When I was in primary school, a few times a year, my father’s college friend, who lived near Tokyo area, came to visit us for a long weekend. He had three daughters close to my age, and we used to play together whenever we had the chance to meet.
Both my father and his friend were book lovers, and as such, our families often exchanged books as gifts on special occasions. Since one of the long weekends they came to visit us each year was shortly after my birthday, they always brought me a new book for my birthday gift.
Every book they gave me had a letter written on the blank page before the title page. It was a collection of messages from each of their family members. I used to love reading these messages and observing everyone’s handwriting. The youngest daughter was three years younger than me, but even before she entered school, she was already participating in this letter writing with her older sisters.
Once, I found a big friendly worm drawn in the midst of this youngest daughter’s message. The message was written in pen, and the worm was drawn on top of a sentence that she wanted to erase. I looked at the worm and thought what a great idea it was to erase a sentence with a cute worm.
From that day on, I started to use this girl’s method in my casual writing to my friends. I’ve tried different styles and expressions of worms. Even to this day, these friendly worms often appear in my letter writing. Smiling and stretching its body, the worm gently corrects the errors in my message.