Just the Other Day: The Inchworm

Our youngest daughter recently accepted her first teaching position in a rural Iowa school district. This morning we are in Mason City, Iowa, helping her move into her new apartment.


It’s a third floor apartment, no elevator, with an average size stairwell, but all stairwells seem too narrow when moving a large couch. I find myself asking, “Why did they need to put turns in the stairs?” There should be a law that all stairwells with turns have to be five feet wide. Maybe six – or a service elevator . Yes, that’s it, an elevator. Mattresses will bend a little, to make the corners, but a box spring and dressers don’t give at all.


While pondering my strategy for the move, I drifted off, thinking about a story I wrote awhile back – it includes things that bend, and others that don’t. I hope you enjoy it:


An inchworm and a firetruck don’t have a lot in common.


The firetruck is big and shiny red.  The inchworm is small and a dull green.


The firetruck has big black shiny tires that roll smoothly down the street. The inchworm has tiny, grabby feet that cling to everything.


The firetruck is loud and thunderous; shaking the earth when it goes by. The inchworm silently moves along its way.


The firetruck is strong and powerful. The inchworm fragile and delicate.


The firetruck has a long rigid body, mounted on big beams of steel, somewhat limiting its mobility. The inchworm has a flexible body, with a hump that goes up and down. It can turn in very tight spaces allowing it to go wherever it wants.


The firetruck can’t pop wheelies. The inchworm can stand straight up, on its back feet or show off and stand on its front feet, body straight up in the air behind it.


The inchworm avoids fire and danger. The firetruck bravely charges into danger.


An upside down firetruck has a serious problem. The inchworm, however, travels just as well, upside down or right side up.


The firetruck has several passengers. The inchworm travels alone.


The firetruck and the inchworm have one thing in common.  When either one goes by, you have to stop and watch it. It’s like an unwritten law.


It just takes longer to watch the inchworm pass by.


I better get started, although this couch and much of the furniture has legs, none of it is going to walk itself into this apartment.