Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A new spring hat, a garden and maybe a song too

As I strolled on one of my daily walks, I saw my old friend Ernie the Earthworm. He was peeking out from a tuft of grass and glaring at the abundant sunshine and clear blue skies.

"Hello, Ernie!" I greeted him. "Gorgeous day, isn't it?"

"For you, maybe!" He turned his glare on me. "Personally, I find it obnoxious!"

"There's a cool wind, sunshine and pretty blue skies!" I argued. "What's obnoxious about that?"

"Because I have very tender fragile skin!" Ernie whined, letting only a sliver of the sunlight skim across his pale pink body. "Do you know what SPF I have to use? Plus, I can barely see it anyway. My eyes are accustomed to darkness. "

I rolled my eyes. Ernie hadn't changed much since I last saw him.

"So, Ernie, what can I do for you?" I asked cheerfully. "I'm afraid I can't move the sun or shut out the lights for you."

"I'd like a new spring hat," he said, perking up immediately. His beady eyes peered up at me. "One with flowers perhaps or some nice grass."

"All right," I said, trying not to smile. "What else?"

"A garden," Ernie said, his little pink face breaking into a smile. "I'd like a nice garden with fresh dirt I could visit. I rarely get to enjoy gardens. Normally, I just see the roots of things."

I raised my eyebrow as he continued, so excited he was wiggling back and forth under his leaf umbrella.

"And I'd love a song," Ernie continued dreamily.

"A song?" I was completely confused. "What do you mean, a song?"

"Well, I've always heard of songs or read about them in the newspapers in compost piles," Ernie said, "But I've never heard a song. I'd love to hear a real song."

"All right," I said, chewing on my lower lip.

"Is that too much?" Ernie looked at the ground. "I don't mean to be a bother..."

"Anything for you, Ernie," I said, breaking into a smile. Delighted, Ernie dived back into his hole and I finished my walk. As I walked, I contemplated the tasks he had asked for. Making a hat was easy. But a garden he could see? A song? Considering Ernie was nearly blind, as most earthworms were, this was going to be hard.

Finally, it came to me. Later that afternoon, I wondered back out. Ernie's little pink tail was tapping impatiently as I walked up.

"Well?" he asked eagerly.

"First, here's your hat," I said. I had folded a pink post it, fraying the edges with scissors and placing a large sticker of a flower on it.

"Oh, it's perfect!" he cried, admiring his reflection on a ice cube from a fallen Coke. "How lovely!"

"Next, here's your garden," I said. I placed a dandelion by his face.

"That's not a garden!" he cried. "That's a flower."

"Blow on it," I said. He did, and tiny flicks of white fuzz drifted across the lawn.

"Ohhh!" he said, his eyes lighting up with understanding. "I get it now."

"And here's your song," I said, holding my I-Pod headphones to his ears. "Libby picked it out."

He slid deeper into the ground, pressing his pink head to one of the headphones. "Oh, it's lovely!" he cried, beaming. "I love it!" He began to wiggle and bob to the music, swaying from one side to the other.

"Now you're dancing," I informed him, beaming at his joyful smile as he wiggled along the grass.

"Dance with me!" he shouted. "Let's celebrate the glorious notes of this wonderful song!"

As the faint notes filled the air, I stood on the curb and danced and wiggled along with Ernie. His tiny pink head bobbed in his Post-It hat among scattered dandelion seeds as he wiggled with all his might. His tail bounced along the ground, his middle twirled and writhed with ecstasy. After the song was over, all I could see of his small face was a brilliant smile.

"That was a lovely song," he smiled, pushing my headphones back to me with his nose. "That's a lovely way to start spring." With that, he retreated back into the Earth with his tail still wiggling.



4 comments:

Mom said...

That was a lovely story and it made me very want to go outside and look for some talking earthworms.

Mama K said...

Why not take Ernie home with you and make him a dirt pile to live in? He would be so joyful and could play with the puppies!

Marie said...

Oh you do weave a magic spell about me with your words. I loved this. I know, I say it all the time, but you are magic to me. Every visit creates bliss for me. Well done.
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

PS some chocolate goodness is winging it's way across the big pond to your little pond today!

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