It takes a worm to catch a fish but there are many ways to catch a worm.

One can stop by Babe’s Bait and Tackle in town and buy worms in little Styrofoam containers not unlike what soup comes in at a city deli. Babe can also tell you where what fish are biting and the walls are covered with photos of people and the fish they have caught, so there’s plenty of inspiration.

Worms (not night crawlers, but worms) can also be dug up or found by lifting rocks up and finding them underneath. Sending the boy scouts out to find worms is good for an afternoon and teaches self-reliance, or something. A group of ten-year-old boys stopped by my campsite to ask me where the worms were. When I said, under the rocks, I could tell they thought I was kidding. So I told them to “pick a rock, any rock, and lift it up. (Groucho Marx voice used) Then I had some serious credibility as everyone found a worm. Cute kids.

My favorite story on how to catch a worm involves Allison who was camping with a host of women from her family. She was with her Mom, Grandmas, Aunts and cousins which is pretty special all by itself. Many of the women had fished for years and this annual trip was a tradition.

Allison knew that birds ate worms and the campground is full of all sorts of birds. (I know the names and songs of a very few and my lack of knowledge is a disappointment to those campers who expect me to be nature girl.) I’d had coffee with this wonderful group of females and spotted Allison as a free spirit and someone who the world would not easily subdue. .

A couple of mornings later as I am walking around the camp, I spy Allison hiding in the bushes with a focused look on her face. Puzzled, I stop and wait to see what will happen. After maybe ten minutes she yells and charges from her hiding place, arms waving wildly. She has scared a bird. The bird has dropped its worm. Allison grabs the worm and puts it in a plastic bag.

She looks up to see my rather astonished look and says, “one worm for one fish that I will catch.” Allison has her own way of finding worms.

Not to read too much into this tale, but comparing the straggling group of boy scouts (who at least asked for help) with their messy uniforms and Allison (with her home-made hot pink Obama T-shirt) my money is on the Allisons of the world to help us all rethink how we live.