Subject: Manse Diaries: The Conquered Worm

Date: Sat, 08 Nov 1997 06:42:40 GMT

From: (MegaLiz)

Organization: MotPU: Where Binary Moodswings are ALWAYS on the Menu

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free, alt.slack


Weird shit goes on in the first grade. It's no wonder that all the

little monkeys look so dog-tired after a six-hour day of freakin' on

phonics, coloring like mad, and having cheese tasting adventures. OH!

That reminds me, I've agreed to send "cubed cheese" to school next

week. I wonder what and how much I should cube. Brie is obviously out.


Unless it's frozen...


Sparky takes her parent-teacher courier job very seriously. She

watches me paw through a ridiculous number of papers, forms, flyers,

friendly reminders and threats from the school every afternoon. THEY

say you HAVE TO bake something for the PTA, she tells me. I nod

solemnly as I decide how to explain to her that we don't have to do

EVERYTHING on the school calendar. You HAVE TO swim with the PTA, she

says. I decide to save the speech about how the PTA just wants money I

don't have. I'll give her that one next year. The speech about how all

her friends' mothers will HATE MY GUTS if they see me in a bathing

suit will have to wait even longer, I bet.


Anyway, the worm was a total surprise. It came with no written

instructions, and no warning whatsoever. She just toted it home last

week FOR SCIENCE. She insisted that we were supposed to keep the worm

and leave it completely alone for a week. I had my doubts, but she was

very certain that the worm was supposed to be undisturbed and unfed.

It was in a clear cup, with a black paper covering and just a few

holes punched in the black plastic top. We put the worm on a high

shelf in the kitchen, where it would be safe.


A couple of days later she was begging to peek at the worm. I talked

her out of it and reminded her that Wednesday would be worm day.

Saturday, I knocked the worm over and didn't tell anybody. It occurred

to me that the container sounded awfully DRY, but I was distracted and

feeling pretty guilty about it, so I tried to forget about the worm as

quickly as possible. Monday, Sparky came out of class upset. She had

been unable to think of a suitable name for her worm. All of my

suggestions for names were brushed away, so I went back to forgetting

about the worm. Wednesday was a busy day, so we ALL forgot to check

the worm. Somehow, she muddled through writing her Worm Story the

following day.


After all the hoopla at school, checking the worm THAT day became a

priority. We expended a lot of effort getting the paper off to

find...nothing. Well, I thought I saw something, but I didn't want to

interfere with her scientific assessment of the situation right away.

She was expecting to see tunnels and so on, but to my untrained eye

all that appeared was a cup full of sand and dirt with half a dead

worm on top. Finally, I pointed this out to her.


"That's not MY worm," said Spunky.


"How can you tell?" I asked.


"My worm was LOTS fatter."


"Were we supposed to put water in the cup?"


"Oh. Yeah. I THINK so."


"Are you going to tell the teacher that your worm died?"




Earthworm class work has started to dribble home. Here are the

worksheets with real responses (and some anticipated responses):

How did you make your worm a "home"?

- We m layers of sand and soil

After two weeks, what does the home you made look like? Record your

observations. What do you think happened?

- The home looks the same. The worm is dead. I think it died.

Can you find the worm's mouth?

- No.

Does it have eyes?

- No.

How does it move?

- Wiggles.

Does it have legs?

- No.

How does it feel?

- Selme [I THINK this translates as "slimey"]

Look at a neighbors worm. Are they different? How?

- Yes. My worm is dead.

Draw a picture of your worm:




/* *\

* X X *****************************

* \____/ *

\* *




We're planning a worm hunt for tomorrow. I don't think we can kill

them all.


* "Okay! Okay! I'll NEVAH EVAH do it AGAIN!" - The Spunky

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