Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Slugs and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails
Traditionally slugs and snails and puppy dogs' tails are what little boys are made of. I've long thought that my girls have a good dose of these things too. There is none of that 'euww' factor when it comes to our slimy 'friends'.
Which, I have to say, is really handy when you're tidying up your long-neglected front garden and are hunting down the mollusc's who are intent on eating anything young and green (and that are not weeds, of course).
Wanting to find my curious and helpful three-year-old something to do, I equipped her with a bag and a hearty dose of slug confidence after an initial shaky start (Will they bite me? she asked twenty times).
She was soon joined by her eight-year-old sister and together they collected a large bag of the slimy thugs.
Things took a different turn by the time their nine-year-old sister got involved; snails soon had splodges of nail varnish on their back denoting name and ownership and six, or was it seven, were rescued from the Bag of Doom and rehoused in containers with holes in the top, decked out with twigs and all manner of tasty green things.
The snails are currently residing in the girls' bedroom and have frequent after-and-before school trips out to slime on young hands. Or the children will sit reading next to a big open box the snails have also commandeered and are carefully replaced if one tries to make a break for freedom.
I have to say this freaks me out slightly. We share this small space with a rabble of children, one dog, one cat, two hamsters and a guinea pig. Adding free-range snails to the list is just a step too far. So now I'm being petitioned to let them have an African land snail. I guess if you're into snails, which I'm obviously not, this must seem the ultimate in snail heaven. However, the jury's still out on that one!