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The Great Worm Rescue of October ’11

October 31, 2011

This guy crawled out of my lettuce tonight, after nearly three weeks spent chilling in the crisper. He was probably in a sort of suspended animation, because it wasn’t until the sausages were grilled, potatoes mashed, wine uncorked, and table set, salad ready to wash then toss that he introduced himself.

Once he warmed up and did a few stretches, that worm made a break for it, past the baco noir, around the radish, straight for the edge.

I wasn’t super interested in watching my cat chase a thumb-sized worm around the kitchen while I tried to focus on vinaigrette and not skinning my fingertips on the vegetable mandoline, so before it got too far, or slithered into the path of an oncoming knife, I scooped up the worm and let it choose a better fate.

Safely aboard a leaf of the same lettuce it had called “home”, I escorted the worm outside to the balcony garden and tucked it in amongst the straggling rosemary and a little nest of crumpled maple leaves. It was almost too cute to document here, cute encroaching on the territories of precious and quaint. If the worms survives long enough to divide himself in half and start a new worm colony, one day he might gather the smaller worms close and tell them the story of the rescue back in ’11, just before the snow fell.

The narrow escape over the colander and the sucking sound of water going down the sink drain. His narrow miss with a seriously interested black and white cat, and once outdoors how quickly the ground froze, how little time he had to choose a good spot and fall asleep till spring. How shittily the lady had treated her garden the previous summer and how dead and drained the soil had become. Barely fit to feed a worm, never mind the plants she lazily attempted to cultivate. Major worm hardship. I think he’d like the ring of that so much, he’d probably work it into the story over a few tellings until it became not a descriptor but a personal title. Major Worm Hardship, brave founder of the balcony worm colony, the one who divided in three and started it all.

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