Characters: Woggle Worm, Wiggle Worm, Dandelion, Cicada, Mole
Woggle Worm Is that you, Wiggle?
Wiggle Worm Hi, Woggle! It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. What have you been up to?
Woggle You mean down to. I’ve just been enjoying the dirt. And now that we’ve gotten some rain, it’s so easy to get around!
Wiggle And easy to breathe. When you breathe through your skin, the way we worms do, you need to stay damp.
Woggle That’s right. We need air and water. Those are two ingredients of soil, but I thought there were four. Do you remember the other two?
Wiggle Um, no… but I remember I’m hungry! I’m going to eat some dirt. It’s so good with all those gritty bits of rocks in it…
Woggle Rocks! That’s the third ingredient of soil! Wiggle, how could we forget that soil is made of rocks worn down into tiny bits?
Wiggle Oh, yeah, bits of rock – the mineral part of soil. That’s number three.
Woggle There’s just one more. Let’s see…air, water, minerals…air, water, minerals… Oh, I give up. It’s hard to remember anything with a worm brain! Let’s go eat. I’m so hungry I could eat my weight in dirt right now!
Wiggle You must be hungry, because that’s how much we usually eat in three days!
Woggle Maybe my eyes are a little bigger than my stomach, er, I mean my gizzard.
Wiggle Woggle – we don’t have any eyes. Remember?
Woggle Oh, yeah, I forgot… But we can sense light with our skin.
Wiggle…and it’s getting light out, so we’d better eat our way underground. Bye, Woggle.
Woggle Bye, Wiggle. (both exit, Woggle re-enters) How nice to be in the dirt with a gizzard full of worm food.
Dandelion It’s just dandy here for me, too.
Woggle A talking root? Is that you, Dandelion?
Dandelion Why yes, it’s me, and I’m not lion!
Woggle You plants look so different underground.
Dandelion Of course! Our leaves grow above ground where they can catch the sun, but our roots are down here so they can get water and minerals from the soil.
Woggle Through your roots? We worms get water and minerals by eating the soil.
Dandelion Good thing, too! Your tunnels make spaces for air and water in the dirt.
Woggle Air, water, minerals…
Dandelion And they make it easier for roots to grow. Hey, you don’t eat roots, do you?
Woggle Nope! At least, not while they’re living. We like dead roots and leaves.
Dandelion Then you’re a decomposer.
Woggle A de-composer? I composed a song once…is that what you mean?
Dandelion (chuckles) Not quite! Compose means putting something together. Decompose means breaking things apart – like when you grind up dead leaves in your gizzard.
Woggle We worms do a lot of that. If we didn’t, all the dead things would just pile up. Luckily, we have lots of help decomposing – from millipedes, bacteria, fungi…
Dandelion That’s right! All you decomposers break stuff down into little bits. It’s important work. I’d better get to work too, storing food in my roots for next year. Bye, Woggle. (exits)
Woggle Bye, Dandy. Oh wait! I forgot to ask about the fourth ingredient of soil. (rustling noise) Uh oh, something’s coming! Might be a worm-eater!
Wiggle PSSST! Woggle!
Woggle Phew! It’s just you, Wiggle!
Wiggle Yes, but I think there is a predator coming. Could be a mole! Let’s get out of here!
Woggle Just let me eat up this dead leaf.
Wiggle Woggle! Get a wiggle on! Leave that old leaf, or you’ll never eat another! Let’s go! (exits, cicada enters)
Woggle Uh-oh! Too late!
Cicada I’m n-nobody – nobody you want to eat!
Woggle Huh! You don’t seem like a predator. Do you eat worms – or dead leaves?
Cicada No, I don’t eat animals, or dead things either – yuck. I’m a plant-eater. I drink sap from the roots of trees. Mm-mm, root beer!
Woggle Are you a kind of an insect?
Cicada Sure! I’m a young cicada. Someday I’ll have wings, and I’ll sing from the treetops.
Woggle If you don’t get eaten by a mole!
Cicada Oh dear, is there a mole?
Woggle Shh! Something’s coming! Quick, follow me! (both exit)
Mole (enters, singing or chanting)
Oh, worms for breakfast! Worms for lunch!
They’re slimy and gritty and not very pretty
Yet how we moles love them
To munch and to crunch!
Must tunnel down for some tasty little animals to eat! (exits, re-enters) Mm-mm, slimy snail eggs, crunchy millipedes, chubby grubs –delicious! Now for a squishy worm! Perhaps a little farther down…(exits; worms reappear)
Woggle The mole! That was scary!
Wiggle We came close to being guaca-mole-y!
Woggle Well, we’re safe for now. You know, Wiggle, our soil is home to plant-eaters, meat-eaters, and decomposers like us. And everyone’s looking for something to eat! Hey, it’s time for our lunch! Let’s tunnel up and find a dead leaf.
Wiggle That’ll be easy – this soil has plenty of spaces for air and water and worm travel.
Woggle And gritty minerals to help us digest, and lots of dead leaves and plant parts to eat.
Wiggle That’s it! The fourth ingredient of soil! Woggle, you’re a genius!
Woggle You mean the dead leaves and stuff that falls on the ground? The organic matter? That’s the part we like to eat!
Wiggle Yeah! It’s the part that helps hold water and feed the plants and the tiny creatures in soil. How could we forget?
Woggle Air, water, minerals, and organic matter – the dead stuff that falls on the ground.
Wiggle You know, the soil’s a lovely home for worms…even if it does have a mole in it.
Woggle Well, one mole, mole or less, it’s still home sweet home! Let’s go decompose some leaves, Wiggle.