Like worms through the collander

...so are the Days of Our Lives.*

Removing composted dirt from the worm bin for the first time late this afternoon, I couldn't help thinking about the polygamist ranch mess that keeps growing. On my commute home I'd heard the NPR "All Things Considered" story about the FLDS children and teen mothers now in foster care. In the drive-through bank lane I listened to the problems in store for school districts receiving the FLDS children as new students.
I'm just moving dirt out of the worm bin because it is so full, and because it was the sort of day that leaves a teacher unable to do anything more challenging than picking earthworms out of dirt. My method for taking dirt from the worms is primitive and inefficient, and quite satisfying. I'll put the wormless vermicompost in the container plants out on the patio.
Worms don't like light, so I opened the bin and set it under a bright light. I scooped some of the vermicompost into a collander, and set that on top of the worm bin. I pulled out the large materials that had not yet decomposed to put back into the bin. I plucked out all the worms I could catch without effort, and set them back into the bin. Then I watched the rest of the worms wiggle down through the collander holes to get back to the shadows again.
A tired teacher separating dirt from worms in a contained tub environment after a long day is a fairly low-keyed, spontaneous event with minimal impact. Law enforcement officials going into a religious cult compound to remove over four hundred minors based on an anonymous phone call need to have better plans in place.
I can't draw too fine an analogy here, but I did try to do no harm to my worms. Could the Texas officials have considered taking the dirt from the worms, instead of the worms from the dirt?

*I admit I used to watch the afternoon soaps back when Macdonald Carey was still alive.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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