Wormie Dreams of Flying

This is one of those stories made up for my boys right before they go to bed. Right when their tired little heads are saying: “but I dont want to go to school tomorrow” or “but I am not tired”. And yet all is right with the world again after I capture their imagination with a story. I never know what the story will be about until I start. Tonight I started with a worm.

Once upon a time there was a worm who dreamed of flying. Everyday he would look out the window, see the leaves float by in the wind, watch the bees bumbling around and the wasps zipping elegantly crisscrossing the wind. You might think he dreamt was flying because he was a caterpillar but no.  He was no caterpillar. He was a regular black little worm.  His teacher would call his attention in schools and tell him, Wormie, the class is over hear, not wherever it is you are looking at outside that window. The teacher grew concerned and told Wormie’s mother, about his distracted classroom behavior.

One night, Wormie’s mother asked him, Wormie dear, what would you like to do you grow up? I would like to be a wasp and fly around the in the sky. But Wormie dear, you are not a wasp, you have no wings. You are meant bring air into hardened muddy compacted soil, airate the soil, my dear not be flying in the air, you silly boy!” Mom  but why not? Why must I be and do what you expect.

The following day,Wormie walked to schools with his best freind Cate the Caterpillar. He told her about his talk with this mother. He knew that Mrs. Busy Bee has surely put her up to it. Cate felt bed for Wormie and said, Maybe one day when I am able to fly I can come and give you a ride. Oh, thanks Cate that would be splendid. But Wormie wanted more.  He wanted to do it by himself, to be master of his destiny and builder of his own means to fly.

Later that day, as he sat in school looking out the window he realized that the best way to do what he wanted was to show them how it was done. Science and engineering! That was his way. Once he was clear on what he wanted he knew why he was in school. Mrs. Busy Bee never again called his mom. He worked hard and got good grades. With nobody on his case, he had time to explore his interests in his free time.

One afternoon as he was studying the flight mechanisms of things in the air he saw a wasp, stop for a few seconds. Wormie built up his courage and asked: Mr Wasp, sir, how does it feel to fly?

Feel? to fly? What on earth do you mean?

Does the air tickle? Does the wind roll you and push you like a wave? How does the world look from up there?

By golly, boy, I have never stopped to think such foolish things! I fly because I do. I do what I must. I am always rushing from one place to the next, making sure the food gets to the hive and that the hive gets built. Flying is stressful, its work, its not whatever silly idea you have. Keep your feet on the ground worm boy! Keep your feet on the ground!

Wormie was so surprised. That was not the answer he expected. He was a little heart broken in fact. He had always admired the wasp’s elegance and mastery, but the wasp was not even aware of what luxury he had. He could ride the wind and see the world at a distance, he could be free, and yet he did not know it or see it.

But this did not discourage Wormie. Wormie knew, what he knew. In his heart in his mind he had a clear vision of what and how flying would be and it was up to him to show others what it was he saw. Wormie studied hard. He became great at math, great at art, he asked questions and was constantly reading to find new answers.

One day it hit him, he would build a wind-surf-rider. He found a nice sturdy leave and punctured it with another. He pushed them off a tree brach and watched them fall. He did this many times, changing his methods and his design every time  just a little bit. Until one day he saw the leaf board contraption actually ride the waves of the wind.  That was it!

The next time he jumped on the leaf made into a wind-surf-rider. The first time he did so, it did not go as well. But then, that never stopped him before. Then one day, the design and the machine were able to carry Wormie and ride along the wind. Wormie felt the wave dropping and rolling and looking around for signs he was able to catch the next wave of wind. And the sport of wind-surf-riding was born.

From up there in the waves of the wind, Wormie saw his old school. He waved hello to Mrs. Busy Bee, who proudly waved back. Wormie turned around and saw his mom, coming up for air from the earth. The sun’s light shined behind Wormie, but that just made Wormie glow. His mommy was so proud. Nobody could have foreseen this. Nobody could have imagined it. Before he knew it, Wormie had customers. Other bugs wanted to be able to see earth from above and feel the waves of the wind underneath. Even Mr. Wasp came by once for a ride. “To ride the air without fluttering, what an incredible feat! Wormie had changed the how the air was seen and felt for all those in his bugsy world.  Not even the earth beneath their feet would be seen the same, thanks to Wormie.