BILLY, THE LITTLE PINK EARTHWORM
Billy had a problem. Whenever he was wriggling along, he would catch sight of something wriggling behind him. Billy always thought this was another little worm, with whom he could play. And he would turn his head to see who it was. But it was always only his tail!
That was not a problem. But it was the start of a problem. Once Billy had turned his head to look, he would lose his way. And once he had lost his way, he would wriggle OVER his tail.
“No, that’s not right!” Billy would think to himself. Then he would wriggle UNDER his tail.
“That was right!”
Billy could now see his parents. And he could see his two big sisters, Lilly and Milly, who were all wriggling ahead of him. But, of course, Billy could not move. He had tied himself in a knot!
“Lilly! Milly! Go back and help Billy,” his parents would say. And away would go Lilly and Milly to help untie Billy.
“Silly Billy!” his sisters would say to him. “When will you learn not to tie yourself in a knot?”
Billy and his family were all gardeners. And the time had come for them to move from the lettuce patch, that they had been digging, to the new cabbage patch.
“Children! I want you all to stay under the shade of the lettuce leaves, until we reach the cabbage patch,” the young worms’ parents told them. “We must not let the birds see us!”
Billy did not heed his parent’s warning. It was such a lovely day! All Billy wanted to do was to wriggle in the sun. And he might just find another little worm with whom he could play! And away he went. Wriggle! Wriggle! Wriggle!
Then, out of the corner of his eye, Billy thought he could see another little worm wriggling behind him. Billy turned his head to see who it was, but, as you know, it was only his tail!
Once again, Billy got lost. So he wriggled OVER his tail. “No, that was not right!” Billy thought to himself. Then he wriggled UNDER his tail. “That was right!”
Yes, Billy had tied himself in a knot again!
Billy was about to call out to his two big sisters, Lilly and Milly, for help. But just then, he saw the shadow of a bird. The bird was a hungry sparrow! Billy knew that he must keep VERY still, or the hungry sparrow would eat him!
It is very hard for worms to keep still. And, for Billy, it was even harder as he had tied himself in a knot!
“How strange,” the hungry sparrow thought to himself. “I KNOW I saw a little worm wriggling!”
The hungry sparrow cocked his head to one side. Then he hopped all around Billy. He stopped. Then the hungry sparrow cocked his head to the other side.
“It’s only a piece of string,” the hungry sparrow thought to himself. “No worm would tie himself in a knot like that. But I had better make sure!”
The hungry sparrow then hopped closer to Billy and quickly picked him up with his sharp beak. The hungry sparrow was about to give poor Billy a good shaking, when he saw the shadow of something quite large creeping towards him!
Tommy, the big ginger cat, had been crouching in the shade of a little bush close to the hungry sparrow. And just when the hungry sparrow had Billy in his beak, Tommy sprang towards the hungry sparrow in ONE BIG LEAP!
The hungry sparrow got such a big fright that he dropped poor Billy and flew away as quickly as he could!
Billy’s two big sisters, Lilly and Milly, waited until the hungry sparrow had flown right away, then they came to help untie Billy.
But poor Billy was so sore from being tied in a knot for so long, and from being in the hungry sparrow’s beak, that his two big sisters, Lilly and Milly, had to carry him back to the shade of the lettuce patch.
Billy lay in the shade of the lettuce patch until he got better. He had been so scared when the hungry sparrow picked him up with his beak!
Billy promised that he would never again disobey his parents.
AND BILLY WOULD NEVER AGAIN TIE HIMSELF IN A KNOT!
Copyright © 2004 Pamela Shaw