Theme & Evidence
by Lauren LaScala
| 3 Questions
Note from the author:
Theme and Evidence
Please read the following folktale. Answer the questions that follow.

The Cloud

1 One hot summer morning a little Cloud floated lightly and happily across the blue sky. Far below lay the
2 earth: brown, dry, and desolate, from drought. The little Cloud could see the poor people of the earth working
3 and suffering in the hot fields, while she herself floated on the morning breeze without a care.
4 "Oh, if I could only help the poor people down there!" she thought. They looked so worried and tired. "If I
5 could but make their work easier, or give the hungry ones food or the thirsty a drink!"
6 On earth it grew hotter and hotter; the sun burned down so fiercely that the people were fainting in its rays. 7 Yet, they could not stop to rest for they were very poor and had to continue to work. As the day passed, the
8 Cloud became larger, and it cast a big shadow on the land. She noticed that people were stopping in the place
9 she shaded. Sometimes they stood and looked up at the Cloud, as if they were saying, "Ah, if you could help
10 us!" Her wish to do something for the people of earth grew even stronger.
11 "I will help you; I will!" said the Cloud. And she began to sink softly down toward earth.
12 But suddenly, as she floated down, she remembered something that had been told to her when she was a 13 tiny Cloud-child, in the lap of Mother Ocean: it had been whispered that if the Clouds go too near the earth,
14 they die. When she remembered this, she held herself from sinking, and swayed here and there on the breeze,
15 thinking...thinking.
16 At last, she stood quite still, and spoke boldly and proudly. She said, "People of earth, I will help you, come 17 what may!"
18 The thought made her suddenly marevelously big, strong, and powerful. Never had she dreamed that she
19 could be so big. Like a mighty angel, she expanded above the earth, and lifted her head and spread herself far
20 over the fields and woods. She was so great, so majestic, that people and animals were awe-struck at the
21 sight; the trees and the grasses bowed before her; yet all the creatures upon the earth felt that she meant
22 them well.
23 "Yes, I will help you," cried the Cloud once more. "I will give my life for you!"
24 As she said the words a wonderful light glowed from her heart, the sound of thunder rolled through the
25 sky, and a love greater than words filled the Cloud; down, down, close to the earth she swept, and gave up her
26 life in a welcome, healing shower of rain.
27 That rain was the Cloud's great deed. People cheered, "We are blessed! The cloud has rescued us!" The
28 earth was wet, there were puddles and shiny leaves, animals were able to drink from the dry creek bed. Then
29 they saw as they looked up that over the whole countryside, a great rainbow crossed the sky.
30 Soon that, too, was gone. But long, long afterward the people and animals the Cloud had saved kept her
31 blessing in their hearts. They remembered it every time they saw a rainbow.
Which is the best answer choice as a possible theme for the story?
Rain is always needed in order for people and animals to survive.
Others can benefit from difficult choices we make for ourselves.
Hard work and dedication will lead to many rewards for people.
Working in the burning hot sun can be a challenging experience.
Which evidence best supports your answer for #2.
...sun burned down so fiercely that the people were fainting in its rays. (Line 6)
...for they were very poor and had to continue to work. (Line 7)
...and gave up her life in a welcome, healing shower of rain. (Lines 25/26)
...animals were able to drink from the dry creek bed. (Line 28)
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