Saturday, April 2, 2011

Worm Charmer

When I was little, my mom had this fantabulous vegetable garden in our backyard. It always seemed like a magical place where fairies and gnomes might visit to me, as well as being full of delicious things like sugar snap peas. Cacky and I probably ate our weight in sugar snap peas right off the vines when we were younger.
these were like crack to us.
And every year, around this time or a little earlier, my mom would dig up the soil in the garden, and mix it all up. It has something to do with air or dirt-nutrients or some shit like that. Whatever the reason, it's supposed to be good for the future veggies and the dirt.

This would turn up all the earthworms, pale pink and blind, digging their tiny little tunnels through the ground and generally making the world a better place. I love worms. They just make me smile, for some reason. They make the trees grow taller, the grass grow greener, and the flowers bob their jewel-toned heads in approval.
"Mmm-hmm. Them worms sure be good fo' mah roots!" (I don't know why the flower has a weird accent. it just does.)
Anyway, so one year, Cacky and I were "helping" my mom with her tilling of the garden. My mom happens to turn around, and sees my 4-year-old sister sitting in the dirt, probably half-naked, with two giant fistfuls of earthworms. There was also probably dirt in her hair. She gives my mom a huge grin, and says "Look Mom! I'm a woum chawmuh!" (she had some trouble with her R's)
thankfully, I don't think she ate any.
My love for worms was surely fostered by the tale of Herman the Worm, and his best friend Marguerite the Butterfly. If you've never heard the story, then you're missing out. It was on one of the tapes we listened to over and over again when I was a kid, usually when we were on some long road trip to somewhere. It's a lovely story, and its hero is a worm named Herman.
"I'm Herman the Worman, and I like my squirmin' and I like bein' close to the ground!" (that's Herman's song in the story)
Now it rains a whole bunch out here in the PNW. Though I still delight in the rain, the worms around here most definitely do not. I'm not sure why they insist upon committing hari-kari on the cobblestones, but it just breaks my heart to see them wiggling across the bricks, searching for a place to bury their little wormy noses back into the dirt, and knowing they'll never find it before they get stepped on or drown in a puddle.

So the other day I ran all around campus and did some worm-rescuing.

Let me tell you something- people give you very strange looks when you stop in the middle of a path to stoop down and fish an earthworm out of a puddle, then carry its panicking little self over to a nice patch of grass, and set it free. Then you proceed to the next puddle, and do it again. And again, and again.

But you know what? I didn't really care. I love worms, and I might as well increase my karma so I can have some saved up for the next time I laugh at a YouTube video of some guy getting bashed in the beans-and-weenies.


  1. i loveee your garden! and cacky. also, the image of you running around campus saving worms.

  2. Squelch, squelch, in the mud.

    And the "Herman" author? Jay O'Callahan!

  3. Oh yeah, add a "boom boom" on the end.