Sunday 21 June 2015

If I Were a Worm

I live in a province that is water poor. Oh, we have rivers that criss cross the province east to west and north to south. The mountains dole out run off streams that originate high up where there is always snow to melt. Our water just isn’t where we want it to be, in the farmers fields.

This winter was a pretty dry one, with little snow cover. That little snow cover means that there is not much ground water in the fields. Our spring has been dry as well and the farmers are getting nervous. We have already had a fire ban in the province which is almost unheard of in the springtime. The rain we do get seems to be west of the city where it is mostly ranch land and the poor grain farmers east of us are wondering if they should start to think about ploughing the crop under this year. Crazy times.

It isn’t all bleak yet. There is still time for rain to fall and for the crops to grow tall and healthy. It is a waiting game. This last week or two, we have had a goodly amount of rain. I don’t know if it is enough rain or if it is raining where it is needed, but we have had rain here. My lawn has never looked so healthy and green. Most of the time my lawn is brown with a greenish tinge to it. I suppose that I could spread fertilizer, water it, and kill the weeds, but that only leads to having to cut it more often. Why should I work to make more work for myself, it just doesn’t make sense. This year, the lawn makes me look like I have a green thumb.

There are down sides to having rain of course, my car always looks dirty. Well, it is dirty. I can’t empty the rain barrel fast enough and I worry that the overflow is just being wasted. I have had to clean out the gutters already because the storms knock leaves off of the trees and the leaves fall on the roof and the rain washes the leaves into the gutters which then clog up the down spout causing a mini flood just under the downspout which causes me to go out in the rain (getting soaked) to clear the blockage. I kind of miss the brown grass.

One thing that I remember from growing up in Toronto is the smell after the rain. Not the smell during the rain which is clean and wet, but the smell after the rain stops falling and the worms start to die. I understand that being underground during a rain storm can cause some serious flooding problems for the worms. They are right to make their way to the surface so that they don’t drown. If they would just stay in the grass, I think they would be alright, wet, but alright. Instead, for a reason only known by them, the worms continue to crawl until they are either on the sidewalk, in a puddle or in a ditch at the side of the road.

If they crawl onto the sidewalk, they either get crushed by pedestrians or become easy pickings for the birds shortly after the rain stops. If they somehow manage to avoid the pedestrians and the birds, the sun comes out and for some reason they are unable to crawl back to the earth and are baked dry on the cement sidewalks. Those that choose to seek shelter from the rain in puddles have a different fate. No bird in his right mind would eat a worm that had been soaking in a puddle for hours and days. Birds aren’t smart, hence the term “birdbrain”, but they know enough to stay away from swollen, bloated, wet worms. The best these worms can hope for is to start to rot and make the whole city smell of rotting worms.

I think if I were a worm, and I could choose which kind of worm I could be, I would be a tape worm, living in some beings digestive tract and hopefully causing them great distress. Yeah, that would be the life…

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