An Invitation To My Snail Party

My Mystery Snail hanging off the floating moss ball.

It was a phone call I never expected to get.

I was in my studio and when I Jon called, his voice full of wonder.  “The snail is hanging, upsidedown off the moss ball,” he said.  “I can’t imagine how he got up there. You have to come see this.”

We’ve seen my Mystery Snail, Socrates,  on the moss ball before,  but I never heard Jon so excited about it.

My snail obsession is obviously contagious.

At dinner with friends this weekend I suggested a snail party.  One where we sit in front of the fish tank and watch the snails.  I told them the only problem is that I couldn’t guarantee that the snails would do something spectacular, like free-falling from the top of the tank the floating back up again on an invisible bubble float or contorting their bodies like they were in Cirque de Soleil.

There was a hush around the table even as I explained the possibilities, my friends were either awed into silence or they had stopped listening to me. Then Jon, somewhat sarcastically, suggested it might not be the kind of thing most people were interested in.

That’s the same Jon who was now interrupting my work to tell me to come look at a snail.

I’ve seen Socrates get onto the floating moss ball by climbing up one of the tall plants till it bends over and leans on the moss ball.  Then the snail moves from the plant to the moss ball.  (I do wonder if the snail is smart enough to do this intentionally)

But this morning Jon and I both watched in wonder as Socrates climbed up the thin strand of monofilament attached to the moss ball. Seeing that, I can’t help believe that he knew just what he was doing.

So I formally invite you to my Snail Party.

But there’s no need to sit around all night drinking wine and eating dinner in front of the fish tank. Because, this morning, I got a video of  Socrates climbing up the thin line of monofilament on his way to the moss ball.


4 thoughts on “An Invitation To My Snail Party

  1. I can think of a lot worse things than drinking wine and enjoying the fish tank. Maybe some cheese and crackers on the side … sounds like a good night to me! Better than some of the stuff on TV.

  2. If you have not yet read it, may I suggest ‘The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating’ by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. One of the best books I’ve ever read: interesting and insightful, both scientifically informative and meditatively introspective, one would never imagine how engrossing it can be to even read about someone else’s observations of these amazing little creatures, and fosters empathy for the author’s circumstance that led to her introduction of their little shelled world. The ancient haiku which preface each chapter are enough alone to make this little gem of a book amazing; very much like your 30-second meditations, but they can be pondered throughout the day. So glad I found it in the bibliography of ‘The Soul of an Octopus’ by Sy Montgomery, which was also an outstanding read.

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