Inchworms and Pirate Kings


 

The reason why inch worms don’t stop to see the beauty of the world around them is that they are too busy practising their gymnastic skills or playing pirates...

Summary by Rob Hawes 

 


 Artwork by Daniel 2007 (c)

Inch worms, inch worms,

measuring the marigolds.

Why can’t you stop and see

how beautiful they are?


 

 

Frankie and Gary Huckleberry were brothers who lived in a garden, along with their parents and relatives and lots of other inchworms. 

 

The two inch worms liked to do all the things that inch worms usually like doing.  Frankie and Gary had fun lying in the dark soil and playing hide and go seek with the other worms, as well as climbing the colourful rocks in the garden when they pretended that they were pirate worms.  They most of all loved to eat the tomatoes that were growing in the garden, nibbling small pieces of juicy tomato flesh, and then hiding under the leaves when the garden owner came by.

 

The one thing that Frankie and Gary didn’t like to do was to go to school.  Neither could see the point of learning which leaf was safe to eat when there were so many other things in the garden to eat besides leaves.  The worst lesson of all was arithmetic.  Frankie decided that there was no real point in learning numbers, and Greg agreed with him.

 

It was the last day of the school week, and as soon as the very last class was over, the brothers went out to climb the tallest of all of the tomato plants. 

 

Frankie was in front as they started crawling up the green stalk, and he began counting as they climbed higher and higher.  By the time Frankie had counted to eleventeen, he had reached the first leaf.  He stopped for a moment to get his breath, and Gary squeezed past him and crawled up to the next leaf.  

 

He then crawled out to the very edge of the leaf, with Frankie close behind.  Gary made sure that his brother was watching his every movement when he came up with a fun plan. 

 

“Watch this!” called Gary.   The small worm curled himself up into a tiny ball and began bouncing on the very end of the leaf.  Frankie held his breath as Gary bounced.  Up and down, up and down he went, until he bounced right off the end of the leaf and landed on the green leaf that was just below. 

 

Frankie wanted to copy his brother, but then again, he wasn't as brave as Gary.  He curled himself into a ball and bounced twice, and just when he felt he was going to roll off the leaf, he opened his mouth and sank his teeth into the soft leaf in an effort to stop himself from falling.

 

Gary lay on the leaf below and watched his brother’s antics.  He knew that Frankie would never bounce off leaves and that was okay with him.  They did lots of enjoyable things together anyway, but Gary thought it was fun to watch Frankie try.

 

Once the leaf stopped shaking and moving, Frankie released his jaws and crawled back to the green stalk and down to the leaf to where his brother lay waiting.

 

When Frank was close enough, the inch worm decided to tease his brother

 

“No wonder they don’t call you ‘Fearless Frankie’” Gary ribbed.

 

Frankie saw the glint in his brother’s eye.  “I’ll teach you for not calling me ‘Fearless’!”  With that, he lunged at his brother and started tickling him.

 

Gary giggled and giggled until he couldn’t breathe. 

 

“Stop!” he wheezed.

 

Frank stopped tickling for a moment and drew back. 

 

“Are you sorry that you said that?”  he asked.

 

“Yes!”  Gary wheezed. He added in an almost whisper, “I’m sorry that you aren’t ‘Fearless Frankie’!” and started giggling again.

 

Frankie was about to start the tickle torture when out of the corner of his eye he saw something flying across the yard.

 

“Look out!”  Frankie yelled in warning, just before sinking his teeth into the leaf under his tummy.  Gary looked up to see what Frankie was worried about,  his eyes went as round as saucers, and his jaw dropped open.

 

A huge crimson rock landed next to the streaky green and blue rock in the garden below. 

 

“Cool!” Gary exclaimed.

 

Frankie released his grip on the leaf to see what had happened in the garden.  Gary was already on his way to the tomato stem so he could go and get a closer look at the gigantic boulder below.

 

“Gary…wait up!!” Frank called to his brother, who was half-way down the green stem.  Gary finally reached the ground and stopped to wait for his brother. 

 

When he had reached the ground, he crawled next to his brother. 

 

“This is the biggest one yet!”  Gary was almost vibrating with excitement.  “Race you to the top!”

 

“Wait,” Frankie said.  “Remember, every time a rock falls from the sky we have to wait for a second.”

 

“Why?”  Gary whined.

 

“Until the ground stops shaking,” Frankie said quite matter-of-factly.  “See all of the other rocks moving?  Well,” he explained, “when they stop moving, that is when we know that it is safe to go rock climbing.”

 

Gary groaned.  In his opinion Frankie was starting to sound more like their mother every day.  

 

Finally all the rocks stopped moving, and Gary started inching his way towards them. 

 

“Are you coming?”  Gary asked.

 

“Yeah, coming,” Frankie stated.  He had already started pulling himself forward as fast as he could, but his brother was in too much of a rush to wait a moment longer.    

 

“Yay!  I’m gonna be The Pirate King!” Gary sang as he crawled towards the rock.  “The last one there is a Witchety Grub!” he shouted, looking back at Frankie with a grin.  He knew that another tickle attack was going to happen when they got to the top of the rock.  But he wasn’t worried.  After all, he was going to be The Pirate King.

 

(c) Bev 2007