Tell the story of one of the following:
a. The zoophyte and the Corallina seaweed in the naturalist’s office in “Knowledge not the Limit of Belief”;
b. The travellers and the will-o’-the-wisp in the “The Light of Truth”; or
c. The Autumn storm and the moon in “A Lesson of Hope”.
She chose a.
(with apologies to Mrs Gatty!)
There was a book and in this book there were many pages. On two particular pages there were two companions. Now there was a bookworm around, who had just finished gnawing his way through a leather book – a book with many pages. Now the book worm liked leather, and he gnawed his way through it, enjoying every mouthful. Out suddenly came a piece of seaweed and a fossil.
“Good evening!” said one. “Shall we have a little talk?”
“Oh yes,” said the other. “I do enjoy a little chat.”
“It has been very long since we have last seen each other. The last time I think we saw each other was at the beach – in Wales.”
“Yes, yes, I quite agree,” said the seaweed. “What have you been doing in this book? Talking to a knight, perhaps? Or inventing new things – or perhaps just talking to yourself.”
“Well, if you think I have been talking to myself, you are continuously wrong.
“Ah, excuse me,” came a voice, “Hi, I’m a bookworm. I was the actual one who freed you.”
“Well, I have just realised that you two both have no eyes.”
“Well, of course we don’t, because we once lived in the sea.”
Then there was a tip, tap, tip, tap, clank and a click.
“Quick everyone, pretend you’ve fallen out of your book. Quick now.”
Pitter, pat, pitter, pat.
“Ah,” said a man. “Now you will see whether seaweed is a vegetable or whether it is a animal.”
He put a bowl of water on a little bench and he put a cup in it. He poured a little milk in the bowl, and on the cup he put a pinch of salt and some water, and then he cut a little bit of the seaweed off and dropped it into the cup.
“Now, watch.” He added a little bit of hot water to the seaweed.
“Ah, it did not move – it is a vegetable.”
As soon as the men left, the bookworm said, “Ah, didn’t I tell you? You are indeed a vegetable and one day you shall be eaten.”
“Who says? What if I am kept in a book like I have been”
“Pooh,” said the bookworm. “Course you are not going to be staying in there forever. The scientist you just saw would want to get rid of you and put new things in that book.”
“Not true, not true,” said both of them together. “Of course that is not true. He loves me and he loves the fossil. He will never get rid of us and he will definitely not eat me."
"We’ll see about that!”
And then there was a pit pat pit pat, and the door opened again.
“Oh no, quick, drop on your belly again. He did not notice us last time.”
“See,” said the man, “I told you he would be a vegetable. Now one day we will eat some sushi, but never him.”
And with that he left the room and locked the door and they heard him going pitter pat pitter pat at the same time as talking.
Then he came in again. He had a special book and at the back of it there was a special drawer where he put the fossil and the piece of seaweed and he put wool around it and a piece of string to hold it together. And seeing as the bookworm hated wool and disliked the smell of it, he never saw his two companions again, and they are still in that book with leather around them to this very day.