Thursday, October 22, 2009

Audrey the Worm Charmer

The weather report called for rain. But in a brilliant show of that's what you think, the rain never came, only a perfect afternoon. We took advantage and moved our plans outside: me putting the garden to bed for the year and Audrey worm-hunting. She dug up several earthworms before finding these woolly worms hiding in the mix. To my surprise, she soon had these two crawling all over her.

They spent the afternoon with her: cradled in her hands, crawling across her hood, even taking a ride on the handles of her tricycle. She let one loose in the garden, and not able to find it again, focused her attention on the other one.

"Can I have him, Mom? Please, can I have him?"

And just like that, we took in our first stray. Not having a suitable worm house on-hand, and a little worried for the state of this little woolly worm who had been handled all day, I convinced Audrey to find a home for him in the yard. She picked a special spot on the back patio. Part of me wanted to bring him inside, create a shoebox house, and suggest we name him Rufus. But the other part - that thirty-something (on some days, wiser) part that wondered if this once lively insect was not just "taking a nap" or playing dead as woolly worms are wont to do kept those thoughts to myself. So Rufus has stayed in his special spot. And that rain? It looks like it could come down any minute.

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