The walk to school yesterday was warm and drizzly and very exciting.  "Mommy, be careful!  There are worms ALL OVER!" 

 "There are, like, a hundred worms!"

"Let's count them!" cries Shmoogie, who loves to count things.  She is at 15 before I even get the stroller moving out of the carport.

Together, she and Mr. P count as we walk and he bikes carefully up the sidewalk "16...17...18!..."  But Shmoogie decides she must enforce some standards, "No, that one's dead.  You can't count dead ones.  You can only count live ones."

There's a near tragedy when Mr. P's tire catches the tip of one worm, leaving it slightly bloody and writhing on the pavement.  It takes several tries before we successfully airlift it to the grass and Shmoogie deems it alive and countable. 

We arrive at school with a count of 23 (including one extremely impressive foot long specimen), certified by Shmoogie herself.  The ten minute wait for best friends to arrive only heightens the excitement.  "You can tell R," offers Shmoogie, "but I get to tell L."

Soon, R is spotted heading our way across the field.  Mr. P shouts out, "R!!  WE SAW TWENTY THREE WORMS THIS MORNING!!!!"

I watch, wondering a little anxiously how this is going to go, relaxing as soon as R smiles back and shouts, "COOL!"