Shine on You Crazy Glow Worm

There was a  glow worm who’d squirm like a worm, she’d wiggle and she’d turn but no matter what she did, no matter what you called her, she would never and could never be an actual worm. 

Shine on You Crazy Glow Worm

by Jules de Jongh

Season 3 Episode 1

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea: That is me, I’m Nanny Bea and my neighbour Jules will be here with a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Did you hear that? I believe it is my door being knocked. Hello, who is it?

JulesIt’s me Nanny Bea, your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea: It was being knocked and by you, what a pleasure. Come in dear.

Jules:  Hello Nanny Bea. I’m back with another tale. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, Shine on You Crazy Glow Worm, adapted for radio

In a little valley, in a tiny orchard lived a glow worm. She’d squirm like a worm, she’d wiggle and she’d turn but no matter what she did, no matter what you called her, she would never and could never be an actual worm. Oh she had the name alright but with one look you’d know for sure, she was anything BUT a kind of worm. That distrurbed Irene. Irene was a very particular glow worm, always clearing leaves from her path, burrowing in straight lines, only climbing the sturdiest of grass stems.

She did have a glowing bottom but not much of a showing bottom. Her family had great expectations of her when she was born, ‘What symmetrical dots she has,’ ‘What precise segments.’ And she was a fine looking, well I might as well say it, she was a fine looking beatle. Yes, yes I know, why oh why would a beatle be called a worm? I do not know, why is there a guinea pig who isn’t a pig or a jellyfish, who isn’t a fish and most certainly isn’t made of jelly.

So Irene’s bottom not showing was a real concern. Her family were most disappointed, ‘What is she doing?’ ‘How will she find a mate?’ This concerned Irene as well but she just couldn’t bring herself to shimmy up any ‘ole grass stem and wiggle her shiny, hiney in the orchard under the moonlight. That’s the glow worm equivalent of social media, to climb up the highest grass stem and shake your booty to attract fly by beatle boys. By the time Irene was in a position to shake, having calculated and contemplated the best possible path, the boy beatles had found other girls or given up altogether. 

Irene was in a quandary, ‘Should I do like the rest do and climb up any old wobbly grass stem or just accept that I’ll never make my own glow worm family?’

‘How about neither?’ said an itty bitty gnat with a black and silky top hat. 

‘Doing neither of my two options, is doing nothing at all.’ 

‘True, if in fact you only had two options. You see options are nothing more than self made limitations, take those away and well you’re away, wherever the wind takes you.’

‘The wind has never taken me anywhere, I don’t have wings like the boy beatles do.’

‘Well, when you don’t have wings, hop a ride with someone who does,’ and with that the itty bitty gnat with the black and silky top hat was gone. Irene checked under the blades of grass, she looked behind the petals, even dug through the dirt but the gnat had disappeared. His words though, they remained and Irene ran them around and around her head to test them for herself. 

Just then a truck filled with freshly picked apples started up. There was one more box to load and Irene, having calculated and contemplated the best possible path, jumped on that box. ‘It may not have wings but it’s faster than any boy beatle I’ve ever seen,’ she said settling down for a journey to who knows where. Actually I do, the truck was headed to a plane, that was heading to a boat that, was heading to islands called the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

The journey jostled Irene all about but there was plenty of grub, I mean grubs for her to snack on so she didn’t mind. When the bumps started getting a lot lumpier, Irene could see they were slowing down, ku blunk, ku blunk, ku blunk, until they stopped. The driver got out and kicked at his tire which looked like it could use a good meal. Kicking it would do no good but the driver didn’t seem to care,’Why you useless piece of rubber, that’s the second flat in a week!’ he grumbled and rolled out another plump tire. It was very dark and getting darker when one of the lugs from the wheel rolled away. The driver searched frantically. 

‘Obviously that lug is a very important lug. It’s just right there, behind that pebble. Maybe I should jump down and show him,’ so, having calculated and contemplated the best possible path, she hopped onto the ground and lit up her bottom half right where the lug had rolled.

‘What do you know,’ the driver said in wonder. ‘Looks like you came to my rescue little glow worm.’

‘The names Irene,’ Irene said but he couldn’t hear her. The driver finished putting that crucial lug back in place and was about to head back into the truck when Irene hopped onto his pant leg and shimmied all the way up to get back into her spot on the last apple crate to be loaded.

Irene had never rescued any one before and ate an extra grub in celebration before falling off to sleep. By morning’s light she awoke to the loud roars of jet planes, taking off left and right. Irene and her crate sat for hours before they were finally loaded onto a little plane with no sign of any jets, but it still made a mighty roar as it took flight. 

‘This is it,’ Irene thought, ‘I’m really going where the wind takes me.’ And right now that was into the white puffy clouds with no land in sight. They flew on for hours and she could see the clouds turn from white to pink and blue but they were soon replaced with grey and black and grey ones that seemed almost heavy in the sky. The grey ones were noisier than the plane and out from them came streaks of light, crackling across the sky. They went to the left of the plane, to the right of the plane, up, down and all around the plane until one finally made contact and ker runch it blasted through one of the wings. The plane began to swirl around and down then just down as the ground raced up towards them, right before they collided the plane tipped back. The apple crates, which were now all piled up at the front, slammed against the back of the cabin. Irene hung on. Finally they came to a stop. It was dark, very dark. There were voices in the cabin, those who had loaded the crates shouting and bumping into things and each other.

‘Seems they need to find the exit,’ thought Irene so having calculated and contemplated the best possible path, she hopped and bopped in that direction, lighting her bottom half along the way.

‘Hey look, a glow worm and she seems to know the way out. Follow that glow worm!’ so they did. Irene once again saved the day and all with her shiny hiney. The plane, it’s apple crates and it’s only remaining passenger Irene, stayed on the runway all night long. Irene didn’t mind, she took this time to check out some of the other crates sampling their cuisine but ended up heading back to her original crate, you just couldn’t get better grubs than those.

Before the sun had a chance to wake up, there were voices all around the plane then soon inside. They’d grab a crate and toss it onto a trolly, grab another and do the same. The little trolly was on a little truck, hardly big enough for its driver. The trolly full of apple carts and a glow worm, wiggled all the way to a port full of boats. Another selection of voices gathered around and picked off crates one after another. Irene held on tight. And when all things settled she realised they were floating out to sea, no road to drive on, no clouds to fly through just water, in every direction except the one they came. 

It was so dark on that bobbing boat in the massive sea. It was hard to tell up from down with the sky matching the water in its darkness. Irene wasn’t sure what to make of it all, the boat seemed to be…slowing down. ‘Now our lights as well as our engines aren’t working, send up a flare!’ a sailor shouted and pouf it went up like a giant sparkler in the sky. ‘It’s too windy,’ another shouted back as the flare was driven down into the water. ‘The rescue boat will never find us now,’ another sailor said, not knowing they had their very own beacon of light on board, Irene a not quite worm of the glowing sort.

Irene, having calculated and contemplated the best possible path, made her way to the top of the apple crate and her shiny hiney was seen by the massive tug who took them all the way to safety on the sandy shores of the Azores. Irene stayed on the island for a while, learned a few of the local customs and a smattering of Portuguese. Then with a new found confidence she caught a crate of tuna fish back home. Once she got back, her family were so excited, ‘Where has she been?’ ‘And what has she done?’ Irene just said, ‘Oh I just went where the wind took me.’ 

It’s not a surprise I’m sure to know that Irene did in fact find a fly by beatle boy, one who looked harder and longer to find the right girl on a sturdy stem. They and their little glow family learned when to plan and when to go with the flow.

The End

Nanny Bea: Why thank you Jules. I once went where the wind blew me. It was into a ditch, uneventful really and quite muddy.

Jules: Ew, that couldn’t have been fun.

Nanny Bea: You wouldn’t think so would  you, but actually it was in that ditch where I learned discovered my youth tonic.

Jules: A mud mask.

Nanny Bea: No, a moisturizer from L’Oreal, I found it only line while waiting for the emergency services to extract me.

Jules: Good thing you had your phone. If you’re ever stuck again, you can always listen to a story.

Thomas:  Go to

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our stories. Then like us, recommend us but most importantly join us next week for more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

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