Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Worm Gets the Last Laugh

Once upon a time, the worm was created. It's long, slimy, and it wriggles to move. Their only friends are farmers and everyone else eats them (birds), or uses them to tease little girls by their disgustingness. Millions upon millions of worms have had to be humiliated at least one fateful day, upon their discovery by some unsuspecting human, when the response to being discovered are shrieks and "ewww!"s. The worms might even be snatched up from their calm habitation, screamed and spit at, then flung, hurling through the air, to the opposite side of the yard, where they must shake off such a traumatizing experience which is bound to happen time and again, and burrow down into the dirt in their shame. They only want to eat and poop dirt. Why is life so unfair? Why am i so gross? they ask. It's a sad, sad story.

Then, the clouds accumulate. They rumble and darken. The worms feel it in their segments and look at each other (though blind) in their fearful forebodement. "Rain's a-comin'," Grandpa Wormy says. The sky gets dark and the air has a chill. There's moisture and then soon, some droplets. The sound is frightening and the first gentle *tap tap tap* is a warning: Get out now. For the water will fill their homes, flooding them, drowning the worms. They slowly wriggle their way out to foreign lands, unknown and uncharted territories by worms across the globe, to wait out the storm.

Meanwhile, children's faces smudge against the windows to look at the rain. They shriek with glee and clap their hands and rush out on the hunt for puddles. The elderly sit by the open window, sit back with closed eyes, smiling, and breathe in the smell rain brings that wafts inside, stirring up memories from yesteryear. Others walk through the rain under umbrellas, grumbling about the weather, cursing after stepping in a huge puddle, trying to keep dry. But they think to themselves, it sure smells nice. Rain sure does bring a nice smell with it, whatever it is. Then they notice something small and pink. Eww, gross! they say, seeing a worm stretched out on the sidewalk. After their disgust, they go back to enjoying the rainy scent.

But what no one seems to realize, the connection no one seems to make, is that because worms have to escape their soily homes-- their skin is so pink and delicate, and when the rain hits, they give off a certain smell. So many worms live in this world and they all peek out when it rains. So here it is, the awful truth: The smell people are smelling, the scent people love, is the scent of worms.

But even if people were to make the connection, they continue to be repulsed by the worms. They'll always be gross to me, they say. And the next time a worm is found in the dirt, it's greeted by taunts and screams and recoiled from, just for being there. But the next time it rains, everyone sits back, closes their eyes, and breathes in the wormy scent they so love, so that no matter how many times they're scourned for being so disgusting, worms know that everyone loves them at some point, whether people realize it or not, because everyone loves the smell of rain- in essence, the smell of worms. And when the rain is over, the worm can start on its journey back to the dirt and take all the abuse it gets knowing, humming, someday, you'll love me... again.


Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that I am grateful for worms and their part in aerating the soil. It is very important.

However, I must say, that I like the smell of rain, but sometimes there is a definant smell of worm that stinks. Maybe the smell I like is a hint of worm, but when it totally smells like worm, it is sick. Sorry worms. Keep up with the aerating!

Brooke said...

My favorite part of this was Grandpa Wormy saying "Rain's a-comin'." Stroke of genius, Jen.