Picture the scene, we’re down at the plot, busy digging and weeding, trying to get as much done as possible before the currently sleeping toddler wakes up and/or it rains.
Daughter 1 screams at full volume, I jump to attention fearing the worst. Has The Boy unintentionally put a garden fork through her foot? Has Daughter 2 chopped off a finger with her plastic, yet uncharacteristicly sharp, child’s trowel?
No, another scream follows and the words ‘i’ve found a worm’ are shouted out for all to hear. Daughter 2 looks suitably excited and hurrys over to see the worm, The Boy looks on from a distance, waiting to see whether its really an occasion worthy of walking the entire width of 2 beds to view.
Now, I should add at this point that I do not like worms. This is a long standing hate which I firmly attribute to the antics of a boy, who for the purposes of this blog we shall call P. Whilst in year 8 at school, ‘P’ placed a big, fat worm in the lap of my grey, pleated school skirt whilst I sat on the school field one lunch time. It was not a pleasant experience. I was in no hurry to view this spectacle of nature, and left Daddy to step in and talk all things earth worms.
The nature lesson began, with Daddy laying a heavy emphasis on the importance of the humble earthworm for soil aeration and drainage (physical action) and their role in mixing organic mater into the soil (biological action). Who knew that earthworms generally enjoy a soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH? No me neither. Anyway, be left assured that the kids, including the Boy, who has by now ventured over to see what all the fuss is about, are now in no doubt that the worms are essential to the future success of the plot.
This is where all useful activity on the plot basically came to an end.
Children are very literal. If the worms are that important, then it is essential that daddy stops digging IMMEDIATELY. All children, except the one unbelievably still asleep in the pushchair, jump into action to move both the original, and any other close to the surface worms, to the safety of another bed. Unfortunately this was the bed next in line to be dug, and there also turns out to be quite a lot of worms in our allotment. This activity could, I think, go on indefinitely.
The toddler has now woken up, it is starting to rain and it is probably time to leave.
That next bed never did get dug, and I am still left wondering whether there was any truth to what my mum always told me about worms. Are they really able to continue living if they are cut in half by a spade???? Maybe that’s one for google…….