by Tom LaBaff
Image: There is a boy named Phil fishing on a dock next to a boy standing on stilts.
Stilts says, “Darn, we're out of worms. It's your turn, Phil.”
Image: Fishing boy shakes his head.
Phil says, “Stilts, there's no way I'm going in that disgusting, smelly mud! It's full of larvae, leeches, and other slimy stuff.”
Stilts says, “I'll give you a gummy worm for each real worm.”
Image: Phil gets up and jumps into mud puddle.
Phil says, “OK, OK. You don't have to beg.”
Phil says, “I'm doing this for gummies. I'm doing this for gummies.”
Image: Puddle moves up to reveal a sad face, and speaks.
Mud says, “I have such a bad reputation.”
Phil says, “Who are you??”
Mud says, “I'm mud. The one you called disgusting. Don't worry, I'm used to it. Mudslinger. Cheap as dirt. Old as dirt.”
- microorganism: An organism so tiny that it can be seen only with a microscope.
- reputation: The quality of someone as judged by others.
- What kinds of things can you find in mud?
[anno: You can find beetles, microorganisms, and earthworms. Students may also list soil and water.]
- Why does Phil say to Mud, “Without you there'd be no apple trees or watermelons or mud baths for movie stars!” What does Phil mean? Explain your answer in a sentence or two.
[anno: Phil says this because mud contains many nutrients that help plants grow. Also, people use mud for skin treatments.]