A garden snail: it knows the rose only by its smell and soft petals | Helen Sullivan

A garden snail: it knows the rose only by its smell and soft petals | Helen Sullivan

It can terrorise you for five years – or 10, if you keep it as a pet

A garden snail is eating your roses. “Little snail / Dreaming you go / Weather and rose / Is all you know,” wrote Langston Hughes. It is night time, the snail’s time, after dew or rain – when the snail is happiest, because the conditions are optimal for slime-walkers.

The snail is blind. It knows the rose only by its smell and soft petals. You think you can hear the rasping of tiny teeth: scraping, scraping away at your roses. The snail is deaf: it does not hear your complaints. It could terrorise you for five years – or 10, if you chose to keep it as a pet.

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