by Jan Lis
Long ago in a land east of the sunrise, there lived a beautiful silk worm named Ling Ling. She was prized above all others for her beautiful silk. Their Magnificent Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, only wore robes made from the silk of Ling Ling. They bestowed on her the title of: ROYAL SILK PROVIDER.
Ling Ling accepted this great honor humbly. But Tu Fat, the Royal Silk Inspector, was beside himself with joy. Ling Ling’s award made Tu Fat look very good, for he was in charge of Quality Control at the silk factory. The Royal Silk Inspector hummed as entered the factory. He walked along the rows of little worms busily making their silky cocoons. Oops. The Royal Silk Inspector tripped on a tangle of lumpy thread that had fallen in front of him. “What is this?” Tu Fat roared, looking down at the mess. Kip, the unfortunate silk worm, bowed low. “So sorry,” he apologized for his silk.
Tu Fat picked up the tangled pile and stretched out a strand. It was all knotted and lumpy. Not straight and even like Ling Ling’s. Kip always tried to make perfect silken threads, but something was wrong with his extruder. All he ever made was lumpy silk. “This is unacceptable!” exclaimed the Royal Silk Inspector. “It’s nothing but lumps and lines.” He threw the tangled mess into Kip’s basket, and stamped REJECTED on it. “You must do better, or it’s the boiling pot for you,” Tu Fat growled as he waddled away, shaking his head.
That evening Kip crawled into his straw bed in the room with rows and rows of other sleeping silk worms. Across the courtyard Ling Ling slept peacefully in her own room upon a soft bed of lotus blossoms. Outside in the darkness, a carriage entered the courtyard. A figure got out, wrapped his cloak around him and inched along the wall. It was Evil Dr. Fong. Fong entered the building, creeping up the stairs to Ling Ling’s room. He entered her room, and approached the bed. Ling Ling awoke and screamed as the evil doctor grabbed her and tucked her inside his robe.
Kip heard Ling Ling scream and went to the window. He saw Evil Dr. Fong disappearing into the coach. Fong whipped the horsed into a gallop, and as the coach passed under Kip’s window he jumped on top. The carriage raced through the gate, disappearing into the night.
Flesch Reading Ease 83.9
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 4.4