Day 1: Purchased several heads of romaine lettuce from a nice lady at the farmers market. Upon preparing dinner, discovered this little fellow has taken an impromptu ride on the snail Tilt-a-Whirl, a.k.a. the salad spinner. Fortunately, he seems to take it all in stride and enjoys “Lord of the Rings.”
Return him, and the leaf he rode in on, to the great outdoors, but later feel a sense of responsibility/curiosity. After several hours in the rain, he (yes, assigning gender, say no more) has grown significantly.
Day 2: Sam (he requires an alliterative moniker), a.k.a. our weird little snail buddy, has hulked out and grown exponentially in 24 hours. This is, like, some crazy science going on. By next week, we fully expect to be living with Jabba the Hutt.
He is residing in a plastic takeout container with lettuce leaves. He is now the gastropod version of a game of Oregon Trail, except I will actually try to keep Sam alive. (Don’t even try to tell me you didn’t race to see how quickly you could kill off everyone in your wagon).
Day 3: I have housed this little weirdo for two days and have concluded that snails/slugs (still not certain, but yelling “grow a shell!” doesn’t seem to help) are basically extremely quiet babies: They’re very small, they ooze weird slime, and they poop a lot. Main difference is gastropods don’t breastfeed and you can’t* store a human in a container of lettuce.
Friend suggests Sam is a leopard slug. This may or may not be a real thing. Pretty sure this guy used to eat paper in middle school. The again, I’m tracking the lifespan of a slug, so who am I to talk?
*well, you could if you had a big enough container, but you probably shouldn’t.
Day 4: We learn that Sam can change his height at will and that he is not especially devoted to strawberries. He also moves into a new abode, with less depth and more surface area. He seems to enjoy it.
In the hopes that Sam will develop a shell, I add eggshells to his home for calcium. My significant other, in his unending wisdom, talks me out of giving Sam a prenatal vitamin. Another friend, a preschool teacher, informs me that snails are born with shells. It’s official: We have a slug.
Day 5: Sam takes a brief field trip outside to play in a small, woman-made puddle. We learn that he does not express any particular affection for small puddles. (Sorry, bad photo – light and shadows and all that).
Back inside, Sam’s supply of romaine is refreshed, because he has defiled his home repeatedly (see Day 3, re: pooping a lot – he does this via a small hole on the side of his body, which I know because he did so on my hand — very rude indeed). At the suggestion of the aforementioned preschool teacher friend, Sam also receives cornmeal and cucumbers.
Sam seems to spend a good deal of his time in a compact state and has a propensity to curl up inside lettuce leaves. It is possible Sam is experiencing some anxiety. There’s no scientific evidence to suggest this, but when I’m feeling anxious, I like to hide under the covers as well.