Elisa's Blog
Friday, May 20, 2005
It is on rainy days like this one, that the snails come out of the flower beds in my apartment complex onto the concrete sidewalk paths.

In the evening, darkened dusk sun precipitating down and still immersed in thoughts that linger from an uneventful day at work, there is little that causes more of an unpleasant surprise than hearing the portending, characteristic crunch announcing that your careless steps have just ended a life.

When I was a kid, I was told that snails have a shell to protect them, that it is like a shield for their soft delicate bodies, that it is like a little portable house that they take with them and use to hide from danger. And inevitably you then associate the words "portable house" with the warm feelings of home, and think it must be awesome, that a snail has this kind of security, and can take it anywhere it goes...

But yesterday, shocked and contrite at the rueful sound for just a fraction of a second, before the hurry of my banal thoughts of everyday carried me swiftly away from the catastrophe and far from any meaningful ruminations, I shook my head as I thought, that it reminded me of the four thorns of the rose in de Saint Exupery's "Little Prince".

If it were a spider that had crunched under the weight of a foot -- this time not by the brittle cracking of the protective carapace that is its exoskeleton, but the pressure of its open circulatory system too intense to hold closed within itself any longer -- arachnid-legged, million-eyed -- its tarantular limbs sprawled on the pavement to the four cardinal directions --

I suppose we must cringe at any such thoughts of tiny creature's deaths.

Then again, spiders, with their thornlike fangs (and much unlike coughing roses), can sometimes paralize on the spot and kill -- or cause girls to jump on chairs and flail and thrash and want its death or in the least the immediate removal of its ugly, hairy, black-abdomened self from their line of sight.

Brothers oblige. ;) And tease.
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