“Check to make sure they’re still alive,” the cashier at the Alden Quick Mart recommended when I asked him where he kept the crawlers.
Spying the Live Bait window sign, I pulled off the highway. After visiting Edwards Apple Orchard and scoring a half dozen cinnamon cider doughnuts, bobber fishing from the pier seemed like a fitting activity to cap off an indulgent afternoon. I needed bait.
Grubs, Night Crawlers, Nitro Worms labeled the plastic containers crammed into the hip high frig. I plucked the nearest Night Crawler container and popped the lid. Stinky worms mashed into a heap proved the cashier astute. A second and third container suffered similar situations.
“So who’s in charge of these worms?” I inquired. “This isn’t a good situation for them.” Having found a container with live night crawlers I plopped that and the nitro worms on the counter.
The clerk, puzzled as to why worms needed managing, held his hands up in an “I’m not in charge of worms” submissive gesture. He could have just as easily outted my hypocrisy by asking, “And what are your plans for these worms?”
He didn’t need to. I called out myself. My behavior towards worms seesawed. On one hand I’ll rescue worms stranded on the driveway after a rainstorm by tossing them on the grass. On the other hand I’m pulling into the Alden Quick Mart for a container of crawlers. I’ll hook this unlucky lot at the end of my line and attempt to lure bass my way
“You might want to clean the frig out and rotate the worms a bit so there aren’t as many casualties,” I advised as I left. I was a regular Temple Grandin of lower life forms.
My autumn fishing afternoon never materialized. I told myself that it was too late, I was too tired, and my fishing days were over for the year.
I traipsed to my compost heap and released the farm raised, store bought night crawlers and nitro worms into the wild.
I wondered if the native worms were more savy than the domesticated ones.
I wondered if the green worms would stay green generation after generation.
I wondered if I wondered WAY too much about worms.