by Mary Humpal Bain Illustrated by Lorna Humpal
Reading Placement Guide, Level Three
This story covers almost all of the concepts in Level Three. If the student can read the stories in the Reading Placement Guide for Level One, Level Two,
and this story easily, he, or she, is ready for Level Four. If the student has difficulty reading this story, I recommend Level Three, Higher Skills, for the
reading lessons. If you feel that the student does not need lessons in these concepts, but could benefit from more practice, the reading and activity book,
More Higher Skills, might be just what you need.
You may copy and print this story to make it easier for your child to read. It's rather long, so take your time.
It can be divided into smaller sections, and read one section at a time.
A Bad Storm
“I just love today, don’t you?” asked Cindy. "There’s lots of sunshine and a cool breeze. It’s a wonderful day!”
“It is a nice day,” replied Steve. “It’s a good day to play outside."
“Mama, may we go outside and play?” asked Cindy.
“Yes,” answered Mama. “I’ll call you when I finish cooking supper.”
“What a nice, clear, summer day!” exclaimed Cindy. “Let’s play with our toys under the tree.”
“I don’t want to play in the grass,” said Steve. “I want to play in the sand. I can flatten the sand to make roads. I can
scoop out the sand to make a valley, and I can pile it up and make hills.”
“I wanted to play in the grass,” said Cindy, “but now I want to play in the sand. I want to drive the toy cars on the roads,
and up and down the hills. Maybe I’ll put a few goats on the hills, too.”
“That’s just plain silly!” said Steve. “The toy goats are bigger than the cars!”
Steve and Cindy were still playing outside when it began to rain. A few drops fell, then a few more, but they did not
“A few drops of rain won’t stop us!” said Cindy. She had a big smile on her face. Cindy was happy. She began to
dance in the rain.
“Before it started raining, it was too hot!” said Steve. “It’s nice and cool, now. I like it when it rains.”
* * * * *
Suddenly, the wind began to howl, and the rain started to splatter in big drops. “Splat, splat, splat!” fell the rain. It fell
so fast that the sand got muddy.
“Ow, ow, ow!” Cindy was screaming. “That rain stings my face!” Cindy tried to get up, but her feet were slipping in
The thunder was crashing, and Steve had to holler so Cindy could hear him. “Take my hand, Cindy! I’ll help you!”
Mama came running outside to help the kids. She put one hand on a small tree. “Reach for my hand, Cindy! I’ll pull
you to this tree! Keep hanging on to Steve! Come on, Steve! Easy does it!”
Cindy got to the tree and hung onto it with one hand. The wind was so strong, it almost blew her down. “The wind is
going to blow me away!” cried Cindy, and she let go of Steve’s hand, so she could hang onto the tree with two hands.
“Don’t let go!” cried Steve, but it was too late. When Cindy let go, Steve fell down and landed in the muddy mess.
“Stay here, Cindy,” said Mama. “Put your arms around the tree, and stay here. I have to help Steve.”
The rain was falling from the sky so fast that everything and everyone was soaking wet. There was not one dry place
Mama went to Steve, and got down on her knees in the mud. “Are you okay, Steve?” she asked.
“I have a lot of pain in my foot,” answered Steve. “When I landed in the mud, I think I twisted my foot..”
“Then, I’ll just have to drag you,” said Mama. “I would carry you, but I’m afraid I’ll slip and fall in all this mud.”
“That’s okay, Mama,” said Steve. “Please, just get me inside!”
“I’ll do my best,” said Mama, with a smile.
It made Steve feel better when he saw Mama smile. “If Mama can smile, it can’t be too bad,” he said to himself.
“Turn on your back, Steve,” said Mama. “Then I can grab you under your arms and drag you. That way, I’ll be careful
not to hit your head on anything. It will be safe that way. We can go faster if you push with your good foot.”
Steve got on his back, and Mama began to drag him. Steve would push with one foot, and Mama would drag him a
little bit, then stop. Then, Steve would push again, and Mama would drag him a little bit more, and stop again. Steve
would slip in the mud, then Mama would slip in the mud. One time, Mama almost fell on top of Steve!
The thunder was still crashing, and the rain was still falling when Mama got Steve to the tree where Cindy was. Cindy
had slid down, and was sitting in the mud, with her arms and legs around the tree. She was so afraid that she was
“It’s okay, Cindy,” said Mama. “We’re wet, and we’re muddy, but we’re all here, and we’re all safe.” Mama gave
Cindy a big, wet, muddy, hug, and Cindy felt a lot better. “Now, we have to go to the next tree, Cindy. Okay?” Mama
gave Cindy a smile so big that you could see all of her teeth.
“If Mama can smile like that, it must not be too bad,” Cindy said to herself.
“Wait here and rest for awhile, Steve,” said Mama. “I’ll take Cindy to the tree, and I’ll come back for you.” Mama was
hollering so Steve could hear her.
After Cindy was safe at the next tree, Mama came back for Steve. Mama would drag him in the mud, then stop and
rest. Then, she would drag him some more, and stop and rest again. When they got to the grass, it was a lot better.
“I have one good leg, Mama,” said Steve, “and I have two good hands. You do not need to help me anymore. I can
pull, and I can push, and I can get inside by myself. Cindy needs your help more than I do.”
“You’re a brave boy,” said Mama, “but I’m not letting you stay outside by yourself. We are all going inside at the same
When they got to the door, Mama held the door open with one hand and one leg, while the wind tried to close it.
Cindy took Mama’s hand and scooted up the steps, slipping in the mud as she went. When she got inside, Cindy lay
down on the floor, huffing and puffing. The cold water and mud were dripping off of Cindy. They were making a sloppy,
muddy pool on the floor.
Steve was pushing with one leg, and pulling with his hands. He, too, was slipping in the mud as he went up the steps.
“Be careful, Steve!” said Mama. “Keep that foot up! I’m sorry I can’t help you. I have to keep this door from hitting
you. The wind is getting stronger.”
When Steve got inside, he lay down beside Cindy, and the pool of water and mud got bigger. “What a yucky mess!”
“Cindy, get the broom and the mop, and bring them here,” said Mama.
“My fingers are frozen!” said Cindy. “They’re almost blue!” She gave the things to Mama, then sat down beside
“Thank you, Cindy,” said Mama, as she took the broom and mop and made a brace to keep the door from slamming
shut. Then, Mama got inside and hit the broom and mop. When they fell down outside with a crash, the door closed
with a bang! “Good!” said Mama. “We’re inside, and we’re safe!”
* * * * *
Mama, Steve, and Cindy rested on the wet, muddy floor. Steve was moaning and groaning, and holding his painful
foot. Cindy was crying, and Mama was just resting.
“Small trees are falling down outside,” said Mama. “You kids need to go downstairs into the basement, where you
will be safe.”
“But, I have lots of scrapes and cuts on my hands and knees!” said Cindy.
“I have a lot of pain in my foot,” said Steve, “and it’s all swollen.”
“I’ll clean your scrapes and cuts downstairs, Cindy,” said Mama. “Steve, you’ll have to raise your foot up so the
swelling will go down. I’ll wrap your foot later. Now, go to the basement, like I told you.”
After Steve and Cindy were in the basement, Mama came down the wooden steps with a big pot of beef stew. “It
would be a shame to let this stew go to waste!” said Mama, with a big smile. “I didn’t bring plates, but I have three
spoons. Let’s eat!”
“This stew tastes good, Mama. It’s the best stew I have ever had!” said Cindy. “I was cold before, but this hot stew
took care of that!”
“I’m glad you like it,” said Mama. “When we finish eating, I’ll wash your scrapes. Daddy and I made a plan just in
case of a bad storm ( stōrm ) like this one. There’s lots of food and water down here. There’s a pail for bath water, and
clean, dry clothes. ( clōz ) We can stay down here for a long time.”
“What a rotten storm!” said Steve. “But, my foot feels better. Thank you for wrapping it, Mama. When will Daddy
“Daddy will be here as soon as it’s safe to come home,” said Mama. “Maybe we should try to get some sleep."
“I don’t know if I can sleep with all this noise,” said Steve. “There’s so much crashing and banging all the time. The
storm is not getting any better.”
“I’m afraid, Mama!” Cindy started to cry again.
“Cindy, Honey, we are safe, and dry, and full of beef stew! How much better can it get? Now, let’s lie down and relax.
Maybe we’ll take a nap.”
“I wish I had a peach,” said Steve. “Maybe I’ll dream about a peach.”
“I know what I’m going to dream about!” said Cindy. “Toast, and fruit juice, and fresh, hot pancakes! What will you
dream about, Mama?”
“I’m going to dream about Daddy being somewhere safe,” said Mama to herself. “Let me see,” said Mama to Cindy.
“I’ll dream about frogs that croak, boats that float, and fish that swim!”
Mama woke up later and went upstairs. There was no more thunder crashing, and no more rain falling. She sat in a
chair, and was looking at the muddy mess on the floor. “I should clean that before the kids wake up,” she said to herself.
Mama was scrubbing and mopping the floor when a car drove up. She ran to the door to look outside. Then, she
threw open the door, and went down the muddy steps. “Bruce! Oh, Bruce! You’re home! You’re safe!” Mama fell into
Daddy’s arms and greeted him with a big hug and kiss.
Is Your Child Ready for Level Four?
This Reading Guide covers almost all of the concepts in Level Three, Higher Skills.
WHAT IS COVERED? Reading Logically Level Three, Higher Skills
Reading Logically Level Three, Higher Skills, builds on the skills learned in Levels One and Two. Introduction of word families follows a similar pattern, so
the sequence is familiar to the students. This logical sequencing helps “cement” the concepts firmly in the students’ minds.
More word families are introduced, and there's a lot more practice with words ending in “e” that make the vowel before it a long vowel. "When two
vowels go walking, the first one does the talking," is strongly emphasized. Soft "c" and "kn" are introduced, and there are lessons about two-syllable words
that have "be," "re," "de," or "a" as the first syllable.
Since not all books are written in the same font, or style of print, some of the lessons have slightly different fonts.