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Notice: Earthworm Wanted

Not based on true events

I have been an excellent hunter ever since I was a little wiggler. Yes, I found many a tasty meal while I tunnelled and roved beneath the soil, feeling my way with two tiny tentacles upon my upper lip. I ate both worms and insects, beetles and bugs as I journeyed through flightless passages and dim corridors of my own making. I could not see all that well as I slid through the earth, not only because of the poor light, but also because of my poor vision. And it was exactly because of this poor vision that I became the victim of a thief. Yes! Something very precious was stolen from me, while it was yet in my grasp: an earthworm of enormous breadth and length. I discovered it when I had only just escaped from a maze of tangled root, to my great astonishment, for neither  of my tentacles had detected even one trace of its chemical presence. I craned my head down when I was finally aware of its thick form before me in the tunnel, and without a second’s delay I snatched it. My jaws could barely encompass its roundness. The worm was so ginormous! Indeed! I had hit upon a giant treat! With all my strength, I attempted to haul it further into my soily tunnel only to feel a greater pull coming from its opposite end. What could it be? Whatever it was pulling away I would not wait to discover. With renewed energy I struggled against it, edging my way backward, but immediately felt another a violent tug on the worm, and I was dragged forward once more. Whatever was intent upon that worm’s opposite end in this subterranean tug-of-war was evidently full of power and might, but I was determined not to give into its assailance. This worm was my  breakfast, not the thief’s. With an immense stubbornness which even I now wonder at, I wedged myself in the passage and there resolved to remain. By this time, my teeth ached with the great strain that was upon them and my muscles were tensed in the fullest. Finally, I gave into my foe, and mentally abandoning the meal for loss, I released my grip ever so slightly. Plink! The worm shot from my mouth like a whip and was immediately dragged down the tunnel  and  swallowed by fate. And so, there I lay, no fat annelid in my jaws but only pain. Even now, months afterwards, I yet long for a worm equal in measurements as that one. That is why I wrote this, in hopes that if you come across such a worm, you may contact me if you do not want it for yourself, and I will gladly eat it for you. Please, for breakfast’s sake!

Ringed Caecilian
Siphonops annulatus

A striking  worm-like amphibian of South America, this is one of the 183 creatures called caecilians. It is of a dark blue hue with brighter turquoise rings around its body. It has an ill-tasting solution which it secretes to save itself from becoming another animal’s meal. It is 8-16 inches long and lives beneath the surface of the earth.

Class Clitellata

Classified in the same class as leeches, earthworms are the irrigators of the soil, and a food base for many animals. Their burrows permit water and air  to enter the soil. They may grow up to 11 inches long and are harmless.

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Wednesday August 4, 2021