The Worm

By Elizabeth Madox Roberts

Dickie found a broken spade
And said he’d dig himself a well;
And then Charles took a piece of tin,
And I was digging with a shell.
Then Will said he would dig one too.
We shaped them out and made them wide,
And I dug up a piece of clod
That had a little worm inside.
We watched him pucker up himself
And stretch himself to walk away.
He tried to go inside the dirt,
But Dickie made him wait and stay.
His shining skin was soft and wet.
I poked him once to see him squirm.
And then Will said, “I wonder if
He knows that he’s a worm.”
And then we sat back on our feet
And wondered for a little bit.
And we forgot to dig our wells
Awhile, and tried to answer it.
And while we tried to find it out,
He puckered in a little wad,
And then he stretched himself again
And went back home inside the clod.