Monday, March 26, 2007

A Day at the Races

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.
This morning the boys and I noticed at the bus stop two worms were on the road. They were roughly parallel to each other and both were frantically moving towards the edge and the safety it represented. At first the longer of the two surged ahead and we were all confident to would reach the grass first. But inexplicably, with less than a ¼ inch to go, it made a hard left and moved along the edge of the road. Meanwhile shorty plugged along.

When the bus arrived shorty was less than an inch away from the grass. The big guy was still moving along and started to veer back towards the middle of the road. As the boys boarded the bus I promised to stay until one of the two worms finished the race. Half a minute later shorty won and promptly buried itself in the scrubby grass. With a small stick I moved big guy, who had easily traveled three times farther than shorty, over to the relative safety of our neighbor’s lawn.

I went home and promptly forgot about the worms. That is until the boys got home.

The first thing Jake and Nate asked when they saw me was “Who won?!”

They both cheered with the result and then set off on a related project, worm racing.

Nate made a lovely sign featuring a race worm, complete with helmet. While Jake created a sign-up sheet and thoughtfully provided for two divisions, privately owned worms and rented worms.

My intrepid worm tycoons then trooped outside. The first order of business was to get worms. They briefly consulted with me about where to get worms and I pointed them to the woods. Jake, Nate and Rebecca heeded my advice and easily found their racing stock (Max opted out, worms and digging had no appeal to him). They named their favorites and put at least one into the rental worm container. Then it was off to the races.

The racing complex was situated under the hammock. It is a nice bare area with hard packed dirt and plenty of sticks. The tracks were composed of two rings and several straight line courses.

In the rings one worm would be placed in the center of each ring and the winner would be the first worm to reach the edge of the ring. I’m not sure what happened in the straight line course since Rebecca had the only worm on that course.

I guess I could have rented a worm and provided her a little competition, but the lone rental was given to Rebecca. Her original worm disappeared and the boys generously donated the rental to her. They are such nice boys and very good big brothers.

They afternoon races were not nearly as exciting. I think the worms needed a little warming up after being dug out of the cold ground. But, a fun time was had by all.

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