “The Toad and the Donkey” and “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby,” keep track of the tricks that are played in a chart like the one below. For each trick: • describe the trick • identify the trickster and opponent • briefly describe the strengths and weaknesses of the trickster and opponent. You’ll find that in some tales several tricks are played. And more than one character in a single tale might be a trickster!








Here’s a hint to help you with your charts: in “The Toad and the Donkey,” only one trick is played, though it is repeated several times. You only have to make one chart for that selection. In “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby,” though, several tricks are played, so you’ll need several charts.

Use Your Comparison After you have filled out your Tricks charts, think about why the trickster played the tricks in both selections. Did the trickster have a good reason for playing the trick or was he just taking advantage of the other character?

Comparing Literature Workshop 745


Before You Read


Toad and the Donkey

Vocabulary Preview

To n

i C a d e B a m b ara

Meet the Author Toni Cade added “Bambara” to her name after she found the name on a sketchbook in her great-grandmother’s trunk. Born in the Harlem community of New York, she became a college professor, a writer, and an activist for African American women. Bambara was born in 1939 and died in 1995. This story was published in 1971. See page R1 of the Author Files for more about Toni Cade Bambara.

Author Search For more about Toni Cade Bambara, go to

Objectives (pp. 746–749) Reading Compare and contrast heroes

reputation (rep yuh TAY shun ) n. character as judged by other people (p. 748) The donkey had a reputation for being a very fast runner. milepost (MYL pohst) n. a sign by a road that tells how many miles a location is from a starting point (p. 748) Toad’s relatives hid in wait at each milepost. V well (wel) n. a hole dug in the ground to get water (p. 749) Donkey paused at the well for a drink. slashed (slasht) v. hit sharply enough to cause a cut; form of the verb slash (p. 749) He slashed his back with his own tail. horsewhip (HORS whip) n. a whip or stick used to make a horse go faster (p. 749) He used his tail like a horsewhip.

Get Ready to Read Connect to the Reading Think about a time when you got mad at someone who bragged too much. Did you want to teach that person a lesson? How do you think you would have felt if someone had fooled that person by playing a trick on him or her?

Build Background Trickster tales were common among enslaved African Americans during the 1800s. Many trickster tales have been handed down and rewritten by famous writers. • In this tale Brother Spider proposes that Toad and Donkey race. • In Africa the spider Anansi is an important figure in trickster tales and mythology. • Donkeys have a reputation for being slow and stubborn. One of the most popular types of folktales in cultures around the world is the trickster tale. In a trickster tale, the trickster hero is usually a smaller weaker character, while the opponent is larger and more powerful. But the opponent has some weakness or flaw that allows him to be tricked. The trickster takes advantage of the opponent’s weakness to defeat him.

746 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? courtesy of Toni Cade Bambara

744-747_U6_CLW_845476.indd 746

3/9/07 3:32:08 PM


What Are Trickster Tales? In many Native American, African American, and African folktales, the trickster is a rabbit. The rabbit seems small and helpless, but it wins by being quick and smart. In other cultures, foxes, turtles, spiders, ravens, badgers, and many other animals are the heroes of trickster tales. Clever tricksters use their wits to get themselves out of trouble or to win a contest. But in many stories, the trickster gets right back into trouble. Tricksters who try to take advantage of others or cheat their opponents often get caught up in their own mischief. Sometimes they even become the victims of other tricksters.

Same Story, Different Culture Some folktales are told in slightly different versions in different cultures. In The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, Virginia Hamilton writes, “There are some three hundred versions of the Tar Baby tale. . . . In the Bahamas the elephant creates the tar baby; in Brazil an old woman or man traps a monkey in a sticky wax (doll). There is a version from India, and there are African versions among the Ewes and Yorubas [people of Western Africa], all showing the great . . . universality of this tale.”

Set Purposes for Reading Read to find out if anyone in this tale has the qualities of a real-life hero. Set Your Own Purpose What other purpose might you have for reading this tale? Write your own purpose on the “Toad and the Donkey” page of Foldable 6.

The Toad and the Donkey 747


by Toni Cade Bambara


ne day Brother Spider didn’t have nothing better to do so he asked ole Toad and ole Donkey to have a race across the island. C The donkey said, “What? You want me, the fastest dude around here, to race that little old hop frog. I’ve got a reputation, you know.” 1 And the toad said, “Never mind all that, Big Mouth— let’s race.” 2 The donkey thought to himself, this is ridiculous. But since Brother Spider always had good prizes (Brother Spider was a terrific thief), he agreed. “O.K.,” said Spider. “The only rule is that Brother Donkey has to howl every mile so we can know where you all are.” Toad says, “Fine with me. Let’s set the race for Saturday.” “Oh no,” says Donkey, for he suspected something trickified. “Tomorrow morning.” So Toad went home for dinner and put it to the family like so: “Listen here, we spread out along the path in the bushes, then at every milepost when Mr. Donkey howls out, one of R you steps out and howls too.” So they each packed a little breakfast of gungo peas and sweet potato bread and bakes all wrapped up in tanya leaves and took up their positions along the road.

Practice the Skills


Comparing Literature Heroes What do you think Donkey’s strength will be in this tale? Who do you think the trickster will be in this tale?


Comparing Literature Heroes How does Toad feel about what Donkey has just said? What do you think Donkey’s weakness will be?

Vocabulary reputation (rep yuh TAY shun ) n. character as judged by other people milepost (MYL pohst) n. a sign by a road that tells how many miles a location is from a starting point

748 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Larry West/Getty Images

748-749_U6_CLW_845476.indd 748

3/9/07 11:24:54 AM


So the race began. And Spider lit a cigar and lay back. Brother Donkey took off at a light trot, his tail stuck up in the air to match his nose, stopping every now and then to stick his face through somebody’s fence to munch on some grass. And when he got to the first milepost, he sang out, “La, la, la. Here I am. Where are you? Ha ha.” 3 And way in front of him Uncle Julius Toad sang back, “Up here. La, la, la,” and licked his fingers. Which really surprised Donkey. So he cut out the grass eating and got a move on. But then he passed a well and decided he had time for a drink, for how much hopping can a toad do. And at the next post he sang out, “Tra, la, la. Here I am. Where are you?” And way up ahead Aunt Minnie Toad sang back, “Up here. Ha, ha.” By the fifth post, Donkey started getting a little worried so he slashed himself with his tail like a horsewhip and started galloping. But Cousins Emery, Walter and Cecil Toad were on the case. And it’s the same story each time. “Tra la la, I’m up the road ahead of you, Donkey.” And Donkey began to get sad in his mind when he realized he was not going to beat Toad. And he decided before he even got to the finish line that he would never race again. And donkeys have been kind of stubborn about running ever since. 4 5 ❍

Illustration for Public and Private Animals. 1877. J. Granville.

Practice the Skills 3

Comparing Literature Heroes Does Donkey seem to be taking the race seriously? How does Donkey’s attitude help to excuse Toad for playing a trick on him?


Comparing Literature Heroes In some trickster tales, like myths, the trickster hero’s actions explain why something happens in nature. What does this tale explain about donkeys?

5 Vocabulary well (wel) n. a hole dug in the ground to get water

Toad was a trickster hero in this tale. If something like this happened in real life, would you call him a hero?

slashed (slasht) v. hit sharply enough to cause a cut horsewhip (HORS wip) n. a whip or stick used to make a horse go faster The Toad and the Donkey 749 Edward Pierce


Before You Read

Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby

Vocabulary Preview

V ir g

i n i a H a m ilt o n

Meet the Author “I grew up within the warmth of loving aunts and uncles, all reluctant farmers but great story-tellers,” says Virginia Hamilton. She is proud to be descended from Levi Perry, who escaped from slavery and settled in Ohio. Virginia Hamilton was born in 1936. This story was published in 1985.

Author Search For more about Virginia Hamilton, go to www

crock (krok) n. a large clay or ceramic pot (p. 751) The boys kept their apple cider in a crock. toiled (toyld) v. worked hard; form of the verb toil (p. 752) Raphael toiled all day weeding the garden. scurried (SKUR eed) v. ran quickly; form of the verb scurry (p. 752) The mouse scurried across the floor to escape.

Get Ready to Read Connect to the Reading Have you ever enjoyed a television program, movie, or story in which the characters kept playing tricks on each other? Which character did you like the best? Who did you want to “win”?

Build Background This is one of many different stories from around the world that feature a rabbit or hare as a trickster. • A hare is a larger relative of a rabbit, although people often use the words “hare” and “rabbit” to mean the same thing. A hare can grow to be the size of a large cat. • There are many different trickster tales about a rabbit and a tar baby. • Tar is the thick, sticky black substance that is often used to pave blacktop roads.

Set Purposes for Reading Read to find out whether any of the characters in this tale are like real-life heroes. Set Your Own Purpose What else would you like to learn from this tale? Write your own purpose on the “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby” page of Foldable 6.

750 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Virginia Hamilton/Scholastic, Inc


by Virginia Hamilton


eard tell about Doctor Rabbit and Brother Fox. They were buildin a house. And they kept a crock of cream in the bubbly brook down below the house they were buildin. Every once in a while, Doc Rabbit got thirsty. And he hollered aside so Bruh Fox wouldn’t know who it was, “Whooo-hooo, whooo-hooo, whooo-hooo,” like that. Scared Bruh Fox to death. 1 “Who is it there?” Bruh Fox say. “Sounds like somebody callin bad,” said Doc Rabbit. “Well, can you tell what they want?” Bruh Fox say. “Can’t tell nothin and I’m not lookin to see,” said Doc. “Oh, but yer the doctor. Yer the doctor, you’d better go see,” says Bruh Fox. 2 So Doc Rabbit went off down to the bubbly brook where the water ribbled, keepin the cream cold. He drank a long drink of sweet cream. Then he went back to help Bruh Fox with the house. “Who was it callin?” asks Bruh Fox. “Just started callin me, was all it was,” said Doc Rabbit. So Doc Rabbit got down to work. But the sun was hot and he came thirsty again. He went about callin out the side of his mouth: “Whoo-ahhh, whooo-ahhh, whoo-ahhh!”

Practice the Skills


Comparing Literature Heroes Who do you think is going to be the trickster? What do you think Bruh Fox’s weakness is?


Comparing Literature Heroes Why do you think Doc Rabbit tells Bruh Fox that he doesn’t want to go see who is calling?

Vocabulary crock (krok) n. a large clay or ceramic pot Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby 751


“Who is callin so scared?” says Bruh Fox, trembly all over. “Somebody callin me for help, I expect,” Doc Rabbit said. “But I am sure not goin this time, me.” “You have to go. You have to, yer the only doctor. Go ahead on, you,” Bruh Fox say. Big Doc Rabbit went down to the brook again. The water was so cool and ribbly and it kept the crock of cream so fresh and cold. Doc Rabbit drank about half of the cream this time. Then he went back up to help Brother Fox with the hard labor of raisin the roof. Bruh Fox says, “What was the name of the one callin you this time?” “Name of about half done callin,” mumbled Doc Rabbit. “Whew! This work is hard labor.” The rabbit toiled and sweated until his fur was wringin wet. He took off his fur coat, too. He wrung it dry and put it back on. But that didn’t even cool him any. He says over his “Who are you, I say,” Harrison Cady. Engraving. shoulder, says, “Whooo-wheee, whooo-wheee!” like that. 3 The fox says, lookin all around, “Somebody else callin you, Rabbit.” 3 “I sure am not goin this time,” Doc Rabbit said. “I’ll just How do you feel about the trick stay right here this time.” Doc Rabbit is playing on Bruh Fox? If something like this hap“You go on,” says Bruh Fox. “Go ahead on, folks needin pened in real life, would you call you today.” Doc Rabbit a hero? So Doc Rabbit scurried down to the ribblin brook. It was nice by the water. He sat himself down, took up the crock of cream. He drank it all down. Then he ran off. Fox feel a suspicion. He went down there, saw the cream was all gone. He filled up the crock with some lemon and sugar water he had. He knew Rabbit was after anything cold and sweet.

Practice the Skills

Vocabulary toiled (toyld) v. worked hard scurried (SKUR eed) v. ran quickly

752 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Harrison Cady. Engraving


“Think I’ll catch me a doctor and a hare together,” Fox says to himself. 4 Next, he made a little baby out of the tar there. The baby lookin just like a baby rabbit. He named it Tar Baby and sat it right there on the waterside. Bruh Fox went back up the hill and he worked on his house. He thought he might keep the house to himself. Doc Rabbit was bein bad so and not workin at all. 5 Doc Rabbit came back for a drink. He spied the new crock full. And he spied Tar Baby just sittin, gazin out on the water. “What you doin here, baby rabbit?” Rabbit asked Tar Baby. Tar Baby wouldn’t say. Too stuck up. “You better speak to me,” Doc Rabbit said, “or I’ll have to hurt you.” But the Tar Baby wasn’t gone speak to a stranger. So Doc Rabbit kicked Tar Baby with his left hind foot. Foot got stuck, it did. “Whoa, turn me loose!” the rabbit cried. “Turn me loose!” 6 Tar Baby stayed still. Gazin at the water. Lookin out over the ribbly water. So Doc Rabbit kicked hard with his right hind foot. “Oh, oh, I’m stuck again. You’d better let me loose, baby,” Doc Rabbit said. “I got another good foot to hit you with.” Tar Baby said nothin. Gazin at the water. Lookin far on by the waterside. Doc Rabbit kicked Tar Baby with another foot, and that foot got stuck way deep. “Better turn me loose,” Rabbit hollered, gettin scared now. Shakin now. Says, “I got one foot left and here it comes!” 7 He kicked that tar baby with the one foot left, and that got stuck just like the other three. “Well, well, well,” said Doc Rabbit, shakin his head and lookin at Tar Baby. Tar Baby gazin on the water. Watchin out for the pretty birds. “Well, I still got my head,” Doc Rabbit said. “I’m mad, now! I’m agone use my head, too.” He used his head on the little tar baby. Butted his head in the tar baby’s stomach as hard as he could. Doc Rabbit’s head got stuck clear up to his eyes. His big rabbit ears went whole in the tar of Tar Baby.

Practice the Skills 4

Comparing Literature Heroes Who do you think is going to be the trickster now? What weakness of Doc Rabbit does Bruh Fox take advantage of?


Comparing Literature Heroes Do you think Bruh Fox was right in feeling that he should keep the house for himself? Explain.


Comparing Literature Heroes How did Bruh Fox know that Doc Rabbit would kick or hit Tar Baby? What strength does Bruh Fox have now?


Comparing Literature Heroes Doc Rabbit keeps kicking Tar Baby, even though he keeps getting more and more stuck. What is Doc Rabbit’s weakness in this part of the story?

Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby 753


Brer Rabbit stuck on the Tar Baby. Engraving. Analyzing the Art Who seems to be having the last laugh? What might Doc Rabbit do next?

That was the way Bruh Fox found him. Doc Rabbit was stuck in Tar Baby. Bruh Fox got him loose. “What must I do with you?” Bruh Fox said. He led Rabbit along to the house they were buildin. “You the one drank up my crock of cream. I didn’t get one taste. Have a mind to burn you in a fire, too.” “Oh, I like fires,” Doc Rabbit said. “Do go on burn me up, Bruh Fox, for it’s my pleasure to have my coat on fire.” “Well, then, I won’t burn you,” said the fox. “Burnin up is too good for you.” 8 “Huh,” grunted Doc Rabbit. He said no more. Bruh Fox had him in his mouth, a-danglin down his back. Then he laid the rabbit under his paws so he could speak. “Well, I think I’ll throw you in that thorny briar patch,” Bruh Fox said. “How do you like that?” 754 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? file photo

Practice the Skills


Comparing Literature Heroes Why does Doc Rabbit tell Bruh Fox to burn him in the fire? Who is being the trickster now?


Practice the Skills

Hare, William De Morgan (1839–1917) Watercolor on paper. Private collection.

“Oh, mercy, don’t do that!” cried Doc Rabbit. “Whatever you do with me, don’t dare throw me in those thorny briars!” “That’s what I’ll do, then,” Bruh Fox said. And that’s what Brother Fox did. He sure did. Took Doc Rabbit by the short hair and threw him—Whippit! Whappit! —right in the briar patch. “Hot lettuce pie! This is where I want to be,” Doc Rabbit hollered for happiness. He was square in the middle of the briar patch. “Here is where my mama and papa had me born and raised. Safe at last!” 9 “Didn’t know rabbits have they homes in the briars,” Bruh Fox said, scratching his tail. He knows it now. 10 ❍


Comparing Literature Heroes What is the final trick played in this tale? Who is the trickster?

10 Which character in this tale would you rather have as a friend? Would either of these characters be a hero in real life? Explain your answer on the “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby” page of Foldable 6. Your response will help you complete the Unit Challenge later. Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby 755

Hare (w/c on paper), Morgan, William De (1839-1917)/Private Collection, The Stapleton Collection/ Bridgeman Art Library


After You Read The

Toad and




Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby

Vocabulary Check Copy each sentence, filling in the blank with the best word from the list.


Toad and the Donkey

reputation milepost well slashed horsewhip 1. Angelina went to the 2. The toad had a

to get some water.

for being a trickster.

3. The cowboy used a 4. The thorny weeds 5. Tony could tell by the

to make his horse go faster. at his ankles. how far he had traveled.

Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby crock toiled scurried 6. Jasmine

all day to get the house cleaned up.

7. People sometimes used to keep milk in a 8. When we heard the thunder, we

Objectives (pp. 756–757) Reading Compare and contrast: heroes Writing Create a chart: compare and contrast

756 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Edward Pierce, file photo




Step 1: Look over the charts you made. For each trick that you listed, think about the weakness in the trickster’s opponent that allowed the trickster to fool him. Then look at the strengths you listed for each trickster on your charts. Step 2: Now think about why the trickster played each trick. Did the trickster’s opponent deserve to be tricked? Step 3: Which two tricksters do you think were most alike? Write a short paragraph that explains why you feel those two tricksters were most alike. Consider their strengths, weaknesses, the kind of tricks they played, and why they played the trick.

Reading/Critical Thinking On a sheet of paper, answer the following questions.


Toad and the Donkey

9. Recall Why does Donkey agree to race against Toad? T IP Right There 10. Evaluate Was Toad justified in tricking Donkey? Explain. T IP On My Own

Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby 11. Recall What does Bruh Fox do right after he creates the tar baby? T IP Right There 12. Evaluate Who do you think would be a better friend—Doc Rabbit or Bruh Fox? Explain why you picked that character. T IP On My Own

Writing: Compare the Literature Use Your Notes 13. Follow these steps to compare the trickster heroes.


Get It on Paper To compare the trickster heroes in “The Toad and the Donkey” and “Doc Rabbit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby,” answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. 14. Which trickster do you think is the cleverest? Explain why you chose this answer. 15. Which opponent do you think most deserves to be fooled by the trickster? Explain your answer. 16. Which opponent do you think least deserves to be fooled by the trickster? Explain.

17. Would you consider any of these tricksters real heroes, not just literary heroes? Explain why or why not.







Comparing Literature Workshop 757




What Makes a Hero?

You’ve learned about many different types of heroes—heroes of folktale, fantasy, and myth as well as heroes in real life. Now apply what you’ve learned to do the Unit Challenge.

The Unit Challenge Choose Activity A or Activity B and follow the directions for that activity.

A. Group Activity: A Wall of Heroes With three other students, imagine that you have been hired by your school to discover the local heroes in your community. Your school has asked you to interview people about their heroes and create a wall so that everyone can learn about them. 1. Design Interviews Make a list of three or four people in your class that you want to interview about their heroes. Decide if you will interview each person together or if each member of your group will interview one person. Using the notes from your Foldables, write three or four questions you will ask each person about their heroes. What do you want to know about the heroes? 2. Interviews Once you have a list of people to interview and a list of questions, it’s time to do the interviews. Find a quiet place in the classroom and start your interviews. Ask your questions slowly and give people time to talk while you listen. Write down their answers. Ask people if they have pictures of their heroes they would like to put on the wall. 3. Put the Results Together After your interviews, put together a list of local heroes. Write a paragraph describing each hero and

758 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Karl Lehmann/Lonely Planet

attach a picture of the hero to each paragraph if you have one. 4. Create a Wall of Heroes Find a place in your classroom like a wall or a bulletin board to put up the paragraphs and pictures about local heroes. Design your wall so people can learn about the heroes and their accomplishments. Use markers, paints, and colored paper to make the wall look good. Invite people from your school to come and look at the Wall of Heroes.

Fruits of Expression mural inspired by American Bill of Rights, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


B. Solo Activity: A Hero for Today The world can always use another hero. You’ve just read about many heroes from the past and some heroes from the present. What kind of hero do you think the world needs today?

of powers and skills that would help your hero solve the problem you chose.

1. Choose a Hero Look over your notes on the heroes you read about in this unit. Which one do you like the best? What skills did he or she use? Choose a hero for today.

3. Write a Story Write a story about how your hero helps solve the type of problems people face today. What adventures does he or she have? What powers does your hero use? How does your hero make the world a better place? Draw a picture of your hero to go with your story.

2. Bring Your Hero Alive Think of the problems of today. Which ones would you like to solve? How could a hero help do this? Write a list of traits you want to give to your hero to help solve problems of today. Your hero can have all the traits you read about, but he or she may need new ones for today’s problems. Use a web like the one below to think

4. Tell Your Story Once you finish writing your story, it’s time to tell it to the class. Use your best storytelling skills and bring your hero alive for your classmates by telling them about the adventures of your hero and why your hero is a hero for today.

Skill or Power:

Skill or Power:


Skill or Power:

Skill or Power:

Wrap-Up 759


Your Turn: Read and Apply Skills


a L u z V ill a n u e v


Meet the Author Alma Luz Villanueva is a poet and novelist. She uses themes from her Mexican American and Yaqui Indian heritage, such as the Native American sense of oneness with nature. She says that the inspiration for her writing is mysterious because “when we touch the most personal, the most hidden within ourselves, we touch the universal.” See page R7 of the Author Files for more about Alma Luz Villanueva.

Author Search For more about Alma Luz Villanueva, go to www

by Alma Luz Villanueva


AVE YOU DRESSED YET?” their grandmother called. “Once a month in the sun and they must almost be forced,” she muttered. “Well, poor things, they’ve forgotten the warmth of the sun on their little bodies, what it is to play in the sea, yes. . . .” Mrs. Pavloff reached for her protective sun goggles that covered most of her face. It screened all ultraviolet light1 from the once life-giving sun; now, it, the sun, scorched the Earth, killing whatever it touched. The sea, the continents, had changed. The weather, as they’d called it in the last century, was entirely predictable now: warming. Mrs. Pavloff slipped on the thick, metallic gloves, listening to her grandchildren squabble and she heard her mother’s voice calling her, “Masha, put your bathing suit under your clothes. It’s so much easier that way without having to go to the bathhouse first. Hurry! Father’s waiting!” She remembered the ride to the sea, the silence when the first shimmers of water became visible. Her father had always been first into the chilly water. “Good for the health!” he’d yell as he dove into it, swimming as far as he could, then 1. The sun’s ultraviolet light is invisible, and it can be harmful.

760 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Courtesy Alma Luz Villanueva


back. Then he’d lie exhausted on the sand, stretched to the sun. Such happiness to be warmed by the sun. Then the picnic. She could hear her mother’s voice, “Stay to your knees, Masha! Only to your knees!” To herself: “She’d be a mermaid if I didn’t watch,” and she’d laugh. Masha would lie belly down, facing the sea and let the last of the waves roll over her. She hadn’t even been aware of the sun, only that she’d been warm or, if a cloud covered it, cold. It was always there, the sun: its light, its warmth. But the sea—they traveled to it. So, she’d given all of her attention to the beautiful sea.

She saw her father kneeling next to her, building the sand castle they always built when they went to the sea. Her job was to find seashells, bird feathers, and strips of seaweed to decorate it. How proud she’d felt as she placed her seashells where she chose, where they seemed most beautiful. Only then was the sand castle complete. She heard her father’s voice, “The Princess’s castle is ready, now, for her Prince! Come and look, Anna! What do you think?” She saw herself beaming with pride, and she heard her mother’s laugh. “Fit for a queen, I’d say! Can I live in your castle, too, Masha? Please, Princess Masha?”

Analyzing the Art Does this sand castle look like the one Masha and her father built? Why or why not?

Your Turn: Read and Apply Skills 761 David Ash/CORBIS


“Of course, Mother! You can live with me always. . . . “ She remembered her mother’s laughing face, her auburn hair lit up by the sun, making her look bright and beautiful. The sun, the sun, the sun. The scientists were saying that with the remedies they were employing now and the remedies begun twenty years ago—they’d stopped all nuclear testing and all manufacturing of ozone-depleting2 chemicals was banned3 worldwide—the scientists were saying that the sun, the global problem, would begin to get better. Perhaps for her grandchildren’s children. Perhaps they would feel the sun on their unprotected bodies. Perhaps they would feel the delicious warmth of the sun. All vehicles were solar powered. The populations took buses when they needed transportation and people emerged mainly at night. So, most human activity was conducted after the sun was gone from the sky. Those who emerged during the day wore protective clothing. Everything was built to screen the sun’s light. Sometimes she missed the natural light of her childhood streaming through the windows so intensely the urge to just run outside would overtake her. She missed the birds, the wild birds. But today they were going out, outside in the daytime, when the sun was still in the sky. Masha knew they were squabbling because they hated to dress up to go outside. The clothing, the gloves, the goggles, were uncomfortable and

2. Ozone-depleting chemicals reduce (or “deplete”) the ozone layer. This upper layer of the atmosphere protects life on earth by blocking certain kinds of harmful radiation. 3. Banned means “forbidden” or “outlawed.”

762 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

cumbersome.4 She sighed, tears coming to her eyes. Well, they’re coming, Masha decided. They can remove their goggles and gloves on the bus. The sea was closer now and the bus ride was comfortable within the temperature controlled interior. Those with memories of the sea signed up, bringing grandchildren, children, friends, or just went alone. Masha had taken her grandchildren before, but they’d sat on the sand, listlessly,5 sifting it through their gloved hands with bored little faces. She’d tried to interest them in the sea with stories of her father swimming in it as far as he could. But they couldn’t touch it, so it, the sea, didn’t seem real to them. What was it: a mass of undrinkable, hostile water. Hostile like the sun. They’d taken no delight, no pleasure, in their journey to the sea. But today, yes, today we will build a sand castle. Masha smiled at her secret. She’d packed everything late last night to surprise them at the sea. Why haven’t I thought of it before? Masha asked herself, and then she remembered the dream, months ago, of building a sand castle with her father at the sea. It made her want to weep because she’d forgotten. She’d actually forgotten one of the most joyful times of her girlhood. When the sea was still alive with life. Today we will build a sand castle.

4. Something that is cumbersome is hard to handle or carry because of size or weight. 5. Listlessly means “with little energy, interest, or concern.”


Beach Scene. Charles-Garabed Atamian (1913–1942). Private collection.

They trudged6 on the thick, dense sand toward the hiss of pale blue. Only the older people picked up their step, excited by the smell of salt in the air. Masha’s grandchildren knew they’d be here for two hours and then trudge all the way back to the bus. The darkened goggles made the sunlight bearable. They hated this forlorn place where the sun had obviously drained the life out of everything. They were too young to express it, but they felt it as they walked, with bored effort, beside their grandmother.

“We’re going to build a sand castle today—what do you think of that?” Masha beamed, squinting to see their faces. “What’s a sand castle?” the boy mumbled. “You’ll see, I’ll show you. . . .” “Is it fun, Grandmama?” the girl smiled, taking her grandmother’s hand. “Yes, it’s so much fun. I’ve brought different sized containers to mold the sand, and, oh, you’ll see!” The boy gave an awkward skip and nearly shouted, “Show us, Grandmama, show us what you mean!”

6. Trudged means “walked steadily but with great effort.”

Your Turn: Read and Apply Skills 763 Beach Scene by Atamian, Charles-Garabed (fl.1913-42)_Private Collection Gavin Graham Gallery, London, UK_Turkish, in copyright


Masha laughed, sounding almost like a girl. “We’re almost there, yes, we’re almost there!” The first circle of sandy shapes was complete, and the children were so excited by what they were building they forgot about their protective gloves. “Now, we’ll put a pile of wet sand in the middle and build it up with our hands and then we’ll do another circle, yes, children?” The children rushed back and forth from the tide line carrying the dark, wet sand. They only had an hour left. Their eyes, beneath the goggles, darted with excitement. “Just don’t get your gloves in the water, a little wet sand won’t hurt, don’t worry, children. When I was a girl there were so many birds at the sea we’d scare them off because they’d try to steal our food.

Seagulls, they were, big white birds that liked to scream at the sea, they sounded like eagles to me. . . .” “You used to eat at the sea, Grandmama?” the girl asked incredulously.7 “We used to call them picnics. . . .” “What are eagles, Grandmama?” the boy wanted to know, shaping the dark sand with his gloved hands. “They used to be one of the largest, most beautiful wild birds in the world. My grandfather pointed them out to me once. . . .” Until that moment, she’d forgotten that memory of nearly sixty years ago. They’d gone on a train, then a bus, to the village where he’d been born. She remembered her grandfather looking up toward a shrill, piercing cry that seemed to come from the sky. She’d seen the tears in 7. Incredulously (in KREJ uh lus lee) means “having a hard time believing.”

764 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero? Guy Motil/CORBIS


her grandfather’s eyes and on his cheeks. He’d pointed up to a large, dark flyingthing in the summer blue sky: “That’s an eagle, my girl, the spirit of the people.”

Sadness overtook Masha, but she refused to acknowledge its presence. The sand

castle, Masha told herself sternly—the sand castle is what is important now. “I’ve brought a wonderful surprise, something to decorate the sand castle with when we’re through building it.” “Show us, Grandmama, please?” “Yes, please, please show us now!” Masha sighed with a terrible, sudden happiness as she brought out the plastic bag. Quickly, she removed each precious shell from its protective cotton: eight perfect shells from all over the world. “But Grandmama, theses are your special shells! You said the sea doesn’t make them anymore. . . .” “It will, Anna, it will.” Masha hugged her granddaughter and made her voice brighten with laughter. “Today we will decorate our sand castle with the most beautiful shells in the world, yes!” ❍

Your Turn: Read and Apply Skills 765 Ron Sanford/CORBIS


Reading on Your Own To read more about the Big Question, choose one of these books from your school or local library. Work on your reading skills by choosing books that are challenging to you.

Fiction Aesop’s Fables Aesop, adapted by Jerry Pinkney

Heroes & Monsters of Greek Myth by Bernard Evslin

This collection includes brief retellings of more than sixty of Aesop’s fables. Read this entertaining batch of retellings to find human flaws in animal forms and to learn the source of sayings like, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

Want to know how Perseus slays the Medusa, or how the Minotaur devours its victims? Ever wonder how the very-married Zeus juggles so many girlfriends? If so, check out this classic collection of great Greek myths.

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti

The Call of the Wild

by Gerald McDermott

by Jack London

Anansi the Spider, the wise and mischievous hero of traditional folktales of Ghana, got into all sorts of trouble but was saved by his six sons. Read to find out how Anansi decides which son to reward with a very special gift.

This classic book relates the adventures of a dog named Buck. When Buck is kidnapped from his comfortable California home—and forced to work as a sled dog in the Yukon gold rush of the late 1800s—he doesn’t know what lies ahead. Follow Buck as he fights to survive out in the big, wide world.

766 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?


Nonfiction Old Hickory: Andrew Jackson and the American People

The Civil Rights Movement for Kids

by Albert Marrin

by Mary Turck

Andrew Jackson lacked formal schooling, but that didn’t stand between him and success. Known for his fierce intelligence and stubborn disposition, Jackson excelled as a solider, a lawyer, a judge, and a president. Read to learn more about the man history calls “Old Hickory.”

This is a complete history of the civil rights movement in the United States in the twentieth century. Read to learn what it was like to live under discrimination laws and how the struggle for freedom and equality changed the country.

50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet by Dennis Denenberg and Lorraine Roscoe

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This book contains short biographies of famous people from various eras and fields of accomplishment. Read to learn about such heroes as Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Bill Cosby, John Glenn, and Harriet Tubman.

This biography tells the story of the man who was at the forefront of the fight for racial justice in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. Read to understand the nonviolent methods that Dr. King used to fight oppression and inequality.

by Amy Pastan

Reading on Your Own 767 Eclipse Studios

UNIT 6 SKILLS AND STRATEGIES ASSESSMENT Test Practice Part 1: Literary Elements On a separate sheet of paper, write the numbers 1–4. Next to each, write the letter of the correct answer for that question. Read the following passage and use it to answer questions 1 and 2.

When Hank rode into town, the streets were empty, but a group of men had gathered outside the sheriff’s office. Hank tied his horse to a hitching post and stepped up onto the wooden sidewalk. “Howdy,” he said, nodding at the men, none of whom wore the star-shaped badge he was looking for. “Is the sheriff inside?” “We don’t have a sheriff these days,” replied one man. “Vic Morrison ran him right out of town.”

Hank hooked his thumbs in his belt and looked out at the deserted street. “Is Morrison still around?” “Sure is,” said the tallest of the group. “He’s over at the café with some of his men. They’ve pretty much taken over the town. With no sheriff, the law-abiding folks around here don’t have much of a chance.” “We’ll see about that,” said Hank softly. He took off his hat, smoothed his hair, and replaced the hat firmly. “We’ll just see.”

1. Which of the following is a clue to what the setting of this story is?

2. If Hank turns out to be the hero of this story, that will be because he

A. B. C. D.

“The streets were empty . . .” “Hank tied his horse to a hitching post . . .” “Hank hooked his thumbs in his belt . . .” “He took off his hat, smoothed his hair . . .”

A. B. C. D.

is a stranger in town. is friendly and polite. has confidence in himself. demonstrates strength and bravery.

3. The theme of this story is most likely to have something to do with the importance of A. love. B. patience.

Objectives (pp. 768–769) Reading Activate prior knowledge • Make predictions • Compare and contrast Literature Identify key literary elements: setting, hero, cultural context, theme

768 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

C. courage. D. hard work.

4. It be most important for you to learn about the cultural context of A. B. C. D.

a short story written in the 1960s. a poem written last year by someone you know. a news article about jazz, written ten years ago. a Native American myth from hundreds of years ago.



Part 2: Reading Skills On a separate sheet of paper, write the numbers 1–4. Next to each number, write the letter of the correct answer for that question.

Story 1: A crow who was dying of thirst saw a pitcher and flew to it, hoping to get a drink. He found only a few inches of water at the bottom. Because the pitcher was tall and narrow, the crow could not get to the water. He was desperate, but nothing he tried was successful. Finally, he collected stones and dropped them, one by one, into the pitcher. This caused the water to rise until it was at a height he could reach, thus saving his life.

Story 2: A fox saw a crow steal a bit of cheese and settle in a tree with the cheese in his beak. The fox walked up to the tree and said, “How handsome you look, Crow! Your feathers are so glossy and your eyes so bright. If your voice were also beautiful, you would surely be considered the King of Birds.” Then the crow opened his beak to let out his best “Caw, caw, caw,” which is as close as any crow can come to singing. The cheese dropped to the ground, and the fox quickly snapped it up.

1. Imagine that while you were reading Story 2, you didn’t understand why the crow tried to sing. In this case, it would be most helpful to activate your prior knowledge about

3. In which story does an animal behave cleverly?

A. B. C. D.

how animals react to cheese. common reactions to flattery. what a beautiful bird song sounds like. what glossy feathers and bright eyes look like.

2. In which story does the crow get what he wants? A. B. C. D.

Story 1 Story 2 Both stories Neither story

A. B. C. D.

Story 1 Story 2 Both stories Neither story

4. Imagine that Story 2 went on to say: “A few weeks later, the crow met the same fox again. But, this time, the crow was ready for him.” What would be most likely to happen next? A. B. C. D.

The fox would trick the crow again. The fox would be unable to trick the crow. The fox would give some cheese to the crow. The fox and the crow would become friends.

Skills and Strategies Assessment 769



Part 3: Vocabulary Skills On a separate sheet of paper, write the numbers 1–9. Next to each number, write the letter of the correct answer for that question.

For questions 1–5, write the letter of the word or phrase that means about the same as the underlined word.

Choose the correct answer for each question. 6. What do the following words have in common?

1. to acknowledge a fact A. hide B. admit

banana C. understand D. worry about

2. the ominous sounds A. loud B. funny

C. interesting D. threatening

3. to be a tyrant A. hero B. winner

C. cruel ruler D. spoiled child

C. difficult D. dangerous

5. to express remorse A. excitement B. deep anger



They come from names. They are very new words. They are borrowed words. They can be used as nouns or verbs.

7. Which of the following words is a compound word? A. shoelace B. preschool

C. moustache D. subscription

8. What is the “etymology” of a word?

4. such tedious work A. boring B. important

A. B. C. D.


C. guilty regret D. determination

Objectives (pp. 770–771) Vocabulary Explore word histories • Identify word origins • Identify borrowed words Grammar Identify sentence types • Use correct punctuation Writing Use key elements: voice

770 UNIT 6 What Makes a Hero?

A. B. C. D.

its history its spelling its pronunciation its part of speech

9. Which of the following is most likely a true statement about the word e-mail ? A. B. C. D.

It comes from a person’s name. It is a recent addition to the language. It was borrowed from another language. It came into the language during the Civil War.



Part 4: Writing Skills On a separate sheet of paper, write the numbers 1–7. Next to each number, write the letter of the correct answer for that question.

1. Which of the following is a simple sentence? A. B. C. D.

A long walk on the beach. Rabbits ate all the petunias. Max got there early, but Lucy was late. When Jessie and Max arrive with food.

2. Which of the following is a compound sentence? A. B. C. D.

Delia and Jeremy argued for hours. When I was younger, I didn’t like swimming. They were late, and the train left without them. I threw a stick for my dog to catch and bring back.

3. Which of the following is a complex sentence? A. B. C. D.

Tigers live in India, not Africa. If you feel sick, you should stay home. She dropped off the book and came home. Rita hit a fly ball, and Rafael scored from third.

4. Which sentence is punctuated correctly? A. We had sandwiches, and some fruit. B. If there’s enough food, I’d like another helping. C. I don’t enjoy being outdoors, when it’s really cold. D. Nobody knew what to do, before the ambulance arrived.

5. Which sentence is punctuated correctly? A. That’s the man, that I saw before. B. If Sam helps me I’ll get my work done faster. C. When people tell lies, life can be very confusing! D. The movie had already started, when we got there. 6. Which of the following is a run-on sentence? A. B. C. D.

Cheri walks to school so does Marcella. Nobody is sure about what the answer is. I wish I knew what to do, but I’m just not sure. Don’t be rude, but do try to keep the conversation short.

7. What does it mean to describe a piece of writing as having “a clear voice”? A. A reader can tell what the writer is like. B. A reader can easily understand the writing. C. The writer has included a great deal of dialogue. D. The writer has used correct spelling and punctuation.

Skills and Strategies Assessment 771



UNIT 6 2 The BIG Question What Makes a Hero? “ My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes. ” —Michael Jordan...

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