Children remember. Even when the parents forget. This morning as we hustled to the car, to head to school on a Monday morning, I heard my youngest son shout from the garage, "Mom! I think we need to do a little Worm Rescue!" Even crazier is that I knew EXACTLY what he was referring to. For some reason, when it rains, and we had quite a spring storm last night, worms decide to slither underneath our garage door and infiltrate our garage floor. Perhaps they are seeking higher ground from their flooded tunnels. Our driveway slopes at an angle from the house to the street. Regardless, I knew we weren't going anywhere until we'd rescued the three wiggly worms laying in shallow puddles on the concrete floor.
A.T.B. reached for the first one. It was a beauty. (A description which makes sense if you're a fisherman and are still Old School enough to use regular worms (from the earth) for bait, instead of all the fancy lures you like to tote around in your tackle box.) It was a long, plump squiggler. It would have driven the fish crazy! However, A.T.B. couldn't quite get ahold of it and said, "Mom, I need some help!" So I reached down and scooped the worm up from the garage floor. Next comes the Rescue. This is where I fling the worm through the air toward the grass where it can burrow back into the dirt. That is, after it recovers from it's First Flight.
Two worms remained. A.T.B. successfully rescued one. I picked up the other. A laugh involuntarily escaped me as it squirmed in my hand, seconds before I watched it fly in an arc to the green grass of the lawn a few feet away. Now, I realize I could walk the worm over and gently place it back on a bed of grass and dirt for it to tunnel into it's New Home. Perhaps that would be a more considerate Rescue Technique. Maybe next time. There is something about Flying Worms that just gets a day off on a Good Foot though.
We were already cutting it close, to get to school on time, before Operation Worm Rescue took place. Regardless, A.T.B. and I took the time to run back into the house and wash our hands before climbing into the car for the drive to school. As we got into the car, I mentioned that Papa would have liked to have saved those Night Crawlers for Bait. T.J.B., my older son, questioned, "Night Crawlers? I thought they were called earthworms?" That was my cue to say, "For fishin' we call 'em Night Crawlers." He accepted that explanation.
Then I told my boys, once again, that on rainy nights when I was growin' up, my dad (their Papa), used to go outside with a flashlight and bucket to pick up the worms that always came to the surface under the mulberry tree in the side yard. It was always muddy there. There was so much shade from the tree and the houses that grass wouldn't grow there. It was the perfect Worm Spot.
Regardless what you call 'em, the Good News is that I don't have any crispy, dried up Worm Carcasses laying on my garage floor. The Bad News is that by rescuing them from death on the garage floor, they could still end up as Bird Food. However, this is a chance we're willing to take as they fly through the air, back to the spot they started from. At this house we take time to think of the Lowly Worm and be thankful they are hard at work, day and night, aerating the soil and adding nutrients to nourish our vivid, Spring Green Lawn.
© 2011, Janean Baird, Turquoise Tangles