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Tremor Troll found Troubled Troll sitting in a corner of his tree fort. A closed book lay by his side as Troubled stared at the wooden floor.

“Is something wrong, Troubled?” asked Tremor.

Troubled took a deep breath and responded, “In this story I’m reading, it says that a boy is wearing a shirt that’s inside out.”

“Is that a problem?” Tremor asked.

“Yes,” said Troubled. “You see, I keep wondering why it’s ‘inside out’ instead of ‘outside in’! After all, if the inside is on the outside then the outside must be on the inside! Right?”

“That makes sense,” Tremor agreed. “But ‘inside out’ is the way everyone says it.”

“But why?” demanded Troubled Troll.

“I don’t know,” Tremor confessed. “It’s no big deal.”

Troubled was not comforted. “And tell me, what if it is a big deal,” he implored, “and no one knows that it’s a big deal and someday everyone wakes up and realizes that they’ve been saying it wrong? And what if....what if they suddenly understand that it really has been a big deal all along?”

“That won’t happen,” Tremor Troll insisted, “and even if it does, it won’t exactly turn our world upside down.”

Troubled Troll was doing his best to remain calm. He gazed at his friend and whispered, “Why didn’t you say ‘downside up’?”

For discussion:

1. Can you name anything in the story that shows that Troubled Troll is actually quite intelligent?

2. In what way does Troubled behave in a silly or foolish manner?

Reading Comprehension, Vol. 12, No.14, May 20, 2011http://rhlschool.comCopyright 2011 RHL

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