The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

This morning, on my way out of the house for work, I noticed (to my despair) a crushed snail on my path. It was probably crushed under my father's heavy work shoes earlier that morning on his way to work. I don't know about you, but stepping on snails is very distressing to me - not just because of the squick factor, but because I really love the little guys.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating was my re-introduction to one of my favorite genres as a child - the natural sciences. This book might even have been something I would have read as a child (if it had been published back then). It was part memoir, part natural history.
It's a very short and sweet story at first about an ill, bedridden woman. Doctors are perplexed and unable to give her a clear diagnosis as the mysterious illness takes it's toll on her body. She is transplanted from the hubbub of her daily life to a lonely and quiet horizontal life in bed. Well, lonely until a friend brings her a pot of wild violets. And in this pot of violets is a tiny friend - a forest snail. This little bedside table companion proves to be just the company she needed. Her daily observations and studies of her little friend led her to a singular breakthrough - no one before had so closely observed a snail for so long. Perhaps no one had such a, well, human connection with a snail before. A humble and simple creature, certainly - nothing tremendous. But who are we to say it isn't as valuable a life?

I read this book very quickly (over a short weekend) and while it may fall far back in my memory after some time, it was a relaxing and enlightening little book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts by Feast of Poetry & Drink of Prose. All rights reserved.
Blog design by Labina Kirby.