Many Years Ago in Japan: Reading

The year is 1915. It is three o’clock in the afternoon. Yoko is sitting in a chair in the garden. The chair is beneath a tree. Beside the chair is a table. On the table, there is a fishbowl with a fish swimming in it. There is also a glass of cold tea. Yoko sits very still. She tries not to move. It is a very hot day, and there is no air conditioning in the house. Yoko watches the fish swimming in the bowl. She drinks the tea.

Yoko’s father comes outside and sprays water on the plants in the garden. For a moment, everything feels cooler. Yoko’s mother comes with a schoolbook. In Japan, it is important to study all year long, even in summer. Yoko’s mother gives Yoko the schoolbook. Yoko opens the book, but she doesn’t feel like studying.

Later, when the sun goes down, the family walks to the public bath. Yoko and her mother enter the bath for women. Yoko’s father enters the bath for the men. It feels nice to rinse in the shower and then to sit in the water. Later, the family walks home. The air feels cooler. The moon is smiling in the sky. Yoko smiles back.

Put an X beside your stopping time on the progress chart, then answer the questions on the back of this page.

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