Four times a day, I take my doggies out for a walk around the condo complex where we live. Sometimes there are snails crossing the sidewalks or other small creatures. I make sure to go around them so they won’t get stepped on. They are sentient creatures who want to live as much as me, so I make sure to watch out for their safety. This morning we ran into a neighbor, Joe who walked with us. He was chatting away and I listened, all the while looking for creatures that might be in our path. About a foot ahead of us was an earthworm and I knew Joe and the worm was on a collision course.
In an instant I pictured myself pushing Joe into the grass to save the worm from sudden death. But what if Joe fell and broke his arm? Would that be considered assault? Would the judge take into account, I was only trying to save a sentient being and then have to go on to explain that worms do fall under that umbrella? Hasn’t he seen the move Seven Years in Tibet?
Inside my head, I completely panicked. I knew what was coming and had no way to stop it. Everything happened so fast. Joe never looked down to see what I was looking at. I don’t think the worm looked up. It never knew what hit him– or was it a she? I couldn’t look at the poor worm. I know it was no match for Joe’s size 11 dress shoes.
I am sorry I wasn’t able to save it. My only hope is that the worm comes back someday with a body that at least has a hard shell.