"I Just Wanted Them for Fishing, Mom!"
Our family lived in a very small home in Cheshire, Oregon, which is on highway 36, West of Junction City. It was a beautiful Saturday. It was still cool, because it was only about ten o'clock in the morning. The swallows were all out building their nests in the high areas inside our carport. They were so loud sometimes, screeching at each other as if the Mrs. of the little straw house was getting irritated and telling her husband to get to work the 'honey do' list.
Micheal's daddy was out tilling a small patch of land for a little squash garden. It was only about twenty feet long and twelve feet wide. The boy was following right behind his dad, picking up the bigger rocks and throwing them out of the garden area. He knew this was always a big help, and what could be more fun than to have an excuse to throw big rocks! "Hey dad, watch me," he would say as he took the biggest one he could find and throw it like he was an Olympian medalist.
They worked out in the dirt for most of the morning, and when done, they came in the house to have lunch. Afterwards, we all went back out and worked on getting the soil just right and planting the variety of squash that would be very welcome later on in the season. When we finally came inside at the end of the day, I had to take charge. "All right, you guys. Get in their and take a real good shower, and put your clothes on the mud porch, so I can get them washed." Matthew looked like he wanted to argue, but he put his head down in a look of defeat and did what he was told. I thought about questioning him, but then decided not to. There were too many other things that needed to get done.
If I had known what I would encounter the next day, I would have been a little more diligent in pursuing the "look."
Since I try to take a full day off on Sunday, I usually did laundry on Monday. However, Sunday was an extremely hot day. it was humid, as it normally was in the summer, and there was little to do but sweat. So I decided to go ahead and get laundry done that evening.
John and Michael were out in the living room on the sofa watching TV, and I started sorting clothes. I always check the pockets of the clothes because there has been one or more occasions where things had been left and then washed. I checked John's first, and then reached down to get Micheal's. I reached in deep and froze, while a look of pure horror washed over my face. "Oh no," I said, but it was pretty obvious. I pulled my hand out and there was slimy worm guts all over my fingers.
"Michael!" I shouted. It was loud enough that neighbors could hear me a mile down the road. John came to the porch to see if he had to rescue me from uncertain death by the way I screamed. He stopped when I showed him my hand. He started to laugh when he looked at my face, which had turned from a horror stricken look, to one of pure disgust. John promptly turned and whistled his way back to the couch. Michael was still there looking at his dad. John put his hand on his son's shoulder, "I think your mother wants to talk to you. I would advise you not to say anything. Just nod your head."
Michael made his way to me on the porch. By this time, I went from disgust to seeing the humor in it. I was trying to maintain a straight face, when I showed him my hand and his pocket, he had the audacity to start laughing. I was barely holding on, "What do you think is so funny about this, Michael? I have a mind to have you wash these pants by hand and show you what it would be like to clean it all up." That satisfyingly seemed to wipe the smirk off of his face.
"Please Mom, I'm sorry. I forgot that I put them in there. I just wanted to collect some worms so dad and I could go fishing." I knew that was probably what had occurred, so I grabbed his arm and drug him out to the garage and got a flashlight, and small pail. We went out to a bare spot in the garden, and I started shoveling dirt and turning it over. He gave me a cheesy smile and got down on his hands and knees to sort through the dirt and collect about twelve night crawlers, so he and his dad could go fishing the next day.
When we got back into the house and I tucked my little man in bed, I turned out the light. I walked out his bedroom door and heard some really enthusiastic giggles. I had a mind to go back in and tickle him till he had to pee, but I didn't. Instead, I went into living room and had a wonderful laugh with my husband.