While the three other Higginbotiams wept their days away, Zerod was exploring. He had successfully arrived in the outer tunnels; somewhere he had never been allowed to go, because it was so close to the upperworld. Only the elders were allowed here.
Careful not to make any noise, he crawled forward using his elbows. The ground beneath him was slanting upward, making it a bit harder for him than it would've been if it was sloping downward. Excited thoughts raced through his mind as he considered the vast possibilities that the Upperworld might give him.
Zerod continued day-dreaming of the Upperworld as he crawled, and he had soon made it close to the entrance. He remembered, just before he crawled around the corner, that there were elders guarding it. 'How am I going to get out of this place?' He thought.
Silently and carefully, he pulled himself up into a sitting position. His elbows were bleeding from being rubbed against compacted dirt and loose, sharp rocks. Also, his pant-legs were worn through to his knees, which were also bleeding, and he was covered in dust from head to toe.
'Maybe I could just make a run for it. No... that'd be too risky. Maybe... Yes! That's it. I'll distract them.' He thought. He was sort of proud of himself for resolving this problem on his own. 'I'd better get used to that. I guess I'll be doing this sort of thing a lot when I'm in the Upperworld by myself.' He added. He didn't even feel slightly regretful for leaving his family. He was just happy to be going somewhere where he could fit in for once.
He took a deep breath and prepared himself for the risk he was about to take. 'If I fail this, I'll just remain a misfit. I can't fail. I can't stay here any more.'