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The Call of the Wild

Chapter 3

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Spitz was untouched, while Buck was streaming with blood and panting hard. The fight was growing desperate. And all the while the silent and wolfish circle waited to finish off whichever dog went down. As Buck grew winded, Spitz took to rushing, and he kept him staggering for footing. Once Buck went over, and the whole circle of sixty dogs started up; but he recovered himself, almost in mid air, and the circle sank down again and waited.

But Buck possessed a quality that made for greatness—imagination. He fought by instinct, but he could fight by head as well he rushed, as though attempting the old shoulder trick, but at the last instant swept low to the snow and in. His teeth closed on Spitz's left fore leg. There was a crunch of breaking bone, and the white dog faced him on three legs. Thrice he tried to knock him over, then repeated the trick and broke the right fore leg. Despite the pain and helplessness, Spitz struggled madly to keep up. He saw the silent circle, with gleaming eyes, lolling tongues, and silvery breaths drifting upward, closing in upon him as he had seen similar circles close in upon beaten antagonists in the past. Only this time he was the one who was beaten.

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There was no hope for him. Buck was inexorable. Mercy was a thing reserved for gentler climes. He maneuvered for the final rush. The circle had tightened till he could feel the breaths of the huskies on his flanks. He could see them, beyond Spitz and to either side, half-crouching for the spring, their eyes fixed upon him. A pause seemed to fall. Every animal was motionless as though turned to stone. Only Spitz quivered and bristled as he staggered back and forth, snarling with horrible menace, as though to frighten off impending death. Then Buck sprang in and out; but while he was in, shoulder had at last squarely met shoulder. The dark circle became a dot on the moon flooded snow as Spitz disappeared from view. Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good.Stop and Think!

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Summarize

Reading Strategy

Choose the best summary, the one that captures the most important ideas in the chapter. Click on the coaches for help.


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Summarize

Reading Strategy

Create your own summary. Use the Key Points list below or use the Text Help toolbar to highlight and collect key points you choose from the text. Then write a summary in your own words. You could also try sketching your summary.

Key Points

1. Spitz steals Buck's nest.

2. Spitz makes several attempts to attack Buck.

3. Hungry wolves attack the team.

4. The team encounters danger as they cross the Thirty Mile River.

5. Buck threatens Spitz's leadership, and encourages other dogs to do so.

6. Buck kills Spitz.

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Or use the Text Help toolbar above to highlight and collect the key events you want to use. Paste your notes into a word processor and write, sketch, or share your summary by email.


Click on the Coaches for help. To check your summary, compare with the coaches.

MontyHaliPedro


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Reading Strategy

Choose one of the strategies you've practiced here—visualize, summarize, predict, or question. Pick one that works well for you and is suited to the passage.

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Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


Click on the Coaches for help.

MontyHali

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Monty's Thoughts

In my summary, I gathered and summarized the key events in the chapter, and concluded by describing the final outcome of Chapter 3.



Monty's Response

Life in the wilderness has forced Buck's inner beast to emerge. The tension between Buck and Sptitz grows stronger every day. Their journey becomes even more dangerous when they are attacked by hungry wolves and when they must cross the Thirty Mile River. Buck turns the other dogs against Spitz, and Buck is able to defeat him.

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Hali's Thoughts

To create my summary, I reviewed all the illustrations in this chapter and wrote down what was happening in the pictures.

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Pedro's Self Check

To check your summary, ask yourself if your summary—

Captures the main ideas and key information.

Has the right amount of detail (not too much, not too little).

Combines several ideas or facts into one statement.

Paraphrases, or explains in your own words.

Includes information from text and images.

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

In my summary, I gathered and summarized the key events in the chapter, and concluded by describing the final outcome of Chapter 3.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

To create my summary, I reviewed all the illustrations in this chapter and wrote down what was happening in the pictures.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

To check your summary, ask yourself if your summary—

Captures the main ideas and key information.

Has the right amount of detail (not too much, not too little).

Combines several ideas or facts into one statement.

Paraphrases, or explains in your own words.

Includes information from text and images.

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I approach the end of a chapter, I like to summarize. This helps me review what I know so far about the story and what questions I might have to discuss with a friend or teacher.

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Hali's Thoughts

Have you ever read a few pages and not remembered a word of it? If I stop and visualize the scene like a picture in my head, it helps me remember much better.