The Book “Werm”

Welcome Guest writer Jonah Lange. Jonah is a graduate student at Northern Iowa University studying School Counseling. In he spare time he likes to run, read, and write clever short stories like the one below. Enjoy.

I. Didn’t. Like it.
We had to do a book report. Usually, I really liked book reports. I love reading. This time; however, the book we read was assigned to us. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded that either had I not been assigned such a boring looking book. Other people got fun fiction books, and some even got to read comic books. Me? I was assigned Werm, a historical book about a poor European man. The teacher said that the book would challenge me, but that he thought I was ready for it. We’ll see, I guess.
It started off slow. A bunch of numbers and dates of when Werm (whose given name was actually Will Bunt) and his siblings were born and how his parents both died when he was quite young, and he had to support his family so that he and his siblings would survive. I looked up at the clock. I’d been reading this for 2 hours and I was only 20 pages in. It was such a drag. I didn’t know how I’d ever finish it. I decided to call it a night and try to pick up reading it tomorrow.

Tomorrow came and, though I may have actively avoided it for most of my day, I eventually brought myself back to trying to read Werm. As I’d said, it didn’t seem much unlike any other dystopian historical book that I’d ever heard of before. Except, it seemed almost like it was getting interesting. Werm was working at a farm, but being younger, he wasn’t able to do as much. Due to laws, the owner was obligated to pay Werm a fair rate, but he didn’t think Werm was even worth the small amount he was paying him. Werm could tell that his job and thus the lives of he and his siblings were at stake. He had to figure out something to protect his siblings. At this point, I kind of started to like Werm. He was hard-working, but also selfless. When I looked up at the clock, 2 hours had gone by, and I’d read almost 50 pages!

The next day, I got up and went straight to reading. Werm had come up with a plan. He knew he could work hard; he just needed a way to for the hard work he put in to show some real results. His main job at the farm had always been to care for the plants. In his case, that mostly meant pulling up weeds. For him, however, some of the weeds were harder to pull up because of how deep the roots went. So, he decided to help himself out. He went out with a shovel to the beginning of the first row. He started digging a hole. It took a while, but eventually, he dug a hole deep enough to stand in. Then, from down in the hole he started to dig sideways under the row of plants. He knew he couldn’t dig too shallow underneath the plants or they might die. He had to be extremely careful. Also, since the man he worked for didn’t know what he was doing, he also had to be sneaky. Thus, He had to fill in the dirt as he dug, so that no one knew he was tunneling under the crops. I’ll admit that I was nervous. If he did it wrong, the crops would die and likely so would he and his family. As he dug, he started to not only successfully get rid of weeds, but he also found rocks, most of which he removed to help the plants’ roots grow better.
Eventually he found one rock that was different. It was gold! He didn’t know what to do. He had found it on his owner’s property, so he felt it belonged to him, but he’d also have to explain how he found it. He knew that he’d be in more trouble for not showing it to the owner, so he brought it in.
Edge. Of. My. Seat. What would happen? Would the owner fire him for tunneling? Would he let him keep the gold? Unfortunately, it was getting late, so I had to stop reading. I’d read over 100 pages that day.

I got up early the next day to finish the book. When Werm showed the gold to the owner, the owner was surprised. Naturally, the owner’s questions lead Werm to telling about the tunnels. After hearing everything, the owner was amazed. Not only in Werm’s hard-working attitude, but also in his cleverness and integrity. First, he thanked Werm for bringing in the gold, but said it was his to keep. Second, he told Werm how the crops in the rows he’d been tunneling in had been doing even better than the others and he wanted to raise Werm’s pay. Third, he wanted to help Werm provide for his siblings. He offered to pay for their house so that more of Werm’s money could go to buying food for he and his siblings.It was such a good book. It had indeed been a challenge, but one that I pushed through and ultimately loved at the end.
Now to write the report. I knew it wouldn’t take long. I already knew everything I would say.
All I needed now was a good title.

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