“I was demolishing a lettuce leaf, my oval raspy-toothed mouth opening and closing like a flesh valve as I oozed along on my own self-generated glistening slime highway. The lovely green blur all around me, the lacework I was creating, the scent of chlorophyll, the juiciness-it was pure bliss.” From “Metempsychosis” by Margaret Atwood
The day before my friend Jackie sent me home with a plastic bag half filled with water, two aquatic plants and three Ramshorn Snails, I was reading Margaret Atwood’s short story Metempsychosis. It’s about a snail that gets reincarnated into an adult human. I can tell you the snail is not happy about it. Not the evolution of species that we humans like to think.
Needless to say, I loved the story, but when I read the passage above, I felt a great nostalgia and longing to have a snail living in the farmhouse again. A snail whose “raspy-toothed mouth” I could watch on the fish tank wall as it “oozed along on [its] own self-generated glistening slime highway.”
Atwood made the idea of being a snail even more appealing than I ever imagined.
When Jon and I got to Jackie’s house, the first thing I did was look at her fish tank. Jon and I had fish tanks for many years, but when something went wrong and the fish all died last year, we decided not to get more.
It was a good decision, but I didn’t realize how much I missed my snails. So when Jackie offered me a few that I could have in a small bowl I was…well…thrilled.
These snails are small. Smaller than a dime, but they will continue to grow. Last night when I got them home and into their new tank, all three started moving around. I gave them some snail food and this morning they were busy munching on the dissolving pellets.
Ramshorn snails are pretty hardy, so I’m hopeful these three will be around a long time.