Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Long Way From Home

I made a friend today. As I held my bouquet of wilting flowers (and some fresh ones) on the bus to school this morning–I would be playing crazy Ophelia in Act IV, Scene V of William Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet, later that night at school–I parted the leaves to sniff the lilacs and I found a little wormy friend.

There he was, all curled up like a baby in a crib. I probably woke him from some deep slumber. The polite thing would've been to gently replace the leaf and let him sleep. But I was curious. It had been a long time since I had seen an inch worm. I was almost tempted to take it off the leaf and let it inch up my arm, like I used to do when I was younger. Then I remembered someone I didn't know was sitting next to me, and perhaps they would think I really had gone mad. So I satisfied myself with observing.

I felt like I was going to "Show & Tell." I think for "Show & Tell" in kindergarten I brought in my mom's old teddy bear. No offense Teddy, but I think the inch worm would've beaten you.

I should've realized from the holes in the leaves that I might have a friend along for the bus ride. I couldn't help but think how far I was bringing him from home. Literally millions of miles farther than he would probably ever have travelled in his lifetime. I don't know if he should've thanked me or hated me.

It reminded me of a children's story. I can picture it now: 

Ian the Inchworm was just an ordinary inchworm, but he craved the unordinary. The green leaves didn't satisfy him; he was hungry for adventure. One starry night, Ian was lounging on his leaf when he saw a shooting star. He wasn't the superstitious type, but he figured he might as well make a wish anyway. He wished for an adventure. Then, he went to sleep and dreamt about the world beyond his little lilac bush. When Ian awoke, he was on some big moving, well, something. And a young girl with really big blue eyes was staring at him. He didn't know what to make of it. How did he get there? Who was this girl? Where was he going? Regardless of any of this, Ian knew one thing: he was in for an adventure.

Ian the Inchworm, photo courtesy of

Okay, so now you see why I don't write fiction. But would love it.

Anyway, I didn't keep Ian. To be honest, I wasn't too keen on having him spend the day in my locker...I don't think he would've liked it either. I placed him on a leaf and found a safe spot for him when I got to school. 

I know...I sound like I'm five. But hey, sometimes it's fun to be a kid again.

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