Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
by Dr. Seuss
The Worm from "The Big Brag"
Say what you will about worms, but you just can't beat the one in these pages. He's smart, funny, and (sorry, here come two puns) down to earth and salt of the earth. Yeah, yeah, roll your eyes, but rest assured Dr. Seuss did this intentionally. There's no better way to show a pair of animals with their heads stuck up in the clouds that they're being ridiculous than to have a little lowly worm one-up them without blinking an eye (sorry, we just did it again).
He masters the one-upping by using those brains of his, knowing he'll have to win by beating these two braggarts at their own game:
"But how far can you SEE? Now, I'm here to prove to you big boasting guysThat your nose and your ears aren't as good as my eyes!" (83-85)
As per the rules of the game, he builds the size of his feat up and up just so he can knock it back into something small:
"And I saw on this hill, since my eyesight's so keen,
The two biggest fools that have ever been seen!
And the fools that I saw were none other than you,
Who seem to have nothing else better to do
Than sit here and argue who's better than who!" (107-11)
Then, unlike these two braggarts, he just pops back into his hole and gets back to the important things in life—satisfying work—without waiting for their reactions and approval. Because that's what down-to-earth worms do.