Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Life’s Little Mysteries (3)

The weather, never settled for long, has changed again. After baking heat - always welcome when venturing into the city to shop (aye, right!) - Saturday night brought heavy rain. Driving home late, I became aware that things were moving in the headlights’ beam. Frogs. Lots of frogs. They’ve spent the hot spell hidden under the dry stone walls or in deep undergrowth, until the rain came. Then it’s way-hay! Look chaps - puddles! Which made driving the back roads rather more akin to a slalom course, avoiding frogicide.

Arriving home, we unpacked the car; another slalom session as we avoided the snails sliding happily across the path. With rain dripping down my neck from the tailgate of the car, I turned and noticed around fifteen on the end wall of the house, all heading upwards. One slid purposefully up the edge of the gable; all seemed bent on reaching the roof, or even the chimneystack. Those on the path made their slow and stately way to the wall, and proceeded upwards. I couldn’t see anything up there that might attract their attention, no algae, no moss, no tempting plants at all.
Were they trying to tell me that flood were expected? Is there a snail nightclub somewhere on my roof? Do they gather up there in the first rain after the last full moon in July for some esoteric snail ritual? Baffled, I took the last of the shopping indoors and went to dry off.
In the morning there were no snails to be seen. And none that night on the window pane. I began to wonder if some silent interstellar space-shell had descended in the damp night and taken them away, to report on their observations of Earth life.

Wherever they went, it was a short trip - five were back last night. Of course, it was ‘Mastermind’ and ‘University Challenge’ on the TV. How else can interstellar snails learn?


mackie said...

"Is there a snail nightclub somewhere on my roof?"


such a Mad thing to say :-P
but it rally is quite mysterious. now i imagine the pasta dish sized flying saucer that comes by in the darkest hour of the night to pick them up, a few stragglers huffing, puffing, and sliming up the house wall not to miss the flight hme … the ones yu saw the day after were probably the next shift.

Anonymous said...

That is so intriguing, Mad. A perfect little mystery. I am not sure if you are living in a particularly magical place or if you just notices things more than most of us. Probably both.
Just keep on doing it!

My "word" is kind of cool, like a name:


Sue said...

oooh oooh, perhaps Douglas Adams got it was n't the mice running Earth as an experiment; it was the snails!!!

Perhaps if you had listened carefully you would have heard small slimy voices calling "So long and thanks for all the marigolds!"

j. said...


Tats said...

Surely a snail would say, "Hosta la vista, baby!"?