Friday, April 01, 2005

Worms Turn April Fool's Joke On Birds

Spring, which popped out blooms in as unlikely a place as Death Valley, has finally arrived here.

Walks with Tasha and Alex have turned up a few crocuses and robins galore.
And where there are birds - there are worms.
We know about the early bird and the worm. This time, the worms turned on the Birds, who were too early.

In his first-grade class, Alex is having his turn as ''Star of the Week.'' On one day he took in his Star Wars light sabre and Robosapien, another day he showed pictures and souvenirs from our trip to London last May on his and Tasha's birthday. On Thursday, I read a book to the class during a brief visit.

Today, we planned to bring in pizza for the class of about 20 - and being April Fool's Day - we had tricks up our sleeves. Alex and his teacher were in on our surprise for days and did a good job of keeping the secret.

With Spring and April Fool's Day on our minds, we thought what would A. Bird like on a pizza? Of course. Worms!

We bought three bags of Gummy Worms and loaded up two of five plain pizzas with the tricky treats. The pizza guy loved the joke. We also got an empty pizza box and opened it first, pretending that we had been the victims of a big April Fool's joke - no pizza!

But the joke was on us - we put the worms on the piping hot pizza too soon and in the 10-minute drive to Alex's school. They melted. Big time.

We were left with a two big sticky red puddles in the middle of two pies. Alex's quick thinking teacher proposed ''Worm Juice Pizza,'' over the obvious suggestion of ''Worm Blood Pizza'' that was staring us in the face.

Always (sort of) prepared, we still had some worms in the bait box, er, bag - enough to decorate one pie and give a worm-covered slice to each kid who wanted one.
After that first slice, though, we couldn't hand out the ''plain'' slices fast enough - only a couple of brave (?) souls tried the ''Worm Juice'' variety - leaving much of it for your's truly. ''Interesting'' taste - think of pizza sprinkled with Kool Aid drink powder.

So the worms turned the trick on us, but the Birds were soon back in charge.

We spurred Alex's teacher to tell the story of the rare Lirpa Loof bird that only appears on April 1. Tasha, in ballet costume from her class at the Y, helped out by showing off her best Lirpa Loof dance and call. The kids asked several questions about wing size, beak size, color, etc. and we told of many varieties.

They each drew colorful pictures and we encouraged them to get their entire family out into the front year and recreate Tasha's ritual in order to attract the rare birds.

It should be right about now when the skeptical parents realize that something about the words ''Lirpa Loof'' on those bird portraits looks strangely familiar.

Enjoy the day!


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