Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This morning, I found an upturned snail in the garden.

A blackbird was singing in the Bay Tree; high up and out of cat-reach.

I felt glad for the bird; sorry for the snail.

I brought the shell into the kitchen to show Ming.

By the time he came to see it, the snail had upped and walked and was hanging upside down under the table.

It turns out they have millions of snails on Mars - how could I have known that?

I took it back to the garden and put it, not on the path, but in a broken flower pot.

I think it will be happier there.

_ _ _ _ _


Anonymous said...

I find it highly unlikely that there would be millions of snails on mars. How could any of us have known? I would have to wonder, what would be the purpose of snails on mars in the first place? There really is no water for them, unless of course they are underground...

Esther Montgomery said...

Hello Anonymous

(What an interesting name!)

Thank you for supporting me in saying there is no way one could be expected to know there are millions of snails on Mars!
I really appreciate your comments.

However, this slight misunderstanding between me and Ming provides an interesting, if everyday, example of the kinds of challenges experienced by many couples in cross-cultural relationships. Something which seems perfectly ordinary to one (that there are millions of snails on Mars) comes as a great surprise to the other.

However, I would also like to challenge something in your own approach.

Is . . . 'What would be the purpose of snails on Mars?' . . . a scientifically valid question?

On the other hand, your point about the lack of water on Mars does open up some interesting thoughts about the habitats of moluscs.


Scattered Gardener said...

Hi Esther
I read in the Guardian this week that they've found ice on Mars. So it's perfectly plausible that there are snails as well.

Esther Montgomery said...

Hello, Scattered Gardener

Glad you think snails might be found on Mars.

(Of course, since writing this post, I've been to Mars and have seen them for myself . . . but when I wrote these early posts, I must confess, I did feel there was some room for doubt.)

And thank you for becoming a follower of ESTHER. It's very encouraging!