Subskill: Reading Comprehension
Concept: Literary Elements
Grade Level: Middle Elementary
Once upon a time, a young man sat crying under a tree. Hearing his sobs, a woodpecker asked, “Why are you so sad?”
“I am in love with a young girl from my tribe, but I am not allowed to speak with her because I am poor. I have nothing to offer her or her family,” he answered.
“Hmm,” said the woodpecker, “I might be able to help you.” He began pecking holes, tap, tap, tap, into a hollow tree branch. Soon the branch broke off and fell to the ground. As the young man picked it up, a soft wind blew over the branch. Out came beautiful music!
Surprised and delighted, the young man picked up the branch and blew into one end of it. The sound touched his heart. Then he put his fingers over the holes and blew into it again. This time all his feelings came out in musical notes. The sounds were so beautiful that birds from all over the forest came by to listen. Soon the tree was filled with birds. The young man practiced into the night until he fell asleep under the tree.Early the next morning, he woke up feeling happy. “Thank you for this wonderful gift, Woodpecker. I shall play my new music to the tribe, and they will see I have much to offer.”
Many birds followed the young man as he walked back toward the tribe playing his music. When the girl he loved saw him sitting outside her tent making his music, she immediately fell in love with him, too.
“I have nothing to offer you but the song in my heart,” said the young man.
“You are richest of all men in the tribe,” said the girl, “for you are rich in spirit.”
The girl’s family gave their blessing, and the couple soon married. From that day on, the young man became known as “Flute Boy.”
Here are some questions to ask after listening to the story:
What was the young man’s problem at the beginning of the story?
How did the woodpecker help solve the young man’s problem?
What is the theme of the story?
Why do you think the author wrote this story?