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The Thanksgiving Goose (Grade 3)

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The Thanksgiving Goose

Thanksgiving - Turkey Dinner THE THANKSGIVING GOOSE by Fannie Wilder Brown

But I don't like roast goose," said Guy, pouting. "I'd rather have turkey. Turkey is best for Thanksgiving, anyway. Goose is for Christmas."

Guy's mother did not answer. He watched her while she carefully wrote G. T. W. on the corner of a pretty new red-bordered handkerchief.

"Why didn't you buy some blue ones? I'd rather have them different," he said.

"Very well," said his mother. "I'll put them away, and you may carry your old ones until you ask me to let you carry this one. I don't care to furnish new things for a boy who doesn't appreciate them."

"I don't like old—"

"That'll do, Guy. Never mind the rest of the things that you don't like. I want you to take this dollar down to Mrs. Burns. Tell her that I shall have a day's work for her on Friday, and I thought she might like to have part of the pay in advance to help make Thanksgiving with. Please go now."

"But a dollar won't help much. She won't like that. She always acts just as if she was as happy as anybody. I don't want to go there on such an errand as that."

Mrs. Wright smiled again, but her tone was very grave.

"Mrs. Burns is 'as happy as anybody,' Guy, and she has the best-behaved children in the neighborhood. The little ones almost never cry, and I never have seen the older ones quarrel. But there are eight children, and Mr. Burns has only one arm, so he can't earn much money. Mrs. Burns has to turn her hands to all sorts of things to keep the children clothed and fed. She'll be thankful to get the dollar—you see if she isn't!"

Guy walked very slowly down the street until he came to the little house where the Burns family lived.

"I'd hate to live here," he thought. "I don't see where they all sleep. I shouldn't have a bit of fun, ever, if I lived here."

Then he knocked on the front door, for there was no bell. No one came. He could hear people talking in the distance, so he knew some of the family were at home. He walked around to the kitchen door: it stood open. The children were talking so fast they did not hear his knock.

They were very busy. Katie, the eleven-year-old, and Malcolm, ten, Guy's age, were cutting citron into long, thin strips, piling it on a big blue plate. Mary and James, the eight-year-old twins, were paring apples with a paring machine. The long, curling skins fell in a large stone jar standing on a clean paper, spread on the floor. Charlie, who was only four years old, was watching to see that none of the parings fell over the edge of the jar. Susan, who was seven, was putting raisins, a few at a time, into a meat chopper screwed down on the kitchen table. George, three years old, was turning the handle of the chopper to grind the raisins. Every one was working, except the baby and the kitten, but all seemed to be having a glorious time. What they were saying seemed so funny it was some time before Guy could understand it. At last he was sure it was some kind of a game.

"Mice?" asked Susan. Mary squealed, and they all laughed.

"Because they're small," said Mary. "Snakes?"

"They can't climb trees," Mrs. Burns called out from the pantry. The children fairly roared at that. "A pantry with no window in it?"

Guy knocked very loudly at that. He had not thought that he was listening.

The children started, but did not leave their work. They looked at their mother. "Jamie," she said. Then Jamie came to meet Guy, and invited him to walk in.

"What game is it?" asked Guy, forgetting his errand.

"Making mince pies," said Jamie. "It's lots of fun. Don't you want to play? I'll let you turn the paring machine if you'd like that best."

Guy said "Thank you" and began to turn the parer eagerly.

"But I don't mean what you are doin'," said Guy. "I knew that was mince pies. I thought that was work. I meant what you were saying. It sounds so funny! I never heard it before."

"Mamma made it up," explained Malcolm. "It's great fun. We always play it at Thanksgiving time. You think of something that people don't like, and the one who can think first tells what he is thankful for about it. We call it 'Thanksgiving.'"

Guy stayed for an hour, and played both games. Then, quite to his surprise, the twelve o'clock whistles blew, and he had to go home. But he remembered his errands and did them, to the great pleasure of the whole Burns family.

In the afternoon Guy spent some time writing a note to his mother. It was badly written, but it made his mother happy. It read:

Dear Mother:—I am Thankful the blot isent any bigger. I am Thankful the hankershefs isent black on the borders. The Burnses dont have things to be Thankful for but they are Thankful just the same.

I am Thankful for the Goose we are going to have. The best is I am Thankful I am not a Goose myself, for if I was I wouldent know enough to be Thankful.

Respectfully yours,

Guy Theodore Wright.
Which word best describes Guy at the beginning of the story?
  1. sad
  2. bored
  3. happy
  4. ungrateful
Why does Guy's mother send him to the Burns household?
  1. to help make pies
  2. to find kids to play with
  3. to give Mrs. Burns her pay
  4. to invite the Burns for Thanksgiving
Why did Guy think the Burns would not be happy?
  1. They had a lot of kids.
  2. They were a poor family.
  3. Their father was out of town.
  4. Their mother was never home.
What were the Burns children doing when Guy arrived?
  1. They were doing chores.
  2. They were playing a game.
  3. They were running around like crazy.
  4. They were eating Thanksgiving dinner.
What did Guy notice most about the Burns family?
  1. They were poor.
  2. They were happy.
  3. They were very loud.
  4. They were wearing dirty clothes.
After leaving the Burns house, Guy felt
  1. sad.
  2. lazy.
  3. thankful.
  4. disappointed.
Why did the author most likely write this story?
  1. to tell about Guy
  2. to tell about the Burns family
  3. to talk about a Thanksgiving tradition
  4. to teach a lesson about being thankful
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