It was an unusual Friday afternoon when I ventured outside onto my patio with a cup of tea and a hobnob – my favourite biscuit. The air was warm with just a hint of the impending September freshness. The birds were reciting poetry in their inimitable chirpiness. As I settled into my comfortable chair, the world seemed at peace, until I realised: my hobnob was gone. In its place was a slimy trail leading away from the plate, and a solitary snail looking rather guilty.
At first, I was filled with anger. How dare this little creature steal from me? What audacity to snatch away my afternoon treat! But as I watched the snail, slowly moving, apparently satiated from its biscuit conquest, I began to ponder on a deeper question: Why did the snail eat my hobnob?
Of course, the obvious answer might be hunger. Snails, like all living things, need sustenance to survive. And perhaps, to a snail, the biscuit represents a veritable feast, a banquet of flavours never before encountered. Was this thievery simply an act of survival?
Perhaps the snail was sending a message. In its slow, determined journey across my patio, had it perhaps grown weary of the same old damp leaves and garden detritus that I usually provide it with? Maybe it wanted something different, something exotic. In its own slimy way, the snail, in taking my biscuit, was rebelling against the mundane and expected, choosing instead the path of adventure and discovery.
Or maybe, just maybe, the slug was teaching me a lesson. In our busy, human lives, we often forget to savour the small moments, the simple pleasures. We rush from one task to the next, seldom stopping to appreciate the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. The slug, in its deliberately slow pace, understands the value of patience and perseverance. It recognises that sometimes, the journey is more important than the destination. By choosing my biscuit, the snail was reminding me to cherish the present, to embrace the unexpected, and to find joy in the little things.
As I watched the snail continue on its journey, the initial feelings of anger and resentment melted away. My attitude towards the snail went as soft as a dunked biscuit. Instead of wanting revenge, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and connection. For in that brief moment, a simple snail had reminded me of the beauty of life, the importance of perspective, and the value of embracing the unexpected.
So, why did the snail eat my biscuit? Perhaps it was hungry. Perhaps it was curious. Perhaps it was teaching me a lesson. Whatever the reason, I am grateful. For in this moment of creaturely criminality, this species of genus Achatina, had challenged my stulted thinking, and for that, dear snail, I will be forever thankful.