The lonely, pale apple hung from the tree as all the children reached for its brighter, more appetizing counterparts. Sharlene, a girl of eight years old, looked up at the tree, stretching her small head as far back as it would go, and decided she would be the one to get the apple at the very top. She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and scrambled to start her ascent.
As the lone apple longingly watched her climb past, it felt a tickle in its skin. A worm was coming to visit! The apple did not mind the worm’s invasive presence, as it so deeply longed for company. Perhaps the worm would stay the night in the burrow it had created. Nights were so much warmer with a friend.
Sharlene had reached a point where she could not climb any further. But she couldn’t stop; she had to climb higher than the boys! She had to reach the top. She stretched out a small arm, trying with all her might to reach the next branch. Leaning out over nothingness, she could almost touch the bark of the tree, when suddenly the teacher yelled “Sharlene! Get down from there!”
Startled, the small girl toppled down, bringing branches and apples and pieces of leaves and bird nests with her. The teacher ran to her. “Sharlene! Are you ok? Why were you climbing that high?”
All Sharlene could do was bawl and scream. She wasn’t sure if she was even hurt, but she knew she wasn’t happy. The ground was hard and she had missed her chance to climb higher than the boys. She hadn’t even gotten the shiny apple at the top.
Listening to the young girl’s hysterics, and determining that there was no permanent damage, the teacher sought to soothe her. She looked around. “Look Sharlene! Here’s a nice apple for you! It’s a little pale, but that just means that it’s sweeter!”
Sharlene grabbed the apple with joy, and hugged it to her chest. Tears forgotten, she brought the apple to her mouth and took and huge bite.
The apple was happy to be of service to the hungry human child, but it did wish that she hadn’t taken half of his new-found friend, the worm.