‘It’s Alive!’ Michelle Obama Holds an Earthworm

Michelle Obama

Frank Polich/Landov

updated 10/26/2011 AT 3:00 PM ET

originally published 10/26/2011 AT 4:35 PM ET

Michelle Obama isn’t afraid to get a little dirt under her fingernails, and after all that work in the vegetable garden, she isn’t above getting really close to the things that live in the dirt, either.

The First Lady held up a lowly earthworm during a visit Tuesday to Chicago’s Iron Street Urban Farm, where she picked the worm out of a compost bin and smiled at it happily.

“It’s alive!” she shouted as Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel laughed at her side, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.