My Own Resources
Reading Comprehension Texts
Christmas was a very difficult time for me. My family and all of my close
friends were back home in Florida, and I was all alone in a rather cold
California. I was working too many hours and became very sick.
was working a double shift at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter, it was
about 9:00 P.M. on Christmas Eve, and I was feeling really miserable inside.
There a few of us working and very few customers waiting to be helped. When
it was time for me to call the next person to the counter, I looked out to
see the sweetest-looking old man standing with a cane. He walked very slowly
over to the counter and in the faintest voice told me that he had to go to
New Orleans. I tried to explain to him that there were no more flights that
night and that he would have to go in the morning. He looked so confused and
very worried. I tried to find out more information by asking if he had a
reservation of if he remembered when he was supposed to travel, but he
seemed to become more confused with each question. He just kept saying, AShe
said I have to go to New Orleans.@.
much time, I was able to at least find out that this old man was dropped off
at the curb on Christmas Eve by his sister-in-law and told to go to New
Orleans, where he had family. She had given him some cash and told him just
to go inside and buy a ticket. When I asked if he could come back tomorrow,
he said that she was gone and that he had no place to stay. He then said he
would wait at the airport until tomorrow. Naturally, I felt a little
ashamed. Here I was feeling very sorry for myself about being alone on
Christmas, when this angel named Clarence MacDonald was sent to me to remind
me of what being alone really meant. It broke my heart.
I told him we would get it all straightened out, and our Customer Service
agent helped to book him a seat for the earliest flight the next morning. We
gave him the senior citizens=
fare, which gave him some extra money for travelling. About this time he
started to look very tired, and when I stepped around the counter to ask him
if he was all right, I saw that his leg was wrapped in a bandage. He had
been standing on it that whole time, holding a plastic bag full of clothes.
called for a wheelchair. When the wheelchair came, we all stepped around to
help him in, and I noticed a small amount of blood on his bandage. I asked
how he hurt his leg, and he said that he had just had bypass surgery and an
artery was taken from his leg. Can you imagine? This man had had
heart surgery, and then shortly afterward, was dropped off at the curb to
buy a ticket with no reservation to fly to New Orleans alone!
never really had a situation like this, and I wasn=t
sure what I could do. I went back to ask my supervisors if we could find a
place for him to stay. They both said yes, and they obtained a hotel voucher
for Mr. MacDonald for one night and a meal ticket for dinner and breakfast.
When I came back out, we got his plastic bag of clothes and cane together
and gave the porter a tip to take him downstairs to wait for the airport
shuttle. I bent down to explain the hotel, food and itinerary again to Mr.
MacDonald, and then patted him on the arm and told him everything would be
he left, he said, AThank
bent his head and started to cry. I cried too. When I went back to thank my
supervisor, she just smiled and said, AI
love stories like that. He is your Christmas Man.
Find in the text words or expressions that have the following meanings:
Answer the following questions according to the text.
Why was the writer feeling miserable?
Why was the old man at the airport?
Why did the old man have some blood on his leg?
d. What did the writer do to help the Mr. Mac Donald?
Composition. Is this the kind of story you expected to read? What is your
opinion about it?