JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT

One morning Sammy the Worm was enjoying the "wondo's of the sack." That was his daddy's phrase for anything wonderful" that had to do with lying around. Sleeping was a "wondo of the sack." So was reading in bed. And so was snuggling under a mapleleaf quilt when you didn't have to get up and could let the dreams drift in and out.

Today, however, Sammy's snuggly dreams were interrupted by the "tap-a-tap-tap" of something Up There. He tried scrinching down under his pillow to shut out the noise. Tap- a-tap-tap. He tried stopping up one ear with his tail and the other with his quilt. Tap-a-tap tap. "I might as well de-sack and see what's going on," sighed Sammy. So he slithered out of his dirt bed and up the tunnel to the garden.

When he popped his head out of the wormhole, he found his father studying a most curious contraption. Two longish sticks were tied together in a "T." At each end of the vertical stick, an acorn had been tied like a wheel, with one of Loring's hairbands stretched in between. At each end of the horizontal stick, a miniature pine cone had been banged into place with Mr. Sammy's pebblestone hammer.

"How do you like it?" asked his father proudly.

Sammy was sure he would have liked it just fine, if he'd only known what it was. He didn't want to hurt his father's feelings, however, so he said enthusiastically, "Great!"

"Good. I need you to help me ride it."

"It moves?!"

"Of course. That hairband is pulled around the acorns when we pedal the pine cones."

"Pedal the pine cones?!" Sammy asked, then added anxiously, "We?"

"With our tails. That stick across the top is the mouthelbar. Longies have hands, but we have to steer with our mouths."

"Steer with our mouths?!" Sammy exclaimed.

"What else?

Sammy could think of a lot more "else." Pushing a pine cone with his tail, while holding a stick in his mouth, did not sound like his idea of a good time. Considering this contraption was also expected to move while he was stretched out like a tightrope didn't make it feel like a better time, either.

"Daddy, what is this thing?" he stalled.

"Thingamabob," said his daddy. "It's a bicycle built for two. I got the idea from watching Loring and Clara."

Loring and Clara did indeed have some wonderful times riding about town on an old bicycle built for two. Loring steered from the front and Clara issued orders from the back. It looked like great fun, and was another reason Sammy sometimes envied Longies their arms and legs. But without arms and legs, how was a worm supposed to ride a bike?!