Something Better

One day a man come home to his family with an unusual can, which he placed in the living room. There was much anticipation and curiosity about what was inside the can, but shortly the father took the lid off.

To the fascination of his wife and children, they found it almost full of worms, teeming with activity. This was to be a source of entertainment and education for the whole family, and it was met with immediate approval. Father made it clear that it would be hard to keep the worms in the can, but everyone agreed to do their part.

Sure enough within minutes a worm tried to crawl out of the can. This happened repeatedly and quite frequently.

Mother was especially determined about guarding the can for sanitary reasons, but sometimes it was messy business because the worms were so determined to get out.

As days and weeks went by the can of worms became a permanent fixture in the living room and they even rearranged the furniture around the can so everyone could have a clear view of it. Occasionally additional worms were brought home to add to the can.

Of course Father was gone taking care of business much of the time and mother had her household duties, so sometimes the children were left alone with the open can of worms.  The children were not as vigilant as mother about keeping the worms in the can and sometimes they would leave the can completely unguarded with the lid off, so you can imagine how the worms escaped.

When they got out of the can the worms would go to dark, secluded areas of the house where they could not be seen. They left an odor, especially as they began to multiply.

Yet the family became accustomed to the smell and many of their neighbors who visited had worm cans also, so they didn't notice either. But preoccupation with the worm cans seemed to take precedence over the neighbor's visits anyway. If neighbors did notice the smell they were usually too embarrassed to mention it, especially since the family seemed so attached to the worm can.

From time to time Mother would fuss about the mess caused by the worms, and eventually she and Father began to regret their decision to bring the can of worms home in the first place.

They had become so dependent on the worms that they couldn't imagine life any other way. Eventually the children got their own cans for their bedrooms and they were a great comfort to them as they went to sleep at night. Sometimes they fell asleep with the cans open and the worms pretty much had free reign in the house.

Finally Mother and Father woke up one day and realized what was happening. They knew it would be a drastic step to get rid of the worms because there was such an emptiness in their lives and the lives of their children which the worm cans had been filling temporarily.

The biggest challenge for Mother and Father lies ahead of them. Will they have the courage to seek for something better than a can of worms? Only time will tell!