Reading from a 52-page statement outlining the worm community’s protest, lawyer Michael Uckers said that the proverb, first recorded in John Ray’s A collection of English proverbs in 1678, is a “gross discriminatory expression against the worm species”.
“The worm communities and subspecies around the globe fully reject this insensitive proverb, obviously coined by some ignorant scoleciphobic (those with fear of worms) back in the 17th century,” said Uckers at a Press conference held on university grounds.
“The proverb is an unfair representation of the worm-bird symbiotic relationship, and only serves to advocate hostility between the two species. The worms protest the apparent clarion call for birds to ‘get up early’ and mercilessly hunt for worms, who are basically peace-loving creatures trying to make a living.
“Worms generally, other than the parasitic types found in human and animal guts and fruits, are non-violent invertebrates who don’t bother anyone. For example, the earthworms live underground, mind their own business and in fact, help to make the soil fertile for plants and crops. So the worm community, from earthworms to seaworms, demand that the saying is removed from the English proverb libraries, or at least is modified to present a fairer view of worms.
“What more considering how worms play a big part in preserving the delicate balance of the ecosystem.”
Uckers continued his argument that while the proverb’s purpose was well-intentioned, which was telling humans to get up early to sieze every opportunity during the day, the positive message was only relevant if the reader identified themselves with the bird.
“Sure, the early bird catches the worm. Good for the early bird. But what about the early worm? It doesn’t make much sense to get up early now, does it?” asked Uckers. “This proverb basically says, if you’re a worm, it’s suicide to get out early in the morning. We believe the saying is the main reason for the apparent lack of drive and the decline of hardworking spirit in the young worms nowadays. As everyone knows, worm teens are sleeping in longer, and are adverse to toiling in the garden. In fact, they prefer to spend their whole day indoors in the burrows, wasting their waking hours on X-box, Wii and Facebook games.
“The proverb is the very core reason to the decay of morals and values in the worm community. So before the effects become irreversible, the problem must be arrested.”
Uckers said that the linguists in the worm community have proposed several alternatives which would be fairer to both bird and worm.
“For example, ‘The early bird and worm get their food’. There’s no hostile element in that line, which basically advocates the same positive value. No worms are presented as victims, and no birds are told to take the violent route to line their stomachs. Everybody wins.”