On Snails and the Things That Eat Them

By Shaun Pinello © Little Dog Comics 2016

We’ve got snails, lots of them. Jessie was the first to notice.

They all came out one day when it rained and she saw them on the walkway doing the kinds of things that snails do which doesn’t look like much as you pass by but her curiosity made her examine them more closely and she took videos. These videos peaked into the life of the animal behind the shell. A clip of a snail dipping its head into a cool puddle. A clip of a snail chewing a leaf. Each bite can be seen through its translucent head then going down the snail’s neck and disappearing behind its shell. When the rain stopped the snails retreated to the shade of the plants that lined the walkway.

Once we knew they were there we began to notice them more often. On summer evenings they come out to great each other, see what’s on the other side of they walkway, and feast on the shells of their dead. They really do eat their dead. Their shells are made of calcium and consuming the calcium from the dead snails’ shells fortifies the shells of the living snails.

In winter, just before the first frost, the snails burrow beneath the top layer of soil and hibernate. Jessie and I were not the only ones to notice. A pair of road runners have been dropping by daily to do dig up the snails, smash their shells, and eat their slimy insides. Once it gets warmer the road runners will switch to lizards but for now lizards are in short supply.

By the way, you can buy a print of this drawing from our Etsy shop.

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