RHL School

Reading Comprehension
Volume 4, Number 36, June 14, 1999

The Splat Bug, Part IV

Tremor Troll followed the little purple insect into the woods. Tremor was like a giant bug lumbering along behind a tiny leader. They proceeded through scratchy underbrush, mossy undergrowth, and roots that wouldn’t stay quite underground.
Finally, they arrived at the base of an old decaying maple tree. Before Tremor knew what happened, the bug disappeared into a hole near the bottom of the tree. Suddenly, he noticed two more splat bugs scurry into the hole.
“Oh no, they’re gone!” Tremor shrieked out loud. He didn’t want to admit, even to himself, that he was relieved. He wouldn’t have to step on any of the harmless little things, but he could be a normal Troll who would have stepped on a splat bug.
Tremor stood up. It would be a much shorter journey back home, walking upright. Tremor Troll, The Great Explorer, would make a triumphant return. He could tell everyone about his heroic adventure through the deep and mysterious woods. And only Tremor knew where the splat bugs resided. Perhaps he’d keep it that way.
Tremor took one last look at the old tree. He immediately regretted that pause. A splat bug came strolling out of the hole! It slowly walked right toward Tremor. When it had almost touched Tremor’s right foot, it began walking around the flabbergasted young troll. Tremor just stood there in disbelief.
The little purple bug came around from behind and walked right over Tremor’s left foot. Then, as casually as could be, it began to slowly move back to the safety of the old tree.
It was now or never. Never! Tremor didn’t even lift a foot. He sat down and watched his little companion return to its home. Tremor was surprised at how good, how comfortable, he felt about himself. Being normal, he thought, is good. Sometimes being different is even better. Now Tremor knew he really was The Great Explorer.



For Discussion:

1. Think up a different title for the story. Explain why you chose that title.

2. When do you think it’s a good idea to be normal, or to behave in the same way that others do?

3. Can you think of examples of when it might be OK or even preferable to be different?

4. Is Tremor Troll normal? Explain your opinion.



Copyright 1999 RHL


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