A Snail in the House

” Look!” Pomi shouted and his little voice sounded excited.  “Look what I found!”

 He pointed at the opening in the wall where we had planned to put a cat flap and never did. As I came closer I saw that Pomi  had discovered a snail.


“What is it doing here?” Pomi looked at me and then back at the snail.

” I guess it was looking for shelter from the rain. Remember the heavy rain yesterday. Rain brings the snails out.”

” Into the slime light.” Pomi giggled. “You said snails are a real problem. ”

” Well they can be, if they appear in large numbers they eat all the plants in a garden. But this  is just one snail so there should not be a problem. Let us take it outside.”
I took the slippery intruder and brought it outside, Pomi followed me.  Outside I put the snail on the floor and Pomi sat down in front of it.          

” Where are you shoes again young man?”

” I don’t know.” Pomi was very busy examining the snail.

” What do you mean I don’t know.”

” I don’t know means I don’t know. Don’t you understand?”

” I want you to put your shoes on because I do not want you to catch a cold.”

Pomi ignored me and kept looking at the snail. “It’s coming out of its shell. Look at the tentacles.  Cool! Imagine I had tentacles like that.”   

” You have got eyes Pomi.  A snail needs  tentacles to feel around its environment. This snail has two pairs, the larger one is light sensitive and the other helps the snail to smell.”

Pomi did not say anything. He had thrown himself to the floor and appeared to be observing the snail very carefully. It took me a  moment to realize that he was actually talking to it.  

   ” You really should not be up here on the roof. It is not a good idea. Imagine people wanting to get rid of you and throwing you off the roof. Just like that. People don’t like snails. The fear for their gardens. So why don’t you go and hide some place where no one can find you.  Under the jasmine over there or maybe in the geranium. Do not eat the plants because then you will surely be kicked off the roof. You can have some of the basil because there is plenty and no one will notice. But finish the leaves don’t just leave holes . You cannot have any cilantro for there is no cilantro here, they don’t grow it. I know, they should  but they don’t.   Another thing: watch out for the cats.     They have three cats here and the neighbours have another two, that makes five cats. Scary. If you see them: run. Oh well I guess you can’t. Hide then.  Crawl into your shell.  Now go already.” But the snail just kept crawling slowly towards Pomi.

He got up and wanted to grab it but then he looked at me and said:” Can you?”

” Of course I can. But: then you will go inside and put your shoes on. ” I took the snail by its shell and put it into the flower box under the jasmine .

” Just one last look.” Pomi climbed up the flower box, looked at the snail, and said: “Remember the cats. Hide.”

“Snails can’t hear Pomi.  Go and put your shoes on!”

” I wish I were I snail. Then I would not have to listen to your nagging.” Said Pomi and ran inside.