Shell Break Redemption


Each morning, as I walk into work, I have to dodge snails as they slowly move across the stone block path toward the greenery that flanks the patio.  I’ll admit that I used to find them an annoyance. Many of them would meet an unfortunate end, crushed – accidentally, I hope – by other passers-by.

I, too, have committed an involuntary molluscicide. The sound of my victim’s little shell crushing under my foot horrified me.  From that moment forward, I felt compelled to ‘rescue’ snails when I passed them.  I gingerly pick them up and move them to a safe space among the trees and grass.


I told my husband about my snail rescue efforts and he thought it was hilarious. Although he found it ‘cute’, he joked that by picking them up I might actually be delaying their arrival at their desired destination by making them start over, rather than helping.

Just last week I saw the tiniest snail I’d ever seen and I just had to snap a picture. My co-worker aptly named him George when I showed her.  I told her about my mollusk saving mission and, instead of thinking me weird, told me that she does the very same thing from time to time.

I hate most things creepy-crawly, but for some reason, these little guys don’t fit into that category.  Maybe it’s that I find their tiny shells beautiful, or maybe it’s because I tend to root for the underdog—slow and steady wins the race. It seems that I now see George most mornings, and each time I smile.


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