One day, deep in the Dimly Lit Forest, two friends were walking along a narrow, beaten path. These friends were the most unlikely pair, for one was a worm and one was a lizard.

"Lizard," said Worm to his friend. "Do we have any food left?"

"No Worm," said Lizard sadly. "We ate the last of it yesterday. There is no more unless we find some nearby."

"So sad," murmured Worm as he slithered down the path, his face contorted with the anguish of hunger. "I am truly hungry, Lizard. Where can we find food?"

Lizard only shook his head sadly, for he was the older and wiser of the two. "We are in a forest. We can find food, but we must know where to look."

"Where then?"

"Well, as I am a lizard, I eat insects. Bees and wasps and flies and spiders are my dinner." Saying this, Lizard cast his eyes about all morning but could neither see nor hear any sign of insects.

"Strange," said Worm. "I cannot find anything for you."

"Nor I," sighed Lizard. "I must go hungry for now."

Worm jumped up. "But there are animals in a forest, yes? I eat animals. Surely we will find one."

So the two set about looking for animals but after an afternoon of searching, could find none.

"Strange," said Lizard. "I cannot find anything for you."

"Nor I," sighed Worm. "It seems we both must go hungry for now, though I am mightily starved."

"Do not feel too bad, friend. I will starve beside you until we both can eat."

"You are a true friend, Lizard."

"As are your, Worm."

So the pair continued their travelling through the forest for another day. Another day with no food. Toward the end of the second day the path skirted along a steep drop into a ravine. Both friends paused to peer over the edge in fear.

"A long drop," said Lizard.

"Very long indeed."

"Whatever poor soul fell from here to the bottom would surely not survive."


"Yes, Worm?"

"Seeing this cliff has made me think."


"Do you see the bottom?"

"Of course."

"Get closer and I think you will see what I am seeing."

"What is it you see, friend?" asked Lizard, edging as close to the edge as he dared.

Worm moved behind his friend and said in a starvation-fed voice: "Food!"

With that, Worm heaved with all his strength, sending his friend toppling over the edge of the cliff and down to the hard, rocky floor.

Lizard was too stunned to call out.

Sadly, Worm watched his friend fall and then stop. After a minute he began to make his way slowly down to the base of the ravine, his mood changing on the way down from despair and horror to glee and anticipation as he neared his food.

Soon he stood directly above the corpse. "Today," he said triumphantly, "I will feat like a king!"

He had opened his salivating mouth and poised above his food when the body suddenly began moving!

Drawing back in horror he thought, "Perhaps my dear friend is no dead after all!"

He watched in mounting fear as the body began to wiggle and writhe in a nauseating way until a small tear opened in the flesh.

Sickened but curious, Worm peered closer at the wound and reeled back by what he saw.

A pair of tiny eyes.

The wound opened wider and more of the eyes appeared until the gash had become so large that worm could clearly see the insides of his friend and would-be meal. Inside were a dozen little lizards, each a tiny replica of Lizard.

"You have freed us, friend Worm," said one of the lizards. "Our mother had been holding us back for days but thanks to your treachery we are born." The little lizards surrounded the frightened worm and said together: "We are hungry."

As one the pack leapt at Worm, salivating mouths wide and biting down with little teeth on all segments of Worm's body until every tiny lizard had had his fill nad Worm was completely devoured.