Amazing Annelidas

By , Bangor, ME
Slimy, Gross, Icky, Disgusting. These are all words I’ve heard used to describe earth worms. Personally, I would use words more along the lines of amazing, influential, or intriguing. As a child I always loved digging worms up in my father’s garden. I loved the way they felt cool on my skin, and the way they looked wriggling across my hand trying to escape back the cool, dark, earth. Even better was if I could find one when I had a particularly squeamish friend around. I loved to dig up worms and hear the screams of my friends with a well more typical view on worms.
I loved worms so much as a child I wished I could have one as a pet. One day while playing out in the garden, when I was about 5 or 6, I found one I particularly liked. He probably wasn’t that distinctive from any of the other worms in our garden but I thought he was special. So I decided this would be the worm I would keep as a pet. Holding him in cupped in my hands I ran inside hoping my parents wouldn’t see. “Where are you going so quickly?” my mother asked. “Nowhere,” I said as I walked past in what I hoped was a casual manner. “Okay.” My mother said going back to washing the dishes. I went downstairs and found my doctor Barbie’s medical kit emptying out the contents I set my new friend inside. “Now, let’s go get you some dirt.” I said. I walked out to the garden with him, avoiding my mother, and filled the rest of the empty medical case with dirt. After, filling it I set him in the basement and didn’t think about him too much the rest of the day.
The next morning I eagerly ran downstairs to check on my new pet. To my utter despair I found he had died in the night. Crying, I went and dumped him and the dirt outside. I felt so guilty about killing him I didn’t tell anyone the story for years. That day I learned an important lesson. I realized that we cannot just do whatever we want with nature for our own purposes. Nature does not exist just for humans to use for their own interests. I had never even considered that keeping the worm as a pet would hurt him. Today, there are adults who do not consider the consequences when they dump their garbage into a lake, or clear cut a forest to build a shopping mall. I am thankful I learned that decisions like this can have consequences at such young age.
Today, I still love worms, but for a different reason. I admit I don’t spend hours digging up the earth just to watch them. However, growing up I have learned what an important role on our planet that earth worms have. Worms can turn our waste into rich, dark soil. Worms create a huge amount of the soil we use to grown our food and take care of much of the waste from our food. They are hugely beneficial to our environment. Worms have inspired me to want to be an environmental scientist, because I someday I hope to have even a fraction of the positive impact on our environment that worms do.





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