Ode to an Earthworm

My garden is a treasure trove of earthworms. As I turn over the grass to make way for pumpkins, I find earthworms of every possible size, from the ones who look like one-inch hairs to the ones who would make a fisherman salivate.

But those fishermen can keep their hands off my worms. They are not for sale, rent, or borrowing. I need them in my garden to make the soil beautiful and dark and make my plants healthy and green. Earthworms are little miracles burrowing through the muck, aerating the lawn and mixing organic bits into the sticky clay.

I’ve heard a rumor that a worm cut in two can grow into two new worms. My shovel and I hope this is true.

I found one particular worm the other day (I, not my shovel) who seemed particularly deserving of admiration. He was a granddaddy among worms, a prince of oligachaeta. He squelched out of a clod of dirt, looking lost and confused (as much as a worm ever could). I plucked him up and put him in a shovel-safe location. He poked his nose this way and then that, then changed his mind and began poking his OTHER nose this way and that. Did you know that worms can locomote in either direction? Once he found a route that seemed promising, he began squelching along at an impressive clip, disappearing under a bush without any thanks.

Not that I blame him. I wouldn’t thank a giant monster with too many limbs who almost sliced me in half either.

But I’m glad he’s in my yard. I hope he decides to stay.

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