I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.
I Would Love
to tell you about my love for snails. Outside of the puppies, kittens, and little babies, I cannot think of any form of life that is so captivating than these little guys. Snails have so many contributions to our world that I cannot write about them all. But the one contribution, escargot, I am going to leave alone. As cute as I find the snail, I cannot turn around and devour a plate of them inside some cushy restaurant. I would be the world’s biggest hypocrite if I allowed this to take place.
The first time I had the pleasure of meeting the snail was when I was seven, maybe eight. The age is not important, but what is important is how I slowly picked-up my first snail and was so happy that the snail did not offer to hurt me. Thank God that I had not picked up a Diamond Back Rattler.
I remember well that my dad, who was also a nature lover, was as happy as I was to take care of the snail that I could see it in his eyes how happy he was—and I wondered if he were more happy at my not screaming when I touched the snail, or how he instantly-understood that I was not a cold-hearted thug without any feelings.
Our Friend, the Snail
is not a complicated creation by any stretch of the imagination. In scientific terms, a snail is a shelled gastropod. If you are a biologist, this term should make you happy. Me? I am just happy to have a great friend in the snail.
Now. What can I say about the importance of the snail in relation to our life on earth and life as we know it. A snail can move as many as several tons of soil over a set time making other parts of the land more fertile and the snail does this without asking for any credit. That is only one job performed by snails.
Land snails also serve important tasks in the ecosystem. They eat very low on the food web, as most land snails will consume rotting vegetation like moist leaf litter, and also fungi and sometimes eat soil directly. Snails are always at work, but it is mostly for mankind.
I am Proud to Report
that our friends the snails, are harmless. I have never in my life known of (a) snail or even a gang of snails bullying any other human being or animal in the woods. The snail can be described as selfish, but in a good way. They are not out for other people’s business—just their own. The more and more that I write about snails, the more I like them.
Back to the age of eight when I first became friends with a snail, I feel so bad right now, years later, for not taking the time to give the snail a cute name such as “Crusher,” maybe “Curly,” either one would fit. You may be wondering what I did when I finished visiting with “Curly,” when the day was almost gone. I found a strong rose bush at the edge of our yard and gently placed “Curly” on the limb and made sure that he did not loose his footing and fall to the ground.
After he slowly began crawling on the rose bush limb, it was like he looked right at me and said thank you, Kenny, for sparing my life. And since these memorable moments, I have always enjoyed a deep relationship with snails and have never looked for fancy restaurants that serve the French dish: escargot. Like I said earlier, I simply cannot find it in my heart to eat one of my friends.
But in Perfect Honesty
I do have a certain concern about snails that until now, has never known one thing about it. It is both a blessing and a burden—when the snail has to carry his own home on his back. And when it rains or even dangerous animals start coming by, the snail can always slip into his home and be safe. I mean this: God thought of everything!
I have never known of Snail Races or being in a Snail Beauty Pageant. Have you? I cannot tell you if snails communicate with each other or human beings? I guess it has a lot to do with the snails’ two big antenna that acts as his eyes and ears as he slowly makes his way to where he is going.--wherever that may be.
And even to this date, I cannot recall ONE song, cute or otherwise, that has put the snail in an honored spotlight. Talk about a shame. As many songwriters, directors and producers as we have in the Entertainment Industry, one of two of these talented people should have come up with something long before now.
Things such as a snail sitcom; a snail drama on PBS; a snail visit to the Grand Ole Opry and to other places where a snail’s fans can get to know them. What about a book about snails? Some writers in our country could sit down and bang-out a few pages about snails and with the right help, there would be another best-seller which would lead to a hit movie followed by the snail, not the book author, winning an Oscar.
And what a “Thank you, Speech,” the snail would make.
P.S. I leave you with a humorous joke that I heard several months ago. What did the turtle say as the snail was giving him a ride.
May 18, 2019_______________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery