ballet outfit, silver boots, argyle socks, and a blanket for a cape – it was sixty degrees out – today was h’s day, and we were hunting for worms to save. our last bout of rain washed out the creek and left dried minnows and worms scattered on the sidewalk in its wake. h. was calling herself “captain something” as she stumbled down the sidewalk following her sister’s direction. sister (which is what h. calls a. – and she will remind you of their relation to no end) is a professional worm rescuer, and has taken h. under her wing. as they made their way down the parkway, they stopped at every ‘thing’ that didn’t look like a rock, dead minnows or worms, and crouched down to pay their respects to the fallen. dried worms get a little more ‘crouch time’ than the minnows. as they huddle over the crunchy-dried up-circles (h. having to be reminded countless times by a. not to touch) i think a. is reflecting how she could have saved her ‘poor little buddy’.
we continue on – h. falling on the walkway that was made slippery by washed out mud and sand, a. seeing how close she can go to the creek before I call her back, and me thinking how fruitless this worm search seems to be, but enjoying the sounds and sights that join a walk alongside a moving body of water. and then…what to my surprise do i hear from a.? “h. we got one get over here” h. clumsily run/falling down the slight incline (down the incline?hm), knees knocking, cape blowing in the wind, hair in her face, panting and red-faced she makes it to where a. is hunched over a…a…a… real worm – still alive, and now it is their job to save it. i was quite impressed that a. waited for h. and walked her through the process. “now h. (yes she really speaks this way) pick it up carefully. no, no, no use both hands. okay, now you want to set it on the grass by some water. no h., don’t squeeze it. oh, oh,oh h. just gently set it down.” I am watching with a huge grin not wanting to butt in, and now h. is swinging the worm as if she skipped tee ball and went straight to fast pitch softball. “oh…h….okay, that’s right. set it down right there. good. leave it. no, don’t pick it up. great.”. yah for h. we clapped, danced, chanted “h. h. h.”, hopped in our wagon, and went home.
thanks to the efforts of a. and h. – there is one more worm in the world, and one less crunchy snack on the sidewalk for a one year old.
my second piece on “extremely loud incredibly close” will hopefully be up by friday. r. is out-of-town and today time only permits a quick story about worm rescue. if you have seen the movie, or read the book, since my last post – please let me know what you thought either in the comments section of the last blog post or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.