47 Show Off--Relevant & Irrelevant Information

Paddock for a Pony
by Elizabeth Best

You might have already read part of the following story, in which you practiced finding facts. Now let's read Paddock for a Pony to try distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information.

School was out. The bell had rung and the children erupted from every doorway – some to go running wildly towards their homes as if their lives depended upon it, some to line up to catch buses under the watchful eye of their teacher, and many more to walk off in groups or pairs in any one of several directions.

Deborah was with her best friend, Pat. They were in a hurry, but today they did not run. They only walked quickly, hardly speaking at all, intent on getting to Pat's place. Over the weekend one of Pat's guinea pigs had had four babies, and Deborah was going to see them for the first time.

Half a mile from school, they arrived. Opening the gate, running now, they flung their school bags onto the lawn and flew around the back.

First, the dog had to be locked away. Then, when enticing with grass failed to make the babies appear, the lid of the darkened nest had to he opened. At last, Deborah held one of the tiny animals right in her hands.

She was enraptured by the darling little thing! She sat down on the grass, holding it gently, taking care not to squeeze it or hurt it in any way. It was perfect, so exactly like its mother, with its soft fur and little twitching nose – only in miniature. It sat up in her hands and rubbed two tiny paws over its nose as if it had just been taught.

"You can only hold it for a minute," Pat said. "For a few minutes, anyway. Otherwise its mother might abandon it."

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Susan Lindgren Elementary School

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