Short Read: A Snail’s Search, Part III

After he left René’s cozy home, Gaston felt a pang: homesickness. He missed his friends – the comfort of places he knew and familiar faces. It was an ache that sat in the pit of his stomach, tempting him to go back to the White…but he reminded himself that adventure was exciting – and lonely. He put on a brave face and continued his trek to the place that he needed to find.

Continue reading “Short Read: A Snail’s Search, Part III”

Haiku: Gliding Gastropod

Slugs seem to get no love. I’ve considered why I’m enamored of snails, with their wonderfully whorled shells, but not slugs…and realized that it’s unfair. A slug is basically a snail, without that magnificent shell upon its back. Did it choose to live its life without a shell? Of course not. So, I’m consciously making an effort to appreciate the beauty of the slug, like the subtle but striking raised pattern on its skin – resembling a fingerprintor how it seems to effortlessly and soundlessly glide along the ground. See the beauty of the slug today.

Poem: The Stoic Snail

I spied a snail, a whorl on its back,

Moving through the grass.

I moved closer to see what business it had

And noticed the crack: jagged, pale.

Something had smashed its shell.

Ah, poor snail.

Your wondrous Fibonnaci spiral –


By an unaware or uncaring shoe, or

Perhaps by an unfeeling lawnmower’s blade?

I saw the snail again, some time later,

Concerned with something in the wet grass,

Gracefully gliding along.

Still alive!

And that shell, so broken –

Bifurcated –

Had repaired itself,

A ragged white scar remaining.

And the snail continued on its way,

Going on with the business of living.

Why this subject matter? I find snails fascinating, and while looking through my (numerous) photos of them, realized that many of the creatures had suffered damage to their shells – those beautiful expressions of the Fibonnaci sequence!

The particular snail that inspired this piece was one that I had seen on several occasions, first with an intact shell, then, later, with a crushed shell. I thought for certain that the snail was a goner, that a bird or other animal would seize the opportunity to pry the mollusk out of the remnants of its house. When I didn’t see it again for several weeks, I assumed it had died…so I was very pleasantly surprised to see it appear in the same area again, with a large white spot on its shell from the repair (calcium deposits). Snails are tough little gastropods…doubtless, they have to be to survive in this world.

  • Good news: some veterinarians even repair broken snail shells, like in this story from The Dodo.

Snails remind me to slow down, take a breath, and marvel at Nature’s stunning display. It is – rightfully – humbling.