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What odd things do you remember from elementary school readers?

I learned to read in the 1970s. Mostly we had Houghton-Mifflin readers with names like "Panorama," "Kaleidoscope," and "Serendipity," but we also read other things in school. Some of the weird bits that I remember: -- A story about a homeless woman who dresses up (including putting on ladies' gloves and lipstick) to go to a grocery store and pretend to shop while she grazes on grapes, etc. She sticks a mop in the cart because she think it will look impressive, like she's doing some serious shopping. -- A frontier family gets a surprise visit from their congressman, who stays for dinner. There is a family tradition of making fried pies for dessert. One of them is filled with cotton instead of fruit, and whoever gets that pie has to get under the table and be the footstool for everyone else. Of course, the congressman gets this pie and the family tells him not to go through with the "punishment," but he does it anyway to prove he is not better than anyone else. -- A poem about insect life and so forth in a lawn. They are about to be annihilated by a power mower.


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