Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Cousin Snails

As some of you may know, we have had a very snail filled summer so far. It started with my interest in the fact that snails have ravaged the little flower border I planted along my porch. This interested Scout and she eventually found a few on the porch and played with them and wanted them inside. We put them in a little box for a few hours and it was enough time for her to form a strong bond with these nasty gooey insect things. When I told her it was time to take them back outside, she didn't really protest, but sat on the porch with them for 15 minutes talking to them in a sad little voice about how much she was going to miss them and on and on and on. Long story short, they now reside in a jar in our house with some holes poked in the top, every other day, cleaned out by me (yes, snails do poo) and are given a fresh leaf of lettuce from our fridge. They are referred to as the mommy, daddy and baby snail.

So the other day, I see some snails resting happy as clams in the shade under our front plants while turning the hose on. I told Scout we were going on a snail hunt (I have a garden you know and don't want snails. I HATE snails! They are vile and ugly and most of all, eat my plants). I figured the best way to get rid of them is to pluck them from where they sleep and discard them. Scout was only too eager to help me out, which is good, because I am a bit squeemish and don't relish touching them if I ever can help it. We got a zip loc bag and started going to town. We explored in all our bushes and pluck pluck plucked resting snails from every cranny we could find. This is the result:

I honestly don't know what I was planning to do with them when I was done. I am not above smashing a single snail if noticed on the street or somewhere, but that much snail carnage at one time makes me a little uneasy. Yes, there is a soft spot with me even for snails. I suppose I could have lied to Scout and at some point closed up the bag, tossed them in the trash and forgotten about them and fed her a story (I think that would have disturbed me a little, for a while anyway). While I was pondering what to do, Scout wanted to go upstairs to the office and show daddy our haul. He thought they were really cool and thought maybe we could take them to a new home down by the river. Scout was opposed at first until I reminded her that there was no way we were keeping a hundred snails. They were almost immediately named "the cousin snails" (side note: I should mention that inbetween the jarred snails and the great snail hunt, Scout found another snail and wanted to add it to the jar. I told her no, she may not bring any more snails in the jar, she may only have the 3 she already had. She said, "but this is the cousin snail". Daddy wisely pointed out that cousins live in other houses, so it was set back outside and for a while (a few days) she would periodically open the front door and yell out, "Hi Amy snail!" --for those of you that don't know, Amy is my sister and mother to 5 of Scout's cousins in Wyoming. For the record, all of Scout's beloved relatives are dubbed "cousins". Aunts, Uncles, grandma, grandpa they are all just referred to collectively as the cousins.--) Anyway, we finally got her on board with the new snail home which outlines the golf course by our house and is perhaps a 2 minute drive from our house, but there is a substantual cliff seperating us, so they shall never find their way back to my tomatoes or beans. This was a satisfying option for me too, so we took that picture on the stairs, Scout's snail family wanted to come along for the ride, and we all piled into the car to make our drop. We got there and walked around until we found a nice little grassy area next to a bush and the water (and a substantial amount of circling birds -do birds eat snails? If so, they were eating good that night!) We dropped off the cousin snails and took a picture:
So that's our snail tale. My favorite part about the story (besides the fact that all those pictured snails used to reside in my front yard, are now far far away) came a day or two ago. Rob has taken to going to the golf course on nights I work and he and Scout go play 9 holes together. This is Scout's biggest thrill to go in the golf cart with daddy. The Cedar Hills Course is very very hilly and has long cart rides that include a tunnel, so this is as you can imagine a very exciting thing to go do with daddy while mommy is away. She is so good and well behaved and does exactly what he tells her to do while out there (she must have an internal knowledge of golf etiquette in there somewhere). Anyway, I just think that is so cute they go do that. While on the first or second hole you are at the top and can happen to see the snail drop off zone and the other day Scout looks, recognizes it and goes, "dad! Look, it's snail Wyoming!"


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