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Pets: reading realistic fiction; A New Pet 3


Read the story, then answer the practice question.

A New Pet

Picture 1
  1. For as long as Diego could remember he wanted a dog. Hardly a week would go by without him pestering his grandmother about it. And every time, her answer was the same. “No, Diego we can’t get a dog! We live in a small two-bedroom apartment in the city. We’re already bursting at the seams. Not to mention taking a dog for a walk is difficult. We have the disadvantage of living a full six blocks from the nearest park. How is a dog supposed to get exercise every day? Plus, we would have to find time to groom a dog.”
  2. Diego’s response was always the same. “I promise to walk the dog every day, Abuela. You wouldn’t have to do anything!”
  3. But Diego’s grandmother never gave in. One day after school, Diego’s grandmother told Diego they were going out. “Where are we going, Abuela?” Diego asked.
  4. “Just come with me,” replied his grandmother.
  5. Where on earth are we going? Diego wondered as they walked. It’s a school night.
Picture 2
  1. To Diego’s shock, his grandmother led him to the animal shelter. As they entered, Diego’s grandmother turned around and said, “Diego, you’ve worked so hard at school and I am very proud. To show you how responsible I think you are, I am going to let you get a pet. But it can’t be a dog. We simply don’t have the room for a dog. And we don’t have a yard for a dog to play in. You can pick either a fish or a hamster.”
  2. Diego felt disappointed. A fish or a hamster was nothing like a dog! Fish and hamsters weren’t loyal and sweet. They didn’t show affection to their owners. Diego didn’t think either of them would be a good companion. But maybe if I show Abuela how responsible I am with a pet, she’ll eventually let me get a dog, he thought.
  3. Diego considered both the fish and the hamster. When he took the hamster from the cage, he realized that, in fact, a hamster was similar to a dog after all. The hamster showed Diego affection by nuzzling his hand. The hamster’s soft hair could be groomed. But more importantly, that little hamster provided comfort to Diego and would be a nice companion. “I’ll call you Phil,” Diego declared to his new friend, as he gently petted Phil’s soft spotted fur.
Picture 3

Practice question

How do Diego’s feelings change when he learns that his grandmother is going to let him get a pet?
Choose 1 answer: