“I loved the recent informative Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales snail article and had to share our family’s hysterical-historical snail tales as a ‘gift’ to your readers for a good laugh,” wrote Brenda in Kentucky. “At one time, my Dad was a Command Sergeant Major for the United States Army, stationed in Germany. Our family moved to be with him. He was a great man who did a lot for family, friends and community. BUT he was C.S.M. and a man everyone knew not to mess with.
“When I was six, I peered on the other side of our fence and saw sooo many intriguing snails: big-giant ones, little-bitty ones and in between ones. The gastropods had different colored shells, and I found a few in our yard. I loved feeling them as they slowly glided along my hand. One day, I found a small opening in the fence and crawled through and filled a big box with 26 precious pet snails.
“My parents did not know about my newly acquired pets.
“To take good care of my babies, I put them in the bathtub, along with some hand-picked flowers and grass. I pulled the shower curtain closed so no one would find them. I had reasoned that the little guys could not climb up and out on the slick- sided bathtub.
“My dad came home from work and went in the bathroom. What he encountered was snails on the mirror, the walls and all over the bathroom. Apparently, the bathtub was no match but a challenge for the slimy captives on their mission to escape.
“My parents were not amused, nor were they when they learned the snails came from the graveyard on the other side of our fence. The good news is that, after the ‘incident’ my parents got me a dog.
“Dad retired from his military career, after three tours of combat, and we moved back to the U.S.A. He never lost the stance of a soldier in charge, and a man who commanded great respect.
“At our new home, we were having a huge slug problem on our back patio. There were BIG and FAT slugs, some were as long as four to six inches in length.
“Dad went to use the bathroom at the back of the house. We heard him let out a terrified ear-piercing scream.
“Friends and family all went running to save my father. What catastrophe had taken this man to the brink so suddenly? Thankfully, we found my dad still standing, pointing to the wall’s light switch where a large-fat slug was calmly perched. While reaching for the switch he had made contact with the slimy visitor and the rest is history.
“It was funny, but what really cracked me up was how everyone else was trying to save dad’s pride. They kept a straight face. Meanwhile, I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t stand. I was lying on the floor and choked out, ‘Dad! You screamed like a freaking little kid!’
“He gave me the evil eye but there was no way I could stop laughing. For years, at holiday gatherings, the memory of this bonding event still had us laughing - even Dad.
“Today, I have a mountain cabin. During peaceful, forested, trail hikes, I discover delicate empty snail shells, four of which are on my living room shelf reminding me of love and family.”
When I asked Heather, a Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales’ reader residing in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, if she had a snail photo for this article, she responded, “Can’t say I’ve had a weirder request, so this makes you the winner!” She might think I am crazy for asking, but what a good person to go on the search for readers! Prior to her discovering a forest slug or snail, my grandson found one in our garden.
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