Our pet turtle Spike eats earthworms for dinner. Every evening Alex drops one into his tank (a 10-gallon aquarium) and Spike goes after it with gusto.

Last night, around eleven, I noticed the worm that had been provided for dinner was actually climbing the corner of the tank. He was about halfway up (the tank is about a foot high) and I have no idea how he was sticking to the glass. As I watched he seemed to give up, and slowly dropped back down into the water. Spike looked at him, half-interested, but didn’t attack.

I told Laralee we should reward the worm for his gusto by turning him loose in our garden to live out his life. Anyone with that kind of drive doesn’t deserve to be a turtle snack. She refused, and we headed off to bed.

This morning Kyra found the worm in the middle of the family room.

The little guy must’ve finally made it up and out of the tank, down the couch (which is just beneath), and halfway across the floor toward the back door. He was a bit dried and crusty, but still alive. If anything, I told Laralee, this proved he had a will to live far beyond any other earthworm I’ve ever seen.

So she set him free in her garden. The plucky little guy sure earned it.