This morning I went walking with the worms. Well, first let me clarify – it isn’t as if I invited a worm, or two, or three to join me in a walk on a dreary, drab, misty, rather murky-looking morning (just pick your adjective … they all describe the conditions I encountered in my early a.m. walk). The worms, unlike me, didn’t lace up their walking shoes, strap on a pedometer and set out to muddle along and gain some mileage for the ultimate goal. Nope, it is more like they owned the sidewalk and I was sharing THEIR space. There were worms everywhere just like “The Worm Song” says: “short, fat, juicy ones; long, slim, slimy ones” … they were slithering out of the lawns and stretching across the sidewalk, inching slowly along to parts unknown. Their journey may have taken them to another grassy area or perhaps eventually into a robin’s stomach, because out of the corner of my eye I watched several intrepid robins licking their chops hungrily and just waiting for me to get out of their way. Those robins had it figured out that I was the early bird who was there to catch the worm and thus intruding on their meal … not I fellas, not I. Now, worms have never bothered me and many times I’d be out weeding or deadheading my annuals and I’d see a worm deciding to cross the sidewalk, and I’d pluck it from the cement and stick it into the soil, probably saving its life. How silly of that old worm to think the grass was greener on the other side of the sidewalk, thus risking dehydration or becoming a robin’s breakfast. I do remember from all those years ago in middle school Biology class, that a worm can be bisected and the side with the head remaining will live on without its tail end … what a fate, but a fascinating factoid nevertheless. Unlike my fear of crawling insects, I can deal with worms, probably because they move slower than me. So worms have never really scared me, even the stiffer-than-a-board dead ones sprawled out on the dissecting tray in 8th grade. My lab partner and I heard our teacher’s chilling words “pick up the blade and slowly slice the worm down the middle, then open it up and pin each side of the skin onto the dissecting tray” … oh, now that was a bad memory. My lab partner shook her head vehemently, and, with tears welling up her eyes, silently mouthed to me “no, I can’t do that – you do it” so I had to be the brave one to do the “slice and dice” … a few weeks later this same lame, lily-livered lab partner also couldn’t dissect the frog, nor that cute fetal pig. Now, honestly, couldn’t we just have watched a film about these critters’ innards – more humane, less gory and less stinky. The whole lab reeked of formaldehyde and our clothes smelled of it after bending over that dissecting tray for an hour or so. I wonder if Biology teachers still subject the middle school students to these horrors? Seeing all those night crawlers in the early a.m. made my skin crawl a little and got me thinking all these years later of that silly class and its dissecting sessions and anatomy lessons and I regretted their appearance caused me to dredge up that sorry can of worms from circa ’68. Unfortunately, I can’t produce a photo of me slicing up that little bugger some 45 years ago for “Throwback Thursday” so you’ll just have to be amused by this stock photo instead. While I strolled along on my walk, albeit a short one, I struggled to concentrate on a more-pleasant subject, but the musty smell of worms in the extremely humid air kept assailing my nostrils – yuck! Plus that silly “Worm Song”, which I first learned as a youngster while attending day camp for two weeks back in the early 60s, kept coursing through my brain and has become an ear worm which has stuck with me the rest of today.