Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Yesterday it was raining pretty hard when it was time to walk Gabriel to school. We had enough time that I could let Annika walk, instead of putting her in the stroller and protecting her with the dreaded rain cover. We put on rubber boots, rain coats, and even Annika's rain pants. We hurried up the street to school, splashing in puddles all the way.

On the way home, we took our time, and I allowed Annika to jump up and down in each puddle we passed. As we came to the neighbor two houses from ours, I spied two small snails on the edge of the sidewalk. They were about an inch in diameter, and they were fully stretched out in the wetness. Both sets of antennae were visible on their heads. The shells were tan with brown, black and yellow spiral stripes. I have not seen any snails like this around here, at least not in our yard. Annika wanted to pick one up, but was reluctant to touch them, so I picked one up and showed it to her. I placed it on my palm and let it crawl a moment. It was not as slimy as I had feared; I barely felt its smooth movements. I could see the tiny dark spots at the end of the antennae. It's skin was almost transparent, revealing mysterious inner organs. Annika was entranced. She put her hand out for me to give it to her, but then withdrew it at the last moment so the poor gastropod fell to the ground. "Uh-oh! Sal dopped!" I turned the creature upright and we watched as it slowly unfurled its head and began hesitantly crawling forward again.

We were getting wet in the rain, squatting down on the sidewalk. Annika waved goodbye to the snails, and we continued our way home to warmth and nap time.

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