A pigeon in search of breakfast came upon an inchworm, which, having inched its way to the base of a large building, now sat motionless, mid-inch.
The inchworm had no hope of escape, so rather than pluck it from the pavement the pigeon instead said, "Good morning down there! Whatever are you up to?"
"Praying," the inchworm said.
"Praying? To what?"
"To God, of course."
The pigeon looked around. "Here?" she asked. "In front of this office building?"
The inchworm opened its eyes. "This," it said, looking up along the stone face of the building, "is God."
The pigeon cocked her head to one side in order to point an eye downward, the better to look at her curious companion -- a gesture she knew would be mistaken for curiosity.
"This," she said, "is an office building."
The inchworm smiled up at the pigeon with, she was pretty sure, pity. "This is the largest thing there is," it said. "What else could it be but God?"
"Oh, honey," tsked the pigeon. "This isn't even the biggest building on the block. But you've spent your whole life down here on the ground, haven't you? How would you know that?"
The inchworm frowned. "You mean there are greater Gods? Which one do you worship?"
"Oh, I'm not much of a worshipper," the pigeon admitted. "It's hard to be when you crap on everything."
"But you must believe in something larger than yourself."
"Y'know," the pigeon said, "I can see how you might think that, being small like you are. But when you've flown as high as I have, and when everything below looks so tiny, you gain some respect for the little things."
"Well, my two squabs, for instance."
The inchworm was unconvinced. "God is not as small as a baby pigeon."
"Have you ever seen a baby pigeon?" asked the pigeon.
The inchworm admitted that it had not.
"Well, you have your God in your babies, wherever they may or may not be," said the inchworm. "And I have mine in all its enormity right here." Believing the argument settled, it prostrated itself once more toward the building.
"Tell you what," said the pigeon. "If size is your thing, why not climb up to the top of this building and see what bigger things you can see?"
The inchworm had never considered something as heretical as climbing its God. But the pigeon had piqued its curiosity, so it began, inch by inch, to ascend.
Soon it was awed by what it saw. The sidewalk where it prayed was a small part of a vast network of sidewalks. The nearby tree that had once been its entire world was but one of a thousand trees. And the buildings: There were hundreds, many of them larger than the one it was climbing.
When it reached the roof, the inchworm was in tears. Nearby was a nest, inside of which were two of the most grotesque creatures it had ever seen. The inchworm, still ecstatic from its glimpse of the vastness of the world, threw itself down before them.
The pigeon flapped up next to the inchworm. "Pigeon!" it cried. "I see now! They're beautiful!"
"Oh, honey," cooed the pigeon. "Even I can see they're ugly as sin." And with one brisk snap of her head, she gobbled up the inchworm. "Poor thing," she thought, as she retched it into the craning mouths of her squabs. "Tasty, though."
The pigeon then cocked her head -- looking up, this time -- and said a silent "thank you" for the meal. However small.