The first day of school is an eventful,
yet crucial milestone in a young child’s life. This
story acknowledges and examines a young one’s anxiety
as he prepares to go to school for the first time. It also
could be used to elicit important values such as kindness
to one another and empathy towards others. Apart from this,
the early childhood educator or parent could use this story
to help a young child rationalise its fears and channelize
them into fruitful and meaningful endeavours.
Children can also be encouraged to participate
in the music and movement component of the story through the
little rhyme/song at the end. (a music file is attached along
with this story to facilitate the tune). This will help to
make the story and the messages through the story more relevant
to the child.
Squirmy, the 100-legged worm
“Oh, do stay still, Squirmy Wormy!”
sighed Mommy Cents. “It’s almost impossible to
get all your hundred shoes on when you squirm so!” Squirmy
wriggled and wailed, “Please let me stay home with you,
Mommy”. Two huge drops of tears ran all the way down
Squirmy Wormy’s spindly little legs and landed with
a big SPLOINK on the ground. “I don’t want to
go to school. I promise I’ll be good, Mommy.”
“Squirmy Wormy,” said Mommy Cents firmly, “Centipede
School is a must for all little centipedes.”“Just
like Twirmy and I” said Gwirmy, Squirmy’s sister.
“Bye, Gwirmy! Now don’t forget the trick I showed
you to subtract numbers from 100” said Mommy Cents as
she waved them goodbye. “I won’t, Mommy! We are
so lucky to have 100 legs to help us with sums, aren’t
we Mommy?” said Gwirmy as she kissed her mother goodbye.
“Mommmmyyyyyy! Twirmy told me about
Monsterwimy. He eats up little centipedes who don’t
share their lunches with him. I don’t want to be eaten
up!” “Owwwww! My leg hurts!” yelped Squirmy
and squirmed some more. “Squirmy darling, can you wiggle
the leg that hurts you just a little bit so that Mommy can
check it? Oh dear, I am quite sure I bought you just the number
of shoes that you needed. Why is this one still with me then?”
said Mommy Cents as she held up a little green shoe. “Hmm,
the only thing I can do now is count them all!
Oh my goodness!” exclaimed Mommy Cents in dismay, “whatever
has happened to your 100th leg?” Squirmy looked very
upset indeed. He was afraid that the other centipedes at school
would have a great laugh if they found out that he had only
Mommy Cents gathered Squirmy Wormy and
kissed him saying, “Oh, don’t worry, darling.
I will go with you now to school and explain to your teacher.
Come along now or we shall be late!” So, Squirmy Wormy
and Mommy Cents left their cosy little home under the big-leafed
plants and walked towards Centipede School. Suddenly, the
earth shook and Squirmy huddled up to Mommy Cents. “What’s
that, Mommy?” But before Mommy Cents could answer him,
little Squirmy was lifted high up into the air. He twisted
and wiggled around until he found himself looking straight
into a pair of big brown eyes. “HELP... Mommy!!”
Just then he heard a kind voice saying,
““Oh you poor dear! One of your little legs has
been squeezed into a shoe with another leg! That must be so
painful. Here, let me help you. Do stay still, little centipede.”
Squirmy stayed still as a little girl slowly eased the leg
that hurt him from the shoe. “There you go, little centipede.
I have to go now,” said the little girl as she skipped
away. “Was that the queen of Centipedes, Mommy?”
“Oh no, darling. That was a little girl who was on her
way to school too. Wasn’t it kind of her to help you?”
remarked Mommy Cents happily as she helped Squirmy into his
100th green shoe. “Yes,” said Squirmy thoughtfully,
“perhaps I will find someone I can help at school too.”
“That’s right, darling. It’s a good thing
to help someone in need and look after them,” said Mommy
Cents. “What can a little centipede like me do to help,
Mommy?” asked Squirmy. “Well, you could be a good
friend to the other little centipedes,” said Mommy Cents,
“or perhaps help your teacher in school.” “I
know! I know what I can do!” squealed a very excited
Squirmy, “I will look after all the little centipedes
who miss their mommies when they are at school! Squirmy wiggled
happily to school and sang his favourite song...
Said the hundred-legged
worm as it gave a little squirm
Have you seen that leg of mine?
If it can’t be found, then I’d have to hop around
On the other ninety-nine…
Hop around…hop around
Hop around on ninety-nine
Hop around…hop around
Hop around on ninety-nine.