Light Notes

Quickly closing a can of worms

It would have been better to leave it alone.

Instead, I opened a can of worms.

The conversation came up while we were huddled in the only dry spot in the park. The day was too rainy for a summer picnic, but gardeners — especially Master Gardeners — are a rare breed. They like being outside anytime. They also relish the feel of dirt — I mean soil — under their nails.

This is why I’m not part of this group. I cherish a good manicure as much as they love a hybrid rose. But my husband, Bill, is now an official gardener. He coerced me to attend the meeting with a promise of food — lots of it. Anytime I don’t have to cook, I’ll brave inclement weather — as long as I don’t have to dig in the ground for it.

I wasn’t disappointed. Table after table were spread with salads and desserts that would make a fat lady sing with joy. Still, I tried to contain myself.

“So, what are you planning for the summer?” I asked a longtime gardener, as I checked out his homemade dish — and his fingernails.

"Oh, we’re leaving on a cruise next week. I just have to find someone to 'pet-sit.' "

I knew what he meant. When we head off on vacation, we depend on our neighbor to feed and entertain our cat, Oreo. We’re lucky enough to have Nancy who comes to the house.

“So, what kind of pet do you have that needs a sitter?” I inquired between mouthfuls.

“Not just one,” he said. "They’re a bunch of Red Wigglers. We can’t leave my worms home unattended.”

I eyed my spaghetti salad and then set my plate down. Funny, I suddenly felt a diet coming on.

“Yep, but when we take them to a ‘pet-sitter’ we’ve got to be more careful. Last time, they all crawled out of the worm bed while they were in the trunk of the car. They’re down-right sensitive to vibration.”

I looked around. My heart was pounding like crazy.

Nope! No worms in sight. I’d moon-walked my way back to the car before he thought to ask me to “sit” his creepy crawlies.

Really, I’m sure all creatures, great and small, are precious in God’s sight. But give me a cat over a worm — or a dog, for that matter — to “pet-sit” any day."

Now, having said that, I’ve probably opened a can of worms.