DORY'S DIARY: A different kind of night out

By Dory Fleshman, WesCom News Service March 31, 2014 02:19 pm

One evening well after dark, the rain had ceased tapping itself on our roof. I was well settled into my easy chair, thumbing through a magazine,when George came into the room wearing his rain mackinaw and carrying one for me along with two tin cans and two flashlights.


“Come on,” he urged, tossing my jacket towards me.

 “Let’s go pick worms.”

 “Pick worms?” I questioned. “What are you talking about?”

 “It’s a good time,” he answered, urging me from my comfort.

 I knew he planned to go fishing with some buddies the next day, but digging in the garden soil for worms was a daytime job. Besides, I had whined, it was too dark to do the job and it would be muddy. I’d help him in the morning. That wasn’t his plan.

Nonetheless, I laid aside the magazine and struggled to my feet to slide into my jacket and find a hat for my head.

“Wait until I get my boots on,” I urged, a delaying tactic. “I don’t want to get my shoes muddy.

“You won’t get that wet and dirty,” he hurried me. “Come on. Let’s go or we’ll be too late.”

“Too late for what?”

“For the worms. The best ones will be gone if we don’t go now. It has stopped raining, so let’s hurry.”

Taking the offered tin can bail and the flashlight, I followed him out the front door and stood on the porch listening to the rain drips coming off the roof eaves.

George was already out on the sidewalk, stooping over, flashing his light over the sidewalk.

There’s a big one,” he called out in glee. “You get that one.”

Gingerly I bent over to see what he was so excited about. There wiggling toward the lawn over the concrete was the biggest, fattest worm I had ever seen, differing from the smaller garden variety.

“Hurry,” George called out,” Or you’ll lose him.”

 The last thing I wanted to do in the wet of a dark night was to pick up slithering worms, especially one so fat and wiggly, but I did as I was told, grasping the worm between my thumb and first finger, dropping the worm into my can.

George was already halfway up the sidewalk filling his can, even stepping out into the wet grass to capture the escaping ones.

 The worms were huge and kept trying to crawl back out over the top of the can. We kept pushing them back in with another to keep them company as we moved up the sidewalk.

“What are these things?” I called out, almost afraid to touch the worm looking like it had a head on each end. Would it bite?

“Night crawlers,” came George’s voice from up the walk.

 I could tell that he was having a very successful worm-picking hunt and that the stream fish the next day would be offered a good last meal before finding themselves in our frying pan on his return trip.

In a short time the night crawlers had escaped back into the grass and slid down their holes into the safety of their underground homes.

My pickings didn’t compare to the ones in George’s can, but he didn’t seem to be disappointed at my lack of adeptness in worm-picking.

“You’ll catch on next time it rains if I’m going fishing again,” he encouraged me.

I just looked at him as I handed him the can of creeping critters, then headed for the bathroom to wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water and to clean off the flashlights.

He contained the catch under tight-fitting lids and put the cans in his fishing creel, ready for his early morning outing.

After a while, cleaned up and sitting in his chair opposite mine with a pleased expression on his face, a smile spread across his features.

“Thanks, Doll,” he whispered. “We made a good haul.”

I leaned over and gave him a kiss on his forehead, a gesture that was to become a nightly love tap. I knew I’d pick up crawly worms for him anytime.