This is one magnificent snail.
She found him in the side garden, behind the stone wall.
And they bonded instantly.
When she picked him up he greeted her by stretching out of his shell
and kissing her hand over and over.
It was love at first sight.
She brought him in - gave him a nice home in a former lizards cage.
Green leaves and a water dish made him feel right at home.
He slips into the pool and soaks up all the water.
She put him beside her bed, ready to let him go back to his family in the morning.
Morning came, and love was not so easily parted.
So Snaily stayed until after school, then after homework, then after supper.
Then the tears - but he loves me. Can't he stay a little longer?
One more night.
Fresh leaves and water in the morning -
he likes to hang upside down to rest on the top of the cage.
Isn't he silly?
"He has to be given back to his family, he has to live outside, free."
She knows. But her tears flow freely.
She holds him one last time and he kisses her again and again,
comes out of his shell and shows his deep affection.
His antennae wiggle and stretch in a language only they understand.
Bravely, she decides it is time and takes him back to where she found him.
She places him in the exact spot so that his family can find him,
then sinks down below the wall and weeps her loss.
It is so hard to let him go. But she wants him to live happily.
The neighbor girl comes over to play,
and she tells her she had the most amazing snail.
Once she saw him leap into the air and do a flip just to make her laugh.
Who knew a snail could do all that.