Saturday, October 10, 2009


There is no beast so foul in heaven or hell as Bipalium Kewense; no creature so loathsome, no animal so vile. Not in all my days as an animal lover have I found such a creature as could make me gag, start, stare or moan, until Bipalium Kewense, otherwise known as the Shovel head worm. May I remind you, my readers, that just last week I regaled you with tales of my ardor of nature. I have been an avid gardener in my home state of Arkansas for the better part of 22 years, and in such time I've encountered spiders, snakes, skinks, lizards and variety of insects to boggle the mind. None of these have so much as caused me to flinch...until I encountered the shovel headed worm. Not familiar with this vermin? Let me introduce you. Bipalium Kewense is a flat worm, which is the consistency of a soggy slug. It is flat as a pancake, and has a head that is in fact shaped like a shovel. They can be up to 12 inches long, and exhibit a color that can best be described as snot-like, with three black stripes which run down their backs. To make matters worse, they are members of the planairan family, which in layman's terms means that if you try to off one of the buggers by cutting it in half you then are merely stuck with two of the wriggling demons. You can continue this process until you have any number of writhing nasties from one single worm. They creep about in the garden, feasting on my earth worms. But what makes Bipalium kewense even more vomitous is their propensity to produce copious amounts of mucus when they are 'attacked'. They wrap their noxious little bodies around their 'attackers' and stick like glue. So, as luck would have it, they are particularly nasty when mixed with dog hair....Pomeranian dog hair most especially. One night about four weeks ago 'The Dude' brought one in on his hind leg. Daddy held him, while I used scissors 'et al' to remove it. Now, you cannot imagine the horrific things I have removed from Pomeranian dog hair in the 13 years I've had them as members of my family. But this, by far, was the worst. It was the first time in history that I had to take a moment to gag and breathe before finishing the task. At first the hubby and I were horrified that these aliens were something spawned from the bowels of our beloved 'bitties', but praises be, that was not the case. A second made it's way in on 'The Smidge', and a third had the audacity to crawl under the threshold to my HOME and die on the floor. But, horror of horrors, tonight the unthinkable occurred.
Kev and I dined out, spent time with Little Miss, and came the the damp (two things Bipalium kewense loves). We walked in, and as I was putting away a few groceries I slipped on something on the floor. Looking down I spotted one half of one of these little devils squirming about on the floor...but where was the other half??? Then, I saw it; wrapped around my LEGGGG. Oh dear GOD save me from a fate such as this. I turned into a weeping, screeching whirling dervish. All I could do was extend my leg in the general direction of hubby, and start shaking it wildly while screeching 'get it get it GEEEEEEET ITTTTTT OOOFFFF'. Praises be that he is the very definition of a 'manly man'. He subdued me (while I turned my head and alternately whine-moan-gagged), and removed the demon from my leg. HALLELUJAH I AM SAVED!!!!
So, I have to ask myself, what purpose can these abominations serve? They eat my much needed earth worms, and they cause all forms of unnatural reactions in my psyche. Here you go; they eat slugs. The nastiest of garden gremlins, slugs eat all variety of carefully cultivated flora, and shovel head worms eat slugs. So, while they are the bane of my existence, many people online who actually discuss this horror do so with an attitude of gratitude. Once again it is proven to me that there is a purpose for everything in creation, and that one mans horror is another mans blessing. I may not understand the why of so many things under heaven, but I trust there is a purpose. I hope to always be a woman of purpose...even if I do it while loathing Bipalium Kewense.

1 comment:

Teach said...

The good thing is that they are also cannibalistic. Bad thing, their mouth is also their . . . well, let's just say they have the original "potty mouth"