2004-03-30 � snail stomper

Sadistic Snail Stompin'

O woe. It is a soggy doggy day, presented in 46 shades of dreary and grey and I am still dripping from the wolf walk.

I wouldn't mind the rainy day wolf walks so much if it weren't for the fact that i return home feeling like a grubby, damp serial killer.

See, on rainy days, the wolf walk morphs into the snail trail and hundreds upon hundreds of little striped guys cluster in colonies everywhere and no matter how carefully you pick your way down the trail... and I tiptoed all the way, I really did... you inevitably squash at least a dozen, the poor hapless buggers giving way with a sickening pop under foot, followed by a slow, awful ooze. Nature is so cruel. Although I'm not sure how entirely natural it is for me to be out there, clomping about with my sledgehammer feet. I mean, has Nature in all her fathomless wisdom accounted for careless, crushing giants like me? Is that why there are so many?And how do snails reproduce anyway? Is it the rain? Does the rain make more? Are they like Gremlins? Egad! There are veritable hordes out there, I'm telling you. Hordes! Hordes that were not there yesterday when it was not raining and the sun was shining and I did not have to slaughter anything in order to exercise my dog.

I feel totally guilty about being out there regardless, crushing and crunching and wreaking havoc on these mircroscopic balls of shell and slime. the smarter snails have the sense to get off the ground and wrap their bendy bits around the stalks of weeds and brambles, but the others? They just plop everywhere I'm going to go, soundless and suicidely stupid. At one point, and I kid you not, after a particularly monstrous massacre in which I smooshed at least six in one go, I squatted down and was waddling ackwardly like a duck, picking them off the path in front of me and tossing them off to the side, where I hoped they'd be safe. But though I patiently explained to her what I was doing, the wolf didn't get it and thought I was playing some wacky game which required her galloping up to circle me ecstactically, madly mashing all the snails I was trying to save.

I couldn't decide who was the greater danger...me or the wolf. She's lighter than me and her feet are smaller and it's possible that a snail...one of the teensy weensy ones, might be able to squeeze between the pads of her feet and thus avoid the squishing. But she has four of them and she was making no effort whatsoever to avoid them, so it's a toss up.

And though I admit that there is embedded in me one teensy sliver of capital E Evil measuring approximately a quarter of a millimeter wide and eight millimeters long that kind of relished the thought of stomping savagely about in a determined dance of destruction � like Godzilla in a girl suit � pulverizing as many as I could, the snails popping like bubblewrap � I really did do my best to minimize the collateral damage. Honest. I even took a different route back because the thought that I might accidentally annihilate one of the survivors on my way back was too much to bear. (I pictured them flopped out in my wake, gasping and gossipping, cluster in pathetic piles as they were being eagerly attended to by the snail paramedics ... the ones with little red crosses painted on their shelled sides... breathlessly relating their brush with the maurading maniac that is me... only to be ruthlessly flattened mid-sentence on my return stomp.)

And, be still my heart, it's suppose to rain ALL WEEK. Crap. I won't be at all surprised if I find itty bitty "Wanted" posters (trimmed with a stripey border, no doubt, and bearing the legend Snail Stomper in drippy, movie monster type) with my image and descriptions of my furious feet posted all over the snail trail when I go back out tommorrow. There goes all my Karmic credibility.

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