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'Grandma and the Worms'

I had no idea what I was getting myself into the other day when I told Grandma I felt blue. She fixed me with a stare, scrunched down her eyebrows and said, "Let's go for a walk."

My grandma is famous for her walks. She walks our town from one end to the other nearly every day, rain or shine.

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"We'll head over to the park," she said as she did her stretches.

It's hard to keep up with Grandma when she gets to walking. I was out of breath and all sweaty by the time we got to the park. The spray from the sprinklers felt cool on my skin.

"Just as I expected," Grandma muttered. She began to eye the wet sidewalk and then reached down and very carefully picked up a worm.

"Grandma!" I screeched, "what are you doing? That's a worm!"

"Yep," she answered, as she gently placed it in the flower bed where the dirt was dry. "And worms are very important creatures. They move through the soil and make our plants grow better. But the water from the sprinklers flushes them out of the ground," Grandma explained, "and they wash out onto the sidewalk. If they don't get back into the ground soon, they'll dry up crisp as Fritos. Come and help now. We've got lots of lives to save this morning."

I don't know if you have ever touched a worm, but I can tell you they are slimy and squishy and generally disgusting. Still and all, I didn't want any of them to end up like corn chips, so I began picking them up too.

We saved about a dozen lives that morning.

"Feel better?" Grandma asked. And even though my fingers were slippery with worm slime, I had to admit that I did feel better. I smiled up at my grandma.

"Good," she said and smiled back. "Now let's get on over to the high school. The sun's coming out, and today's the day they water the lawns."

This story will be on The Times' Web site at

http://www.latimes.com/kids

.

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