The bugs that live on the numbers think the settled life is the way to go. They look with bemusement at the bugs that choose to live on the clock hands, and can’t imagine why anyone would need to always be moving in circles. The best life is simply making a home in one spot.
The hour-hand bugs make a full circuit twice a day. They say to themselves that that’s an excellent speed. The number bugs are rather dull, being bound to their one little place all the time. On the hour hand, the face of the clock passes slowly beneath, with plenty of time to see what’s happening below and visit with their friends and relatives among the number bugs. And on the second time around, they get to make up for whatever errors or omissions they made the first time. Hour-hand bugs agree that anyone who wants to go faster is in a foolish and unnecessary hurry.
The minute-hand bugs think the hour-hand bugs are stubborn slowpokes. It’s far better to go around once every hour. The view changes more frequently, and so is both more interesting and more up-to-date; and if they think of somewhere they want to be, it’s never very long before they get there. They can hop off the minute hand when it gets to their stop, and climb back on an hour later. It’s the perfect speed to be able to reach new places fairly quickly, and still have enough time to see the place where they are.
On clocks that have second hands, there’s another group of bugs. Second-hand bugs consider both hour-hand and minute-hand bugs to be ridiculously old-fashioned and plodding, and the number bugs to hardly be worth mentioning. Imagine the thrill of a complete circle every minute! The numbers rush by beneath, and the excitement of the ride never ends. Why would anyone want to pass that up? Second-hand bugs are usually young bugs, and they’re regarded as hooligans by the other clock bugs.
No bugs live in the center of the clock. That is a very special place, where the number bugs go to meet on rare, important occasions. The hour-hand and minute-hand bugs stay away unless they’re specifically invited. The second-hand bugs sometimes sneak to the middle on a dare, but even they generally respect the center of the clock.