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A Christmas Carol

“No, Fred, I don’t want to go to your Christmas party!” Ebenezer Scrooge shouted.

“Oh, come on, Uncle Scrooge,” Fred said. “We’d love for you to join us!”

“Bah, Humbug!” Scrooge said. “Now go away. I have work to do!”

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Once Fred was gone, Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s employee, came into the room.

“Is it all right if I have the day off tomorrow? It is Christmas, after all,” Bob said.

Scrooge growled. “Fine! But you better be extra early the next day.”

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That evening, Scrooge walked home. He hated all the Christmas caroling. He did not like this holiday.

“Donate to charity?” asked an old woman.

“Bah, Humbug!” Scrooge said as he hurried by. “Leave me alone!”

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But Scrooge was not going to be left alone that Christmas Eve night.

As he got into bed, footsteps echoed down the hall.

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Suddenly, a ghost in chains appeared before him! It was the ghost of his old partner, Jacob Marley!

“Scrooge!” Marley said. “I’ve come to save you. Three spirits will visit you tonight. Listen to them!” Then he vanished.

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Scrooge thought he was dreaming. That is, until the chiming of the clock woke him up.

At the foot of his bed sat the ghost of a child.
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past,” it said.

The ghost took Scrooge’s hand. The two went soaring through the air, into the night.

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They stopped by a house in the country. “That’s me as a child!” Scrooge said. “And that’s my sister! I loved her so much!”

“She’s gone now,” said the ghost. “But she has a son.”

“Yes!” Scrooge said. “My nephew, Fred. But I have never been very kind to him.”

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The image changed and the boy was older. Scrooge watched his young self talk to a girl.

“I don’t want to marry you!” the girl said. “All you care about is money! You are greedy!”

“Take me home!” he told the ghost. “I can’t watch anymore!” The ghost nodded, and Scrooge was back in his mansion.

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When the clock chimed twice, Scrooge woke up again. This time, a giant ghost in green robes sat on his bed.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Present,” he said. “Come, I have much to show you!”

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Scrooge and the ghost were suddenly in a small house in the city. A family was eating dinner. There was little food, and the family was very poor.

Then Bob Cratchit walked into the room. He held a sick boy in his arms. “It’s dinner time, Tiny Tim,” he said to the boy.

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“I know this family,” Scrooge told the ghost. “Tiny Tim must be very sick. Will he be ok?”

The robed ghost sadly said, “They cannot afford a doctor. There may be an empty seat in the Cratchit house next Christmas.”

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Next, they flew to his nephew’s Christmas party. “I invited Uncle Scrooge,” Fred was saying, “but he wouldn’t come.”

“Of course he wouldn’t come!” Fred’s wife said. “He’s such a mean old man!”

“That’s what they think of me,” Scrooge sighed. “I’ve seen enough. Take me home.”

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The clock struck three times and Scrooge awoke again. He screamed when he saw a ghost in dark robes at the base of his bed.

“Are you the Ghost of Christmas Future?” Scrooge whispered.

Without words, the ghost nodded. It reached out its hand and took Scrooge.

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They arrived at a small church where a funeral was being held. The casket was small, as small as Tiny Tim. Bob Cratchit was there, and he was crying.

“No! No, it can’t be!” Scrooge yelled at the ghost. “That poor little boy!”

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“If we had more money, Tim could have seen a doctor,” Bob’s wife said. “At least that mean old man is dead, too!”

“What old man?” Scrooge asked the ghost.

The ghost took him to a gravestone. It read, “EBENEZER SCROOGE.”

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Scrooge woke up with a start. The sun shined through his window. It was Christmas day!

Scrooge burst through his front door and out onto the street. At the top of his lungs, he cried, “Merry Christmas everyone!”

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A delivery boy was running by. Scrooge grabbed his arm and gave him a handful of money.

“I want you to deliver the biggest turkey you have to Bob Cratchit,” Scrooge said.

“Yes sir,” said the delivery boy.

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That night, Scrooge went to his nephew Fred’s house. He brought presents for everyone. The family was very surprised.

“I’m very sorry I have not treated you better over the years,” Scrooge told Fred. “Merry Christmas!”

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The next day, Scrooge called Bob Cratchit into his office. “I’m giving you a raise!” Scrooge said.

More than that, Scrooge paid for Tiny Tim to see the best doctor in town. Tiny Tim lived a long and happy life.

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Ebenezer Scrooge was never again mean or nasty.

From that day on, Scrooge brought a bit of Christmas into every day, because the spirit of Christmas can be shared all year long.

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FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 400
Word Count 827
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