|Photo by Colin Broug|
Alex put on his yellow boots, walked into the yard, grabbed a small shovel out of the shed and stepped into the compost and started to dig. He found an apple with one bite taken out of it and a half-eaten sandwich, hiding in the soil. Suddenly, he discovered an earthworm. With a wide-eyed expression and a big red grin, he shouted, "A worm!" Alex picked it up and ran into the house to show his mom, who had been watching him from the kitchen window.
“I found a worm in the compost.”
“It’s called an earthworm.” Replied his mom.
“Yes, and it has a special job to do. First, it eats the scraps of food in the compost, and then it turns them into soil.”
Alex and his mom walked over to the garden and put the earthworm in the soil. Alex watched as it wiggled and writhed. “What is the earfwurm doing in the garden?” he asked.
“The earthworm is going to make the soil nice and soft for the seeds and plants and roots to grow,” replied his mom.
Alex picked up the wiggling worm and held it gently in his hand. He saw the tail end of the worm, with soil coming out of it. "Oh!" he gasped.
“Earthworms dig holes in the soil by wriggling their bodies,” said his mom. “Then they eat the soil, making it nice and soft when it comes out of their bodies.”
Alex returned the earthworm to the soil and watched it wiggle and writhe, then it disappeared.
“Where did the earfwurm go?” asked Alex.
“It dug itself into the soil, where it will be safe,” replied his mom. “Earthworms need to be inside a moist, dark, place, like the compost or the garden.”
Alex went back to the compost and started to dig. It wasn’t long before he found another earthworm. He picked it up, walked over to the garden, and placed it in the soil. He watched as the earthworm wiggled and writhed.
“Did you have lots to eat in the compost?” he asked the earthworm. “It’s time to turn the food into soil and make it soft for the garden to grow! And dig a hole so you will be safe!” Alex waited as the earthworm wiggled and writhed, and then it disappeared. “Bye, bye earfwurm,” he whispered.
Alex walked back to the compost to dig in the soil and spread it all around, because, at age five, he was old enough to do it by himself. He liked being five, but most of all, he loved discovering earthworms.
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