Peapops came to tea!

Last Updated 13 January 2011, 11:36 IST

Peapops, the green worm, in his green coat and goggles, for all to see!  While shelling pea pods, you must certainly have bumped into a cute green worm.  And, I suppose, you must certainly have flung that poor little thing into the bin out of sheer fright. Here is an appeal from Peapops to be kind and gentle  with his fellow worm friends.

Science  can be very exciting if you are really interested in the subject. Biology, Chemistry and Physics  talk about facts that will help you understand  Nature. 

Little Sylvia and Shakir studied in the same class. They were good friends, and both liked science a lot. After their science class, they would run into the school garden to observe the insects and earthworms that crawled about in the grass.They had made friends with Earl, the earthworm, who would jump out of the ground as soon as he heard the children’s chirpy laughter.

One day, Sylvia’s mother hosted a tea party. She asked Sylvia to invite many of her friends and Shakir, too. She requested her to help  in  making all the goodies for the party.

Sylvia loved sandwiches, and she asked her mother to make pea and butter sandwiches spiced with a dash of mustard. That was her favourite snack. Her mother had bought fresh peas from the market, but these had to be shelled.

So, Sylvia and Shakir sat at the  dining table and began shelling the peas.
“Hmmm, look how the peas are jumping into the  bowl!” squealed Shakir. A few peas, named Poky, Praxy, Penelope and Pinto, were certainly very naughty. They ganged up together, bounced down on the carpet and tried to run out of the door. Sylvia rushed after them.  The naughty foursome hid behind the kitchen broom so that Sylvia could not find them.

Sylvia’s mother gave Sylvia and Shakir a big glass each of fresh orange juice as a reward for working very hard shelling the peas. But all of a sudden, Shakir shrieked and flung a peapod into the air. “Eeeks! There’s a green creepy crawly thing inside. Throw it away!’ he exclaimed in fright. Sylvia’s mother took the pea pod from Shakir's hand and told the children, “ Look who’s inside, children! Why, he is a cute little green caterpillar! There's no need to be frightened. He seems perfectly harmless to me.” And out of the pea pod popped up Peapops, the baby worm.

“Good afternoon kids! I am Peapops. Don’t be afraid of me and throw me away,” said Peapops matter-of-factly, stretching himself and yawning. “Let me brush my green coat first. Hmmm... I smell a cake! I hope you will give me a piece of it or more,” he added, leaping onto the dining table and settling himself on the rim of a flower vase.

Sylvia and Shakir watched Peapops with amazement. Gathering courage, they asked him, "How on earth did you get inside the pea pod?"

“Ooh Ooh! Now, that’s a long story," Peapops replied, gnawing at a button-sized pea that he held in his hairy hands. 'I'll tell you while I munch my pea. Sorry for my bad manners. I know you aren't meant to talk while you eat." Then,munching his pea, he went on, "My mother laid an egg on a baby pea pod, and that was me. I soon turned into a larva. Then, I crawled into the pod and have been munching on the crunchy peas inside for as long as I can remember. Once  I had eaten and fully grown,  I wanted to exit the pod  and go out and explore the world. My mother told me that I should decide on my own what I wanted to be when I grow up… a moth, a butterfly or a caterpillar. I have'nt yet made up my mind, I must confess. I thought I will take it easy and holiday with you kids here till then, and perhaps you can give me some sensible advise,” he exclaimed  as he began crawling up Shakir’s shirt, hoping to snuggle inside his pocket.

Hearing Peapops speak, and that, too, so seriously, which she thought was most un-worm-like, Sylvia burst out giggling uncontrollably. “Oh! that’s very sweet of you, Peapops. And thanks for telling us your story, or we would have put you away in the bin like most grown-ups do,” Sylvia said after she recovered from her laughing fit.   “We have a tea party n the evening and we'd love to introduce you to all our friends. But you have to wear your best dress. Do you have any?” asked Shakir helpfully.

“Oh dear, no, this green coat and a pair of green goggles are all I have,” Peapops replied.

“That’s fine by us,” squealed the kids in delight.

And so, that evening, Sylvia, Shakir and all their friends had a wonderful tea party. They fetched  a tiny basket for Peapod  to sit inside, and after tea, he narrated, once again, his strange story for all to hear. The four naughty peas Poky, Praxy, Penelope and Pinto, crept out from their hiding place behind the kitchen broom and  jumped into Peapop's basket.

As he narrated his tale about his times inside a pea pod, the naughty peas clapped and cheered him, as did all the children.  So, the next time you bump into a cute green worm inside a pea pod, do stop and care  for it, rather than flinging it into the waste bin. Even a little worm is  a creature of God and has its own fascinating story of its own to tell you all.

(Published 13 January 2011, 11:24 IST)

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