Sunday, November 7, 2010


Periwinkles or snails, whatever you want to call them, are all over the place in Delatville.  I prefer calling them snails since Periwinkle makes me think of Tinkerbell and there's nothing fairy-like about a snail.  And periwinkle also conjours that odd color of blue in the Crayola box. 

Anyway, is seems snails are a natural kid attractor.  If you want to catch a kid, throw some snails in a pile under a box rigged with a stick and string.  Wait for the kid to go in to pluck up the snails, pull the string and voila!  You've caught a kid. I don't know why you'd want to catch a kid especially since 90% of the time I'm willing to sell the Brat Child, but if you did that's how I would do it.  For a kid, a snail is the perfect kind of marine animal to mess with.  It's small, it doesn't bite, it doesn't run away and it moves in a slimy trail of snail poop (OK for the science teacher who might read this I know it's not poop it's mucus) what more could a kid ask for in a wild pet?

I know my cousin and I spent many summers "catching" snails.  We'd lay on the pier and lean over to pluck the snails from the sea grass, like picking berries, and plop them into our buckets.  One summer we had the bright idea of bringing our snails into the trailer.  We asked Grandmother who probably said something about not letting them loose.  Seriously? Like they're going to leap from the bucket and race through the house.  So when Grandmother went outside, Kelly and I began building our snail habitat- in the kitchen sink.  There were shells, pieces of wood, sand and water.  Happy with our habitat, we dumped the bucket 'o snails into the sink and went off on another adventure.  When we returned, it was to a very unhappy Grandmother.  Not only was she not happy with the habitat in her sink, but apparently our snails were not smart enough to know they had to stay in the sink.  We had snail trails all over the kitchen.  About 15 years later when we were cleaning out the trailer to prepare for building the new house, I found a snail shell in one of the pots in the back of the cabinet.  I'm pretty sure I know where it came from.

And it seems that an interest in snails is mildly genetic.

Meet The Brat Child. 

He is a snail serial killer. 
Go to the snail mail post office and you will see his photo there under the snail's most wanted. 
In fact, in this photo he is holding what is apparently a baby snail. 

Yes, the Brat Child loves catching snails.  He refers to it as snail hunting.  This was my conversation with him about hunting snails:

Me: So how do you hunt snails?
BC: You jus gwab dem and put dem in the bucket.
Me' So it's not like deer hunting?
BC: Umm, no, you don't need no gun.
Me: So you don't have to shoot them?
BC: No, you jus gwab dem.
Me: Why do you catch snails?
BC: Ummm a-uz you gwab dem and put dem in da bucket and den take dem home.
Me: Don't they die if you take them home?
BC: No.
Me: So how come they don't come out of their shells when you bring them home?
BC: Well, sometimes dey are sweeping a wong, wong time.  And sometimes, actually, they aren't sweeping but their heads will come out of da shells but onny if you don't wook at dem.  If you wook at dem they don't come out, soooo, dey not dead dey jus don't want you wooking at dem or dey sweeping.

 I have found 3 not dead snails in my van.  I was apparently wooking at dem.

And to keep with the theme of symbolism in whatever.... here's a snippet about snail totems, "Snails also teach us to protect the inner child.  Snail people often present a hard shell to the world when they really have a tender heart and strong feelings. Watch for Snail and learn who and when to trust."

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