The author’s narration of fantasy is artistically clever. This book stirs the imagination for dramatic details. It is not just for children anymore. WORMS (Forever Love) is for all seasons and every age—a tribute to nature and animals where loyal, unselfish, unpretentious love can be learned. As often said, “The best things in life are free. . . and life without love is only tolerable.” This is truly a remarkably unique and modern children’s book with clear lessons. It would be read again and again bringing pleasure to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
— LEIO LONG
“Good Morning to you all!” exclaimed the silkworm then she looked from left to right. Her neighbors were a walking distance away, but she could not see them. Trees of all shapes and sizes impeded her view.
The plumes of smoke from the neighbors’ chimneys were visible, however. They twirled and turned as they rose higher and higher as if to greet the clouds above with—“Hello again. Your shapes are now orchids. Yesterday, they were tulips. Tomorrow could be daffodils.” Then, a neighbor played the piano that early.
“How wonderful this place is, how fortunate I am,” the silkworm thought. “God, how great thou art!” She laughed with excitement as she saw rabbits running around and around chasing each other.
It was only midmorning. He would arrive at the silkworm’s house perhaps by noon and should have the rest of the day to talk and be together.
He parked his truck as he did before then walked deeper into the forest. He passed by another house and noticed a couple of worms looking at him through their window.
“Those two must be gossipers,” he thought. “Who cares? Nothing about me or what I do is their business.”
A few yards away, the silkworm was watering her plants. She was smiling as he approached and looked so excited.
“Hello!” they both greeted each other with a slight hug. “I have something for you,” whispered the leech worm and he handed over the small box of candies. The silkworm was overwhelmed with such thoughtfulness.
He had no complaints. His day was productive, he accomplished a lot. A short nap was all he needed.
Back at home in the late afternoon, he gave the silkworm a quick kiss and said, “Wife, I have done so much today. If I have no distractions, soon, you should be seeing our small mansion. I wish it would be much bigger, but that could happen in the future.”
“We don’t need a big mansion, my husband,” lovingly said the silkworm. “I am proud of you. I have always been so proud of you.”
“We’ll be happier with fame and fortune,” he said. “That has always been the dream of leeches. Some of those we know are now owners of large parcels of islands and big houses.”
“Husband, those leech worms disgrace our beautiful world! They made their fortunes by corruption, cheating and stealing. They can’t take their enormous wealth to their graves. You’re different. You’re skillful, you work hard, and our small mansion should be more than enough.”
“Thanks for knowing that I have class,” he said.
He walked around for cut woods and noticed that some were drenched with water. A few were sticking together and began to smell. It irritated him. “I should have finished this mansion first before any thoughts of weddings,” he mumbled.
Almost forcing himself, he started to work. Hours passed by and he was very, very tired. He thought it would be invigorating to take a nap. He stretched his body on a huge piece of lumber and began to sleep.
When he opened his eyes, the nearby condos were well lit. The city streets were also illuminated with bright lights. He realized that he overslept into the night.
It was almost midnight when the leech worm reached his home in the forest. His wife was waiting by the door. “I was so worried, I did not hear from you and you locked your phone, I couldn’t call,” she said.
The sun was setting. Its rays made the forest glow. The rainbow was at its glory over the mountains. The silkworm decided to stroll. She had not done this for some time now. It should relax her. After all, she was very, very tired from working so hard.
She walked casually and heard some birds flapping their wings as they came to rest on a tree branch. “Come closer to us,” they said. “Let’s share stories. You can climb, can’t you?”
“Yes, I can,” responded the silkworm excitedly.
Then, with a subtle grin, he added, “Could you imagine our own silk factory called ‘Leeches, Incorporated’? Your silk will carry its own brand name and I will be the corporate manager. We’ll not be inferior and will be rich and very famous!”
His eyes glittered as he spoke. “It must feel so good to be wealthy and influential, don’t you agree? We can have everything we want. We can even travel a hundred times around the world while we pay other worms to do our job. Then, like those leeches we know, we come back to a large house and the welcome party of our high-society friends!”
“Their friends are fake and hypocrites, dear husband. We don’t need...” But before she could say more, the leech worm gave his wife another quick hug then stepped out of the house and he was gone.
She heard the slight sound of thump, thump, thump from a distance. Young kangaroos were learning to punch. Peacocks were dancing, flirting, spreading and showing off their large feathers.
The animals were teasing and admiring each other. There was no hate or unpleasant envy. All were beautiful in their own way, having fun, content and happy.
—to the readers of this book who would be transported to the enchanting world of innocence; and to all children and the young at heart wherever they may be.
—to all my clients and friends, some read my short stories many years ago and still remember them with delight.
—to my special group in Hawaii who always sang Kanaka Waiwai that carried the spirit of love and truth, by composer John Kameaaloha Almeida.
—to my unforgettable friends in the Philippines who believed in the lyrics of Faithful friends are life’s best treasure, wealth and fame may pass away.
—to friend Erun Dey and her club members who preserved copies of my short stories when no one thought they could be published books someday.
—to Sr. Corazon J. Salazar, MQHM, who promotes underprivileged children’s education and encouraged publication of this book.
—to artist Lino Gilbert K. Parone who sketched all the illustrations on very short notice.
In loving memory of Lolang Toriang and Lolang Carpia for their understanding and unconditional love during those trying years; and to Clint for being himself—wonderful, truly wonderful.