SAMMY STORIES

This series of stories for children aged 6-11 is based on the adventures of two earthworms, Sammy and Mr. Sammy, and the two girls, Loring (8) and Clara (6), who love them.

The adventures are fantastical and funny. The writing contains wacky wordplay, rhyme, and the confusions of humans learning about a worm's world - and vice-versa. Besides the anthropomorphic worms, we also meet a bumptious bluebird and some very skeptical neighbors. Future stories feature an opera-singing centipede and a ticklish platypus.


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The stories are based on some 100 hours of spontaneous storytelling captured on tape, so there exists more source material for future stories. They have been read and honed in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes at Swarthmore-Rutledge School in Swarthmore, PA, some of whose students provided the drawings that accompany these drafts:

SHOOT THE CHUTE
In the opening story, Loring and Clara meet Sammy the Worm and learn they can talk to each other. The girls are very sad about the recent divorce of their parents. Sammy finds a way to make them laugh again, by showing them the assortment of dives he has improvised from the birdbath in the flower garden. We also meet Sammy's father, whose southern expressions are often confusing, and sometimes amusing. Word Count: 2190

BELLIFLIES
Clara accidentally slings Sammy's father over the garage, but luckily his cousin, a bluebird, rescues him from harm. They then proceed to put on a show: Mr. Sammy and Cudn' Cate recreating some of the acts from their "Wormville" days, Sammy playing his blazoo, and Clara dancing in her pink tutu. Loring is afraid to perform in public - "be!liflies," Mr. Sammy calls it - until Mr. Sammy gets stuck in rhyme and Loring must come to the rescue. Word Count: 2617

JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT
Mr. Sammy builds a bicycle, but when he and his son try to pedal it, they end up crashing into a gargoyle and flying through the air to land in neighbor Kathy's cup of iced coffee. Kathy is disgusted by worms in her coffee. Mr. Sammy, jazzed by so much caffeine in his system, suddenly springs at Kathy, who knocks him silly. Loring, to avoid the suspicions of Kathy's daughter, Taylor, has to fling Sammy over the garage like a stick. When all is sorted out, the four friends discover a way to ride a bicycle built for four--just for the heck of it. Word Count: 2685