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Finnegan—A short story
David Benson was a timid boy born to parentswho had long since stopped worryingabout having children. Willie and Louise hadthree grown girls, the youngest was nineteen05and leaving to cosmetology school the yearDavid was born. Louise had suspected anarsenal of health issues before realizing shewas with child, and even then, she waitedanother three weeks to tell her unsuspecting10husband.Long ago, when he had just taken overthe farm and his body was strong and hisdreams were considerable, Willie had wanteda son more than anything else. He had hopes15of expanding his property, becoming a richman, and gaining respect in town—thesewere all things that never came which heplanned to pass on to the son who came fartoo late. By the time David was born, more20than half the farm had been divided and sold,and Willie kept only a handful of hired handsto tend his small share of the land whilehe drove semi-trucks fifty hours a week tosupplement his meager income.25David was an oversensitive, misunderstoodboy. He learned quickly that his motherwas far too tired to love him as she had thegirls. His father, often absent, seemed distantand begrudging around David. So it was30that David, from the age of four on, oftenwandered the farm alone, contemplatingthe burly pigs or collecting berries and nutsor simply doing his best to avoid the sinistersilence that was home.35When David was ten, he felt that he wouldhave his first adventure. Mr. Harding, an oldfriend of his father who had a boy just twoyears older than David, offered to let Davidstay with them in town. It'd be easier on40Louise if she didn't have to drive the boy toand from school, and David would be happierhaving Michael to keep him company.David could spend weekends on the farmand help Willie with the chores, of course.45For the first time in his life, David felt thatwhatever he was missing he was sure to find;whatever was the void that lingered about thefarm it was sure to disappear in town.But whatever it was that David was looking50for, he didn't find it with the Hardings. Mr.Harding was a boisterous banker who foundDavid's shyness unbearable. Mrs. Hardingwas a rather large woman who spent nine tenthsof her day cooking and grew solemn55when David refused second helpings. Andin Michael, David found only a combativestranger who held a singular interest: ridinghis bicycle around the town square in searchof the coveted Sara Ridenour.60David had just turned fourteen when walkingback from school, he heard the patheticwhimper. The puppy was small—obviouslymalnourished and feeble—and much tooyoung to be away from its mother. David65removed his jacket and coddled the pupagainst his chest as he walked briskly back tothe Hardings rehearsing what he might say.To his surprise, Mr. Harding's only requestswere that David keep the frail animal in his70own room and dispose of it once it was eitherhealthy enough to live on its own or dead.These conditions seemed quite fair toDavid; and day and night, he dedicatedhimself to restoring the health of Finnegan,75the boy's very first friend. The puppy slepton his chest, suckled milk from a bottle, andmoaned softly when David wiped his failingbody. In the end, David's devotion wasnot nearly enough, and just six days after his80rescue, the puppy's underdeveloped organsfailed him. David's anguish was palpable, andMrs. Harding, in a rare moment of compassion,suggested that Michael help David burythe poor animal in a proper manner.85A half-mile into the woods on the westside of town, Michael dug a hole while Davidwept inconsolably, clutching the tiny shoeboxmade coffin. When the hole was plentydeep, Michael, embarrassed, excused himself90to allow David a minute alone to dispose ofhis beloved companion. After fifteen minutes—long after Michael had expected Davidto trudge back out of the woods, muddy andsobbing—Michael walked annoyingly back to95the burial site. He planned on telling Davidfrankly that this was no way to act about asilly dog. Instead, Michael found the hole stillempty and David nowhere to be found. Later,the police would make him repeat the story100again and again.
1. Which choice best summarizes the passage?
2. The primary purpose of the first sentence of the passage is to
3. The passage indicates that when David went to live with the Hardings, he thought Michael was
4. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
5. In line 65 "coddled" most nearly means
6. The primary purpose of paragraphs six and seven (lines 60-84) is to
7. Based on the information in the passage, what is the best description of what David was looking for at the beginning of paragraph 5 (lines 49-59)?
8. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
9. The information in paragraph two most clearly implies that Willie
10. As used in line 81, the word "palpable" most closely means
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