Sunday, July 12, 2009

And Now....Slug Rescue?

It rained last night, and the road was still damp under the trees, and in spots I could see it had been a bad night for slugs.

It was like a battleground—the fading evidence of a massacre, the few survivors soldiering on.

For the first time, I found myself attempting to rescue a slug or two. Picking them up, hoping I wasn’t damaging them, moving them into the grass by the side of the road.

They really are slimy. They feel quite different from those lively, writhing earthworms, which from time to time I find myself trying to relocate from drying pavements after a rain.

Do the rescues work? I have no idea.

Do the attempts go into slug or earthworm lore, like our stories of UFOs?

I once sat and watched half a dozen osprey diving over and over into a shallow tidal river, and every now and again one would pull a fish high into the air in its talons, lose control, and let it drop back to the water.

A fish that has been to the sky and returned to the sea—does it carry that mystery for the rest of its days?

For many years, I wasn't the type of person who’d admit to having a soft heart for earthworms—or even puppies or kittens, for that matter. But now that I am, I see that I am not alone.

This morning, on two disparate blogs, I discovered posts that share a kinship with this one—the first a parent's sweet photo essay about a worm-loving child, the second the tale of a failed effort at slug resuscitation by a writer who's also a snail scientist.

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