Jeanne Wilson is deceased

By D. Jeanne Wilson. Award Winning Calhoun Writer 2003

I will share the truth about how the fishing worm got it's tail.

Do you know that the fishing worm used to be all head from one end to the other? At that time there were two tribes called the Democrats and the Republicans who hated each other with a hatred cold as hail. The earth was like a family with two spoiled children, each demanding it's own way, each trying to prove its superiority. And therein lies our tale of tail.

The Democrats, looking for a way to prove they were best, noticed that while each fox and bear had a tail the poor worm had no tail. Indeed it came to them, after much study, that in their meadows and forests the only animal without a tail was the worm.

Quickly they brought this problem to the people, and promised a solution. Soon, all over this great land, men, women, and children wrung their hands before television sets as they waited for news concerning the tragedy of tail-less worms.

Seeking an answer, politicians labored long hours on the golf course until, finally, the light of genus broke! They were amazed at their own wisdom. The thing to do and do promptly was to hold a study. This would entail an exorbitant cost but, understanding the seriousness of the situation, money was a minor consideration. Great minds gathered and a solution emerged.

They need only legislate that future worms would have a one inch tail, and implement a tail tax. "How will we decide which end of the tail is the head?" A golfer asked. He was warming up for a drive and not thinking clearly. "The end nearest the center, of course," a more astute player answered. "Always the center." They strolled happily down the fare way.

Now you might assume that the problem was solved. That "God was in his heaven and all was right with the world". But alas! Do not forget that other tribe. Republicans had been watching, with alarm, the growing popularity of the Democrats. People had become inflamed at the injustice of the poor little worm crawling about without a tail. They felt grateful to Democrats for caring about the little people (and worms). Indeed, they believed the Democrats to be the true "equal opportunity tribe".

Republicans wrung their hands. They convened old and new committees. A tribe leader, watching the Buffalo Bills play the Dallas Cowboys, noticed that the crowd responded to cheers. Speech writers were ordered to put all else aside and write a cheer for Republicans. This they did, brilliantly. "Tax and spend, tax and spend. Left to the Democrats the world would end".

The people became confused. From the goodness of their hearts they longed for the worms to have tails and yet,-yet? What if the world would end? Was a tail tax a mistake? The hills were alive with the sound of debating. "Without a tail tax there is no hope for the underprivileged worm," stormed the Democrats. "Indeed, it is the Democrats who identify with the poor worms; the Democrats who are worms at heart."

They all saluted the flag and began to sing, "God Bless America." Republicans, in desperation, start a rousing chorus of "The Star Spangled Banner." Before the dawns early light, and with hot air bursting like bombs, they pledged support to God, home, family, and tail-less worms. "We decree," they said speaking in capital letters, "that the worm will have, not a ONE INCH tail but a tail of SIX INCHES."

Now it was not only the people who were confused but the fishing worms as well. They didn't know which end was up. They flipped and flipped to see whether they were heads or tails, then crawled deep, deep, into the earth. Not, as some might believe, out of fear of the angler's hook. No! They wisely decided that while they still had a bit of head to think with, they had better use it to hide from the two tribes, the Republicans and the Democrats.

Jeanne Wilson is now deceased.