The winged monkeys

Words: 801-900

Skills: Context Clues Story Elements Summary

Grades: 4th 5th

Topics: Adventure / Thriller and Science Fiction / Fantasy

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range: 1060L - 1290L

Lexile Measure: 1210L

CCSS: Reading: Literature

Themes:

The Winged Monkeys


by L. Frank Baum from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Chapter 14 Passage: L. Frank Baum wrote "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in 1900. It tells of the adventures of Dorothy, a Kansas farm girl. She is swept up by a cyclone to the magical land of Oz. In order to go home, the Wizard of Oz has told her she must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy instead is captured by the Wicked Witch, but she manages to kill her. In this passage, Dorothy has found the witch's Golden Cap. The cap allows her to commanded the Winged Monkeys to fly her and her friends back to the Wizard. Students will read the passage and answer questions on comprehension and word meaning.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The Winged Monkeys

by L. Frank Baum from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900. It tells of the adventures of Dorothy, a Kansas farm girl. She is swept up by a cyclone to the magical land of Oz. In order to go home, the Wizard of Oz has told her she must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy instead is captured by the Wicked Witch, but she manages to kill her. In this passage, Dorothy has found the witch's Golden Cap. The cap allows her to commanded the Winged Monkeys to fly her and her friends back to the Wizard.

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Dorothy found herself riding easily between two of the biggest Monkeys, one of them the King himself. They had made a chair of their hands and were careful not to hurt her.

"Why do you have to obey the charm of the Golden Cap?" she asked.

"That is a long story," answered the King, with a winged laugh; "but as we have a long journey before us, I will pass the time by telling you about it, if you wish."

"I shall be glad to hear it," she replied.

"Once," began the leader, "we were a free people, living happily in the great forest, flying from tree to tree, eating nuts and fruit, and doing just as we pleased without calling anybody master. Perhaps some of us were rather too full of mischief at times, flying down to pull the tails of the animals that had no wings, chasing birds, and throwing nuts at the people who walked in the forest. But we were careless and happy and full of fun, and enjoyed every minute of the day. This was many years ago, long before Oz came out of the clouds to rule over this land.

"There lived here then, away at the North, a beautiful princess, who was also a powerful sorceress. All her magic was used to help the people, and she was never known to hurt anyone who was good. Her name was Gayelette, and she lived in a handsome palace built from great blocks of ruby. Everyone loved her, but her greatest sorrow was that she could find no one to love in return, since all the men were much too stupid and ugly to mate with one so beautiful and wise. At last, however, she found a boy who was handsome and manly and wise beyond his years. Gayelette made up her mind that when he grew to be a man she would make him her husband, so she took him to her ruby palace and used all her magic powers to make him as strong and good and lovely as any woman could wish. When he grew to manhood, Quelala, as he was called, was said to be the best and wisest man in all the land, while his manly beauty was so great that Gayelette loved him dearly, and hastened to make everything ready for the wedding.

"My grandfather was at that time the King of the Winged Monkeys which lived in the forest near Gayelette's palace, and the old fellow loved a joke better than a good dinner. One day, just before the wedding, my grandfather was flying out with his band when he saw Quelala walking beside the river. He was dressed in a rich costume of pink silk and purple velvet, and my grandfather thought he would see what he could do. At his word the band flew down and seized Quelala, carried him in their arms until they were over the middle of the river, and then dropped him into the water.

"'Swim out, my fine fellow,' cried my grandfather, 'and see if the water has spotted your clothes.' Quelala was much too wise not to swim, and he was not in the least spoiled by all his good fortune. He laughed, when he came to the top of the water, and swam in to shore. But when Gayelette came running out to him she found his silks and velvet all ruined by the river.

"The princess was angry, and she knew, of course, who did it. She had all the Winged Monkeys brought before her, and she said at first that their wings should be tied and they should be treated as they had treated Quelala, and dropped in the river. But my grandfather pleaded hard, for he knew the Monkeys would drown in the river with their wings tied, and Quelala said a kind word for them also; so that Gayelette finally spared them, on condition that the Winged Monkeys should ever after do three times the bidding of the owner of the Golden Cap. This Cap had been made for a wedding present to Quelala, and it is said to have cost the princess half her kingdom. Of course my grandfather and all the other Monkeys at once agreed to the condition, and that is how it happens that we are three times the slaves of the owner of the Golden Cap, whosoever he may be."

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. Who is Gayelette?



2. What did the grandfather monkey and his group do to Quelala?



3. What must the Winged Monkeys do for the owner of the Golden Cap?



4. What does "hastened" mean in the sentence, "Gayelette loved him dearly, and hastened to make everything ready for the wedding."