Shannon Stacey

Tending earthworms

I wish “tending earthworms” was some cool analogy or whatever for my writing process. But, no. I’m babysitting worms.

TK’s doing a science project and it involves worms. Worms that I must check on during the day while he’s at school to make sure they have food and moisture and nurturing. I’m like the grandmother, only my grandkids are slimy and not very good at Chutes & Ladders. The project has something to do with proving higher thought processes or something. There’s a T and to the left is food with a sandpaper rumble strip and on the right is food with no sandpaper. After a couple shots of going left, the smart worm doesn’t even try to go that way anymore. He hangs a right. (Let’s just say the other worm would flunk an IQ test.)

This morning I came downstairs to find the smart worm (henceforth known as Wormini) on the kitchen floor, trying to make a break for the bathroom. He was being thwarted, however, by the cats. They were content just to stare at him unless he moved and then Jinx would bat at him to make him curl back up in a ball. I rescued Wormini and, despite the fall from the kitchen counter and an encounter with the cats, he seemed fine. I put him back in the box there’s no way he could escape from and now I’m checking every five minutes to make sure the cheeky little bugger isn’t running amok again.

Tonight TK assembles his data and photos, which are due tomorrow, and then he’s supposed to bring the entire project to school on Thursday (although I did tell him to double-check that they do, in fact, mean for living creatures to be included in that.) I’ll be relieved when this is behind us and Wormini and Tweedle-Dee-Dumber can be released back into my garden. Being a grandmother’s exhausting.

4 comments to “Tending earthworms”

  1. Jean
      · May 24th, 2011 at 11:47 am · Link

    Since your Twitter tagline is “Running Amok,” I think it’s appropriate that your “grandworm” also runs amok.

  2. Carin
      · May 24th, 2011 at 5:28 pm · Link

    I guess I’m kind of a geek, because as I read that (and it was hilarious) I just kept going back to, “How do they tell those worms apart? Did they mark them? Are there two separate habitats? Don’t worms move really slow? How are they tracking which side the worm picks?”

    So, please, can you at least tell me how you could tell which worm was which?

    (And that sounds like and awesome science project!)

  3. nightsmusic
      · May 24th, 2011 at 7:28 pm · Link

    Too funny!

    DD2 had mealworms in 4th grade that sat on her desk. She was required to write a daily diary of their progress/habits/etc,etc…how much progress can a mealworm have? So to make it less boring, she named them Fred and Fredette. Equal opportunity mealworm tender.

    Thanks for the memory. I haven’t thought of that in years. :o)

  4. Shannon
      · May 25th, 2011 at 11:09 am · Link

    I had to google mealworms and, while I’m pretty comfortable with earthworms, I’m not sure I could have handled that. Sounds like it was a fun project, though!

    “How do they tell those worms apart? Did they mark them? Are there two separate habitats? Don’t worms move really slow? How are they tracking which side the worm picks?”

    Wormini’s quite a big larger than Tweedle-Dee-Dumber. Longer and fatter. And T-D-D is a bit boring, whereas Wormini’s very rowdy and has more or less hogged the project.

    They have a worm “house” they live in and a separate box TK has set up as a testing area. He watches and the first couple of times Wormini would go down the length of the run and turn left only to hit sandpaper. Since then he’s consistently gone down the run and hung a right. The point being, I guess, that Wormini’s brain allows him to “remember” not to take a left. TK’s watching and taking notes.

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