Bo the Bookworm
Once upon a time, there was a worm. A squishy, squiggly, wiggly, waggly garden worm named Bo. He and the rest of the Digger family lived under the slide on a school playground.
Bo came from a long line of Diggers, and Diggers loved to dig! His mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins – even his grandparents – were happiest when they were digging holes in the playground yard. But Bo, the littlest worm, wasn’t happy at all. He had a secret, a really BIG secret. Bo…hated digging! Bo thought digging was just about the most boring thing ever. Shovelful after shovelful, it was dusty, hard work. And the dirt always got up his little worm nose and made him sneeze. Aaachoo!
But Bo was a kindhearted worm, and didn’t want to hurt his family’s feelings, so he kept on digging day after day.
To pass the time and keep his mind off the awful digging, Bo would make up stories in his head and draw pictures in the dirt. Bo loved stories of adventure and courage. He wanted to be a pirate or an explorer or a king – pretty much anything other than a plain old Digger.
One morning, Bo wiggled under the teeter-totter to look for a digging spot, when he happened upon a big, blue bag with lots of shiny zippers. He remembered seeing some of the humans carry them around and call them “backpacks.” One of the kids must have forgotten it.
As Bo got closer, he saw that something hard, square and colorful had fallen out of the backpack. He crawled up on the object to get a better angle and was amazed by what he saw! It was a glorious picture of a swashbuckling pirate aboard the biggest, best pirate ship he’d ever seen! The picture was way better than anything Bo could draw in the dirt.
“This must be a book,” Bo thought to himself. He’d heard about them, but never seen one. It was wonderful!
Bo jumped off the cover, and heaved the book open to page one. From that very first “Once upon a time, across the seven seas” – Bo was hooked!
Bo spent the rest of the day reading and re-reading the pirate story. It got better every time! He read until it got dark and he couldn’t see the pages anymore. Then, with a big sigh, he squiggled home for dinner.
The next day, Bo waggled off earlier than usual and headed straight for the human school. He was on his very own book-finding adventure. He just knew there had to be more books in the school.
Bo wiggled over the blacktop, through a door, down a hall, across a couple tables, over a sign that said “Library” – and he came to a screeching halt. Before his eyes were rows and rows of more books than he ever thought possible. Bo was in book heaven!
Bo spent the whole day reading. He read about faraway places like Fiji and India. He read poems and fables and something called “haiku.” Bo even found a book on worms and discovered he had 10 little hearts inside his body!
Bo was having so much fun in the Library, he didn’t notice that the sky was getting dark outside. By the time he looked up from the books, it was pitch black and he knew he was very, very late.
He hurried back to his home under the slide, where he found his mom squiggling with anger.“Where have you been, Bo?” asked his mom. “I was worried sick!”
“I want to tell you, but I can’t,” said Bo with big tears filling his little worm eyes. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”
Bo’s mom put her tail around her littlest son and gave him a fierce squeeze.
“Whatever it is, you can tell me,” she said. “I’m your mom, after all. I will love you no matter what.”
So Bo told his mom everything – about the backpack, about the books, and about the fact that he hated digging (that one was really hard to do!).
When he was done, he looked up at his mom fearfully, afraid that she would be sad, or very mad. But his mom just smiled patiently and said, “All I ever wanted was for you to be happy, Bo. Just because the rest of our family loves to dig, doesn’t mean you have to. Every worm is unique and special. If you would rather read, then you should read. I’m just glad you have something in your life that you love as much as I love digging.” “But from now on, you better always tell the truth” she added seriously. “Or next time, you will be in trouble.”
Bo hugged his mom and went to bed with a smile that night. He felt good that he didn’t have a big secret any more. And he felt even better knowing he got to wake up the next morning and do what he really loved: reading.
From that day on, Bo dragged a new book out to the digging site every morning, and read to the rest of the Diggers while they worked. Soon, his whole family learned to love books and enjoy the tales that Bo would weave. Hearing Bo read made digging even more fun for the Diggers (which they didn’t think was possible!)
Over time, Bo became known as The Itty-Bitty Bookworm, a lover of books and a sharer of stories, famous among the worms as the most intelligent, imaginative storyteller the playground had ever seen.
But most importantly, he was happy.
Print this cute coloring sheet to accompany Bo’s Story!