Four snails and a chip

July 11, 2009

As I came back from Lewisham People’s Day (I’ll write about the day tomorrow), as I walked to Hither Green Station, I saw four snails eating a chip. Or maybe pushing it home. This was new for me. I’ve never seen this before. It’s possibly the most exciting thing I’ve seen since I saw a wasp battle a spider (the wasp won by eating the spider’s legs).

I stopped and looked on in wonder. There was no one around so I felt pretty cool about taking a snap. And then a woman turned the corner and walked towards me, just as I was in macro mode. I felt an urge to share the moment. She was impressed. She laughed. And as she walked away she turned back and said “Shame. Someone’ll not see them and stand on them.” She was quite likely right. There’s not much you can do in a situation like this to help a snail. You can’t shoo them along, as you would a cat. You can’t prod them, as you would a frog to make it hop out of danger. You can’t even pick them up without risking crunching their home to pieces. And even if you could do any of these things, what of the chip, their greatest and largest meal ever?

I hope they enjoyed their last supper.

Four-snails-and-a-chip

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8 Responses to “Four snails and a chip”

  1. TaraghB said

    Fabulous image. Perhaps you could have rustled up a flag with a fluorescent post-it note and a toothpick and stuck it in the chip, to warn pedestrians.

  2. professoryard said

    I hope there is no salt on that chip!

  3. Simon Hickson said

    TaraghB, I’d be worried about the poor snails getting splinters.

    And Prof, you’re a kind man. At first I misread your comment. I thought you said you hoped there was! I was going to call you sick, but no, you care.

  4. alfmalf said

    great pic but not sure about the pushing the chip home theory. Isn’t a snail always at home? Is his shell his home?
    Maybe instead pushing it to a snail party – a feast like that is made for sharing…….

  5. Simon Hickson said

    Good point. Yes, they were on their way to a party. One that starts next week.

  6. Peter said

    People need to think of the arthropods. They may not be cute, but snails feed animals that we do think are pleasant to have in our world, like song-birds. And of course, all life is connected so these creatures will eventually be contributing to the existence of our whole eco-system.

    Every time you see some unpleasant creature like a snail or cockroach, you just have to think “somewhere up the line, a cute animal depends on this ugly thing”.

  7. Belinda said

    love it. Whether man or snail,it’s always the simple pleasures in life isn’t it?

  8. Samantha said

    Wow, what a photo!!

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