Once upon a time there was an earthworm named Squirt who was no bigger than the width of your wrist. Squirt lived in the rich soils of southern Alberta on Mr. Chuckleberry’s potato farm. This is the story of Squirt’s first day of kindergarten. When the day arrived Squirt was very nervous and almost forgot to eat breakfast! But then his mother called him over to the table and said, “Oh Squirt, I can understand why you are nervous. But before you leave and rush to school, remember to find the school, go above ground, feel for the patch of grass, and then go straight down for three meters. If you hear a bird don’t hesitate, squirm as fast as you can underneath the soil. If a bird tries to pick you up, use your bristles to hold tight to the wall of the earth. That is very, very important.”
Squirt was very scared. He had never left his burrow without his mother before, and now not only did he have to leave, he had to go above ground alone! Squirt only ever went above ground when it was raining. There were so many predators above ground! Squirt gulped, but he knew that if he were to get a good education he had to go to school. So, Squirt headed up towards the surface of the soil. When he poked his head out, he could feel the damp air. He wandered around feeling for some grass - the indication of the school’s burrow. Then suddenly, he heard a distinct, “Caw! Caw!” he knew instantly that this was the call of a crow; a big, black bird that eats worms. Now Squirt panicked but remembered what his mother said, so he squirmed very quickly back into the ground. ‘Phew!’ Squirt thought, ‘That was a close one!’
Squirt continued to amble about the potato field feeling for the patch of grass. Suddenly, Squirt felt a ‘Plop, Plop, Plop!’ He got excited! It was raining! This meant that all of the earthworms under the field would come out of their burrows to absorb the thick moisture of the atmosphere. Squirt quickly found another worm and asked, “Good day, Do you know where kindergarten is?” the other worm replied, “Why no I don’t, but I am supposed to be going there today too! Hi, my name is Franklin, what’s your name?” Squirt was overwhelmed with happiness, “My name is Squirt, and how about you and I find school together?” Franklin then said, “Let’s go!” So Franklin and Squirt head off to school together.
Squirt and Frank continued above ground, always cautious of robins, gulls, etc. looking for kindergarten. Although they were both very nervous for school, they were so happy that they had become friends! The rain was stopping and Squirt noticed something up ahead. It was big and tall and it was moving quickly. Both Frank and Squirt got nervous. But, before they could move the big, tall and fast creature was right above them. Squirt new the creature looked familiar, yes! It was a human, he had seen them walking around the grass when he had come out during the rain.
Before Squirt and Frank could turn and go the other way, the human spoke in a nice, yet booming voice. “Hello little worms, how are you?” said the human. Squirt and Frank decided they would speak with the human and make a new friend. Squirt said to the farmer, “Frank and I are trying to find our kindergarten class – it’s our first day – but we’re lost, can you help us?” The farmer wasn’t too sure where the kindergarten class was, but he knew where all of the worms lived and he promised he’d help them find it. But, the farmer did ask for a favour, he said “Squirt, you and Frank are great friends and I could really use your help. I’m trying to grow these beautiful pink roses for my wife, but my soil is very dry and does not have many nutrients”. Frank then said, “how can we help?!” the farmer smiled and explained that earthworms, like Squirt and Frank can improve soil structure, mix and till the soil, aid in humus formation and increase the availability of plant nutrients. Joey the farmer said, “It takes 500 to 1000 years to create an inch of topsoil!”, “Wow! What a long time”, said Squirt. Joey then said, “But, with you two, that time can be made into five years!” So, Squirt and Frank made a small little home for themselves in the farmers rose patch, a place where they could go and visit the farmer and help him out at the same time! In return, Joey carried Frank and Squirt off to find kindergarten class – they didn’t want to be late on their first day.
Finally, after looking around for quite some time, Joey spotted their kindergarten class and sent Frank and Squirt off on their first day. They thanked Joey and said goodbye, promising to come by his flower patch after class! Squirt and Frank made tons of new friends in class and loved their first day! And as promised, right after school they went to go visit the farmer and had a great time! When Squirt returned home at night he told his mom all about his day and that he couldn’t wait to go to school tomorrow.