Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Old Man and the Earthworm

An old man was walking on campus as the students scrambled from building to building during their first reading day. It was raining outside and the old man was stooped over. He picked up a slimy worm from off the sidewalk and through it onto the grass next to the Tree of Life statue. He stooped over again, found another worm, picked it up, and chucked it into the grass.

A young cynical philosophy student running to his car after attending his final review noticed the old man and stopped.

"Hey, what do you think you are doing?" the educated but hardened student asked.

"Just saving the earthworms," the old man replied.

"Hah! You'll never save them all. Look at them! There are too many. You'll never make a difference. It doesn't matter!" The student's remarks dripped with pessimism.

The old man straightened up, looked the student in the eye, and then threw another earthworm onto the grass. "It mattered to that one," he said in a hushed voice.

At that very moment, an engineering student was 4 minutes late to his review session. He cut across the grass adjacent to the old man and the cynical philosophy student. The very grass, incidentally, that had evolved and developed a higher form of intelligence that included communicative powers and the ability to make small lawn signs that conveyed their desire to grow undisturbed by the inconsiderate students of BYU. Just as the old man stooped down to pick up another worm, the engineering student's footfall dealt a crushing blow to the old man's most recent assertion. The student's foot planted down on the most recently thrown earthworm, inflicting a mortal wound. It did not, in fact, matter to that one, at least not in any positive way.

"Hah!" the cynical student said again as the rain picked up and he continued to run towards his car. The old man shook his head, stooped down to pick up another worm, and resolved to stay outside a few more hours rescuing earthworms.

As the philosophy student studied that night, he was unable to make out crucial portions of his rain soaked review notes. Two days later he would fail his philosophy final and flunk out of school, the old man would die of pneumonia, and the engineering student would be just as oblivious as he was two days ago that he had any part to play in the death of an old man and an earthworm.


Tyler said...

haha...very nice. ps. the earthworms outside make the sidewalks look like a battlefield--a slimy, dead battlefield.

Keith said...


Sarah said...

Moral of the story: don't walk on the grass.

Cherise said...

Gabe where do you come up with this stuff? Sorry it took so long to comment back. No, as you probably already know, I am not returning to Platinum. Don't get me wrong, last summer was a blast, but I had a rough time leaving Mack. He was always sick, or without a sitter, so I am actually relieved that I didn't get asked to work there again. Chad just finished with school and I am busy with clogging, as usual. Anyway, thanks for the laugh! I needed it.