There once was a worm. His name was Wormy. He was average in all respects except one; he lived in an apple, and all the other worms lived in the dirt. He would invite them over for parties — he always threw the best parties, with all the right worms — and everyone was impressed with his lifestyle.
“Can you imagine living like this?” he’d hear them say, “He does this every day! How did he get so lucky?”
“Live it up!” he’d tell them in passing, grabbing a chunk of apple off the wall. “Getting enough to eat?” he’d ask, ever the considerate host. “Drop by anytime! I always enjoy the company.” The worms would eat and eat, crawling home at dawn — or after — bellies full. He sure knew how to throw a party!
Slowly – so slowly that he never noticed – the apple began to age. First it wasn’t as sweet as it had been in it’s prime. Then it wasn’t as firm. Other worms came around less often, the compliments weren’t handed out as freely. They often talked behind his back: “Did you get a load of that mush he was handing out?” “What was that… Applesauce fungus? Ha Ha!” But Wormy never noticed. It tasted fine to him.
Eventually the apple fell from the tree, fully rotted. It landed in a pile of cow shit. Other bugs came by, but never his worm friends. He ate the rotted apple until it was all gone, never noticing how bad it made him feel.
By now he’d made a home in the cow shit; digging, tunneling, eating. All his friends were roaches, beetles and assorted shit-eaters. He threw another party, inviting all his worm friends.
When they came in they were surprised to see him in such bad shape. He was bloated — with bad color — and a smell over him they could hardly stand. And his friends! Riff-raff like they’d never seen. “Have a bite!!” he bellowed. “Just like old times! You poor suckers living in the dirt! How do you do it? You never drop by the apple anymore!”
They watched in horror as he grabbed handfuls of cow shit, stuffing it in his mouth; choking, gagging, retching. “This is the life!!” he cried, tears pouring down his face, snot running down his nose, unable to hold down the filth he was eating.
They watched — taking it all in — the smell, the shit-eaters, the condition of their friend. “You need to get it together” they told him. “This is no way to live; look at yourself! You’re a wreck!”
“You’re all just jealous!” he told them. “You wish you could eat apple all day long!” he told their backs as they left. “They’re just jealous.” he told the shit-eaters. They nodded in agreement, ever solicitous.
“Tha’s right! Tha’s right!” they nodded.
“They don’t know how good I’ve got it.” he told his new friends.
“There, there”, they patted him on the back, “There, there”.
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