The other night, I accidentally stepped on a snail on the top step of our front path. The crunch was loud and sickening. I hate stepping on snails. I like snails. They eat our vegetable patch and leave nasty, slimy trails, but I don't like killing them. It just feels like we have far too great an evolutionary advantage over these slow movers to wantonly squash them.
The look on your face, darling daughter, was horrible. You looked to my foot and then to my face, locking eyes with an expression equal parts horrified and accusatory.
"It's okay! The snail wasn't in there! It was just his shell! He's out for the evening. I swear." "Yes, yes," chimed in Daddy. "The snail moved away, he's on holiday, he needed a bigger shell."
Your knitted brow eased somewhat and you moved on to some other front yard mischief.
Later, I noticed two new snails eating the remains of their friends. I could see the motion of their swallows, chunks of Cousin Snail moving through their snail heads and down their snail throats and into their snail gullets deep within their snail shells.
Maybe they don't need my deference after all.