News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Box of night crawlers for Christmas

"Cute" is not what I would call Canadian night crawlers. But a lot of things are "sooo cute" to our 3-year-old granddaughter Emma Grace, who more or less fell in love with our fish bait.

"Go get your Dad to put a worm in your hand and bring it to me," I told her from the far side of the farm pond recently.

"Noooo," she said, then went to explore the oversized worms.

Kirk held one up like it was a string of spaghetti and suggested she hold out her hand. She flinched at its touch, but became mesmerized as it balled into her chubby hand.

"Tom-Tom, they are soooo cute," she said, as I picked it up.

The king-sized worms are too much of a mouthful for even the hungriest small bream, so we downsized.

"Hold the end of this cute worm while I make two out of it," I said to Emma Grace.

"OK," she said, thinking two would be cuter than one. I rationalized that short division wasn't any more painful than skewering the worm on a fishhook.

The bream were "soooo cute," too, as she gently stroked their heads before I released them back into the drought-stricken pond.

Division of the worms meant we had bait for the next morning before the Deas family went home to Georgia. So, we put the box in the refrigerator.

"Where are the worms?" Emma Grace asked later in the day.

"In the refrigerator," I replied, and went out to the red rocking chairs on the front porch to join the family.

All except Emma Grace who remembered that the night crawlers were in their box in the refrigerator.

"What's Emma Grace doing?" her grandmother asked.

"I think I heard her getting a bottle of water from the refrigerator," I replied.

Grandmother is not a big believer in thinking. I was sent to check. Emma Grace didn't get water. She had the worms spread on the kitchen table, carefully taking them one at a time out of their box.

"But they are soooo cute," she protested, as I retrieved the worms and scrubbed the table.

I may get her a box of them for Christmas, if her mother and grandmother don't find out first. Unlike Emma Grace, they're not fond of fish bait.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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