Blessed with a visit of my four year old granddaughter, Nadia, we set out to have a day of play! What fun!
We began the morning with a little breakfast and then quickly went to the corner table so that she could paint her beautiful creations! My, the wonder of her paintings so capture my heart! Being a four year old, the attention does not stay long on one activity. Dripping watercolor from her fingers, she delightfully requested, “Nanny, can we go outside?” Within seconds we were out the door to experience the sunshine of our Wisconsin weather. We had been at 40 degrees the day before, and now we were at 70! The unpredictable change was so very welcomed! Within that short frame of time, the daffodils planted last Fall were blooming! These caught the eye of Nadia, who immediately spoke, “Oh, Nanny, can I have some flowers for Mama?” Of course we cut a few, carried them into the house, found a vase, and placed them on the kitchen table, until later that day when Mama would return to retrieve her little darling.
From the flower arrangement, we moved again to the outside world and Nadia received her requested swing on the playset. After three or four of these delights in the air, she firmly spoke to me, “Nanny, this is enough swinging. Let us water the trees we planted yesterday!” Nadia organizes the events quite well…and I give her the freedom to tell me what her heart desires –the fault of every grandmother. So away we went to water the fir trees that she and Ayden helped plant the day before. A neighbor had brought them over to me as a gift, and we could not delay in planting them. Late, the previous afternoon, Ayden, who is six, placed his little hands firmly on the shovel and dug away. He was so energetic and one could see the proud sense of accomplishment on his face as he dug into Mother Earth to give her a tree. Today, we needed to follow up and give them their necessary daily drink as all young saplings need. Nadia ran to turn the hose on and returned with anxiousness to give the trees their drink. When that was accomplished we began to rake the mounds of earth that we had not yet smoothed from the day before. As we were raking, we came upon an earthworm!
Nadia exclaimed, “Oh, Starflower! You came back to me!”
Not wanting to dampen her playful spirit of recalling her Earthworm friend from last summer at her home fifteen underground miles away, I said, “Yes, it seems she has crawled a long distance to be with you!”
Nadia was speechless but for the love on her face for this sweetly, squirming earthworm in her hand! She spoke ever so softly to this little creature, “Oh, Starflower, you are so soft and you do not even bite me!”
To which I replied, “Yes, he is so cute!”
And, in turn, to which Nadia responded: “Nanny, she is a girl!”
“Opps! I didn’t know!” I exclaimed.
Immediately Nadia requested, “Nanny, where are her brothers and sisters, and Mama and Nanny, and Grandpa and Daddy?”
“Well, I guess we will need to look for them,” I replied, as I carefully raked the ground, scanning for more of the family, with Nadia peering closely at the brown earth.
“There is one! It is Starmoon!” she excitedly exclaimed. I was amazed at her ability to come up with these original names of her friends so quickly and to be able to distinguish them one from the other — truly a childhood expertise!
We proceeded to discover eight members of the family: “Starflower, the girl and the first friend; Starmoon, Starflower’s brother; Starshine, Mama Earthworm; Starlight, Nanny; Star Sun, Grandpa; Star Rainbow, the father. ” Who would have thought earthworms could have such scintillating names!
I found a plastic bucket in the storage shed, and we added a little earth and water, and then the Earthworm Family. Nadia was so happy with her new pets! What a delightful day! Nadia is such a gentle soul with so much love in her heart–even for the Earthworm!
- Why Do Earthworms Surface After Rain? (livescience.com)
- Soil Testing: Earthworm Test (davesjourneyandadventure.wordpress.com)
- Methylation of Mercury in Earthworms and the Effect of Mercury on the Associated Bacterial Communities (plosone.org)
- Top 5 Most Invaluable Animals (naturebox.org.uk)
- Earthworms (nataliatree.wordpress.com)