Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
GRADE 9 READING MATHEMATICS
Administered Spring 2004
Copyright © 2004, Texas Education Agency. All rights reserved. Reproduction of all or portions of this work is prohibited without express written permission from Texas Education Agency.
DIRECTIONS Read the two selections and the viewing and representing piece. Then answer the questions that follow.
The Friendship by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1 The little boy had a policeman for a friend. He acquired him out of a clear sky. He ran out of the schoolyard to go home for his noon lunch, tripped over a rough spot on the sidewalk, and fell so hard and so flat that for gasping moments he could not draw a breath. The policeman happened to be passing by. Robert felt himself being lifted and pounded on the back. The first breath that came was agony and wonder, for drawing it had seemed impossible. It was only with the third that he realized his knees were hurting, and he looked down to see them torn and bleeding. He became aware of the policeman and then it was unthinkable to cry. He was not afraid, like the defiant older boys who gave themselves away by bragging of what they had done and intended to do to policemen. His father had often told him that the law was a protector, and if he ever found himself lost, for he was something of a roamer, he was to ask for a policeman and give his name and address. This seemed appropriate now. He said, “My name is Robert Wilkinson and I live on Newton Street. I’ve forgotten the number.” The policeman nodded his head gravely. “I know your father,” he said. “Isn’t your house the large green-and-white one?” “Oh, yes. With a big snow-apple tree in the yard.” The policeman again inclined his head. “My duties take me that way, Robert. I’ll walk along with you.” The little boy was enchanted. The policeman’s gravity was pleasing and complimentary. “That was a bad tumble, young man. Are your knees painful?” “Yes, sir, they hurt terribly.” “Will there be someone at home to fix you up?” “Oh, yes; my mother. She’s always there when I come home for lunch.” “You’re lucky, Robert. I didn’t have a mother when I was your age. Eight, I’d guess?” “Just six. I almost wasn’t old enough to begin the first grade.” He glowed with pride that the policeman thought he was eight years old. “I thought everybody had a mother.”
My notes about what I am reading
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“Everybody has a mother to begin with.” “Even kittens and puppies and little birds.” “And colts and calves and baby elephants,” said the policeman, and smiled. “But sometimes a mother can be lost.” Robert was puzzled. “I thought only little boys got lost. I never have been, quite, but my father says he’s always expecting it.” “Just ask for me if you’re lost. I am Sergeant Masters.” “That’s what my father told me, to ask for a policeman and tell my name and where I live. But I can’t ever remember the number.” “The name and the street are what matter. Your father is well known in the area where you would presumably stray.” Robert did not quite understand all the words, but he was charmed with the truly adult conversation, with his father ’s being well known, and above all with the policeman. He sighed happily, and when the policeman took his hand in crossing a street, his cup of joy ran over, and he left his small hand inside the vast one. They walked in silence down another block. He asked, “Do you have a little boy?” “No, Robert. I should have liked a dozen, but I shall never have a single one.” “How can you tell?” “Sometimes,” the policeman said, “it is possible to know.” The sergeant at once took third place in omniscience behind God and his father, and it occurred to Robert that perhaps he should put him first. The only flaw in everything was that his protector had been unimpressed by his not crying when his knees did hurt so intensely. They reached…