I recently touched a worm for the first time. On purpose I mean. I touched it very very lightly and with just the very tip of my index finger for possibly one millionth of a millisecond, then jumped back a couple of metres. It was an oddly cavalier thing to do given that they’ve been making my toes curl in a bad way since I was a kid walking to school on rainy mornings, dodging what seemed like hundreds wriggling all over the sidewalk. (And please don’t even mention Danny something who used to scoop them out of the sewer near the back entrance and dangle them in your face as you walked by.)
My fear of worms never stopped me working in the garden of course—I just did it in my own way—weed weed EEK!, dig plant dig ICK! (Making Peter shake his head and say things like: don’t you think it’s a little weird for someone who spends as much time as you do mucking about in dirt to be afraid of worms?)
He obviously didn’t know Danny something.
Still, I suppose it was a little weird to be eeking my way through three seasons. Maybe the shame finally sunk in.
So I’ve touched one. And now they don’t scare me one bit. Well, less.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to touch another one on purpose. Nor does it mean I’m going to challenge myself by picking one up. No no no. There will be no pictures of me holding any member of the family lumbricidae like a prize. I’m just happy the screaming is over, and my toes can finally un-cramp.
Although if I find an unusually long and fattish specimen (they can, theoretically, get to 3 metres), I really can’t guarantee anything…