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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: Woodtick 2006
By Marilee Alvey


“Beetles, Cockroaches, Weavils, Nematodes and everything else that crawls under Big Man’s sun, welcome to Woodtick 2006, where we celebrate our Work Ethic, Praise Big Man! I, Busy Feelers, will be your emcee today. Many of you have come from far away. How ‘bout a hand for Bolshoi Beetle? Bolshoi, how you ever managed to stow away on Aeroflot is beyond me! At your size, they should have charged you for a seat! No, seriously, turn to your neighbor and extend an antenna or leg in friendship! Spiders will be expected to welcome eight! Kidding! Whether you crawled or flew, please join me in a prayer to Big Man.”

“Big Man, it was you who created us, you who gave us the ability to work and earn our daily crumbs. Although often we groan at our inability to reach you, we feel your presence every day in the sun upon our backs, the cooling rain, and every morsel you provide from Man’s table. We clean their waste and they furnish us with daily food. We are honored, Big Man, to live in your universe. Please help us forgive the thoughtless steps of Man. Please recharge us today. I ask this in the name of your son, Carpenter, whose deeds have been passed to us from our ancestors of old. Amen.”

“Now, first to come up and speak is a great Carpenter ant, the species named for the Master Carpenter. He really needs no introduction. His work ethic is beyond reproach. His name has even made it onto the lips of Man. So, without further ado, I give you our well respected, industrious ant representative, all the way from Driftwood Road, please welcome To Do.”

“Bugs and Bugesses, it’s true that Man mentions my name, but usually with distain. ‘Oh, I have so much to do,’ they whine, or ‘don’t cause such a ‘to do’ about it.’ Man is lazy. I don’t have to tell you all that our survival depends on him, and visa versa, if I may be so bold. Without Man, who would plant the crops, harvest them, then drop crumbs from his table and throw the excess outside for us? Without us, where would man be? He throws things away with such reckless abandon. From the dung beetles of old to the ants of today, we clean up Man’s waste. Big Man was wise in creating us both to depend on each other. Now, I know a case could be made to say that the mosquito and the fly aren’t holding up their ends, unlike the firefly, I might mention! But without flies, how would Man find the stink and clean it up before it became a health risk? And the mosquito? Sorry, fellows, but we haven’t figured that out yet!”

“More and more now, man sits, idle, in front of computers all day. The more he is idle, the more time he has to think up trouble! Friends, can you imagine me loafing the day away? Why, what would I do? Sidle down the sidewalk? Meander in the grass? Is that what I was meant for? Why, sounds more like my uncle Red Foot, who, as a few here will remember, had a tragic accident when an entire fork of potato salad dropped on his head. He was never the same again. No, the day's made for working.”

“Somehow we have to encourage Man to focus, to pick up the plow and commence to work, as Big Man intended. Who is it that spreads this love of idleness to Man? Idleness is the Big Infestator’s Playground. What does he want for us? Death! How? He will draw Man to idleness! ‘You don’t need to do that now…’ ‘Let someone else do it.’ What can we do, small as we are? Remember, nothing is impossible with Big Man. We’ll strike. Refuse to clean up after Man. Then he will see his great waste, his great surplus, and he’ll have to work to clean it up! Bugs, are you with me? Thank you and Big Man bless you all!”

“Thanks for your wise words, To Do. Now, everyone, please go to the big rock at our break to receive your assignments of alternate work to be done. We don’t want to fall into the trap of idleness!”

{Suddenly, a giant crane rolls ominously close and begins to dig.}

“Big Man in his wisdom has already answered our prayers! All glory and honor go to Big Man!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/03/06
This is VERY clever - and from such a fun perspective! I'll bet you really enjoyed writing this one! Great message to boot! Thanks for blessing us with this piece!
Angela Logsdon08/03/06
I enjoyed reading this very fun piece. So creative!
Corinne Smelker 08/04/06
Very clever - the title grabbed me, and you kept me interested throughout the piece.

Lynda Schultz 08/04/06
Boy, am I glad I didn't step on those snails yesterday! Fascinating tale.
william price08/04/06
"please help us to forgive the thoughtless steps of men". I loved that line. Very creative entry. Good job.
God Bless
Jen Davis08/07/06
A fun and creative piece of writing. Good job!
Tracey Jackson08/08/06
What an imagination! Lovely piece of writing with a good message.