Monday, June 23, 2008

Mr. Worm and Ferdinand

While I was weeding the perennial bed yesterday, I found a nice little earthworm and called to Liesl, who was playing nearby. I picked him up to show to her, and she promptly responded with, "Liesl hold it." So I put the worm down in her cupped, waiting hands. I was concerned that she might be slightly freaked out about how slimy and wiggly he was. I needn't have been. Besides spiders, I never minded bugs or creepy-crawlies much (though I don't really like it when they surprise me), so perhaps that tomboyness has been passed down to my kids. I hope so. Anyway, we dubbed him "Mr. Worm." Liesl really, really liked Mr. Worm. She held him for a few minutes, and I had to really convince her that he had to be put down so he could help our garden. She said, "Kiss Mr. Worm good-bye." Um, no. Animal lovers we may be, but we are not quite unreserved enough to do that.

We also have a toad (or several) residing near our front entrance. Ever since we were married and started gardening together, Tom and I would exclaim when we found a toad on our property. We would often catch them and turn them back loose in our garden--hey, toads eat bugs, that's free labor. But this year, we've seen a large toad near the entrance of our house quite often. So I've named him "Ferdinand." Now, I don't consider myself an expert in toad forensicology, so of course I know that it probably isn't always the same toad...but I don't care. All toads in our front yard are greeted gently but enthusiastically by the name "Ferdinand."

Tom asked me, "But what if Ferdinand is a girl toad?" Well, then, meet Ferdinanda. Duh.

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