Saturday, April 28, 2012

Its a Snail's Life .........

My blog and FB friend from the NorthEast/Guwahati, Kavita Saharia, a dental surgeon by profession, has a wonderful blog where she  writes and posts pictures about her various trips into the countryside, and the traditional celebrations of the region.

Amidst all this, she also notices little things. Like a snail, resting a while beside its future progeny, somewhere by the side of a road.

 Snails have one of the most primitive brains around, and are  hermaphrodites, meaning they have the ability to produce both sperm and eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the baby snails need calcium so desperately that they eat up the shell they have hatched out of. Their own shells grow as their anatomy grows. And so they never really grow out of their shell.   

Page-3 types eat them, and Escargot is the common name for snails when they are to be eaten. Millions of pounds of it are consumed around the world annually. In fact, there is even a day to celebrate it! May 24th is the National Escargot Day.

I thought it fitting to celebrate them earlier than May 24,  today, as simply Snail Day !

(photo by Kavita Saharia)
or is it a He,
or possibly both,
lies spent,
on a spring morning
in the northeast,
on the bitumen carpet
of a garden path,
just having introduced
to this big bad world,
hundreds of
at the moment
in their lovely white
protective wraps.

He/she slowly ambles away,
a muscular foot,
helped by a bit of mucus
to reduce the friction
with the uneven
unsmooth roads,
how lucky they are
that there is
black and white,
fair and dark,
friction in a snailly world.

The dark little ones
will appear
out of their white wraps,
in due course,
and grow up,
in their own smart shells,
moving around
and birthing their own
in gardens
and woods
and damp and dingy places
in similar white wraps.

And the little
primitive brain
does a little dance,
licks its radula tongue
chews some moss
and thanks the lord
that they don't live
in a country where
shameless bipeds,
eat the little ones
white wrap and all,
"Très bien !
Escargots ! C'est délicieux...."


  1. Happy Snail Day. Loved both the pic and the poetry :)

  2. You are a genius :)
    Thanks for the interesting information and wonderful verses.And yes , Happy (advance)Snail Day !

    1. Kavita, your amazing photos are the inspiration. Thank you . And I actually made up Snail's Day, because I was upset about the May 24 National Escargot Day, celebrating the eating of snails by Humans. Folks seem to think there is actually a Snails Day :-))

  3. Wow what a image is this! Really I enjoyed this pic. Love it and really I was looking forward to read about it. Thanks for this awesome sharing.:)
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  4. Thanks for sharing so much interesting news about the snails. I didn't know about Snail day too! Beautiful, clear picture and your poetry is awesome!

    1. Sandhya, Thank you! I just learnt all the stuff about snails while researching for this poem. (!). But there isnt anything like Snails Day. There is National Escargot Day, where folks shamelessly celebrate eating snails,on May 24.

      I just made up Snails Day so we could celebrate it :-)), without all that eating.

    2. Haaa ...the truth behind Snail Day .Really good one :)

  5. lovely!!!!! my son loves snails!!! we look out for them every monsoon and spend our bus waiting time observing them! but we have never seen their eggs!!!