lumbricidae-ish milestone

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… 

to each their own...

4 thoughts on “lumbricidae-ish milestone

  1. You can cross Bait Shop owner off your list of potential job opportunities.

    One dark night while driving in rural Pickering, I saw lights bobbing across a farmer’s field – but nothing else. Being a city girl, I asked my partner what the lights were for. He informed me that they belonged to bait worm pickers. With lights fastened around their heads, and buckets strapped to their ankles, they bend over for hours at a time in the dark to to scoop up unsuspecting dew worms and sell them to bait shops.

    I guess that’s another profession to strike from your list.


  2. Both duly crossed and stricken from my list! (And thank you so much, Mary, for that charming image of people in the dark with buckets of worms strapped to their ankles… good god. I need air.)

  3. As a kid, I always liked worms and toads and frogs and slimy things, but my brothers didn’t. I remember digging for worms in the compost heap when we were going fishing: each brother would have one hand covered in an old mitten or glove, so as not to have the worm touch their little fingers. It made me feel very superior, to be the only one not frightened.

    I’m sure I teased them mercilessly about it.

    Now, worms live under the sink at my place, in the vermi-composter, eating up the apple cores and vegetable peelings.

    Cavalier, indeed :) Congrats on making contact!

    1. I’m very impressed (I think) with your fondness for slimy things. There’s a kind of liberation in that, especially for a girl. You obviously didn’t buy into the propaganda that you were ‘supposed’ to be afraid!

      And I’m definitely impressed (I think) with the idea of co-habitation, or at least putting them to wonderful work. Still, I’m glad I have space for an outdoor compost because I’m not sure I could sleep with the the visual of them under the sink doing that work.

      I think, for now at least, I’ll stick to celebrating making contact!

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