Wednesday, May 02, 2007


What you see here is proof of how weird and obsessive we are at my house: I've been waging a personal War on Snails, OCD'ing my way around the yard (and the neighbors' yards) gathering snails in my little orange bucket so I can feed them to the chickens.

The chickens are getting less enthusiastic about the whole thing. Typically, when I approach the coop with the bucket, they cluster around the door, clucking happily. Household leftovers make them happiest, especially the leftover muffins. They also like anything leafy and green. When I dump snails, though, they all cluck, Aaw, snails again? Hmph. I have watched the girls eating the snails, and I love the clever way they grab the fleshy part and shake them out of their shells. (Stanley the Rooster, by the way, has shown zero interest in the snails, aside from a brief glance when I accidentally bounced one off his back.) Besides, it's free protein (and the chickens are providing us with lots of protein, five or six eggs a day, total).

Most of all, though, I loathe snails. I hate it when I forget to watch where I step and crunch on one (barefoot is really nasty) and I hate they way they have proliferated in the recent wet weather and have been everywhere, stripping plants and leaving slime behind. I loathe them almost as much as slugs, and count myself immensely lucky to have not been enduring the kind of slug plagues we saw now and then in North Carolina. I used to keep slug tongs handy (no lie) to pick them off the plants. But now I get to feed their repulsive cousins to creatures who are much more deserving. Even if the deserving are getting tired of the constant Escargot Supplement to their usual pellets and grain.

The other weird part? Is that my husband set up a tripod and took a dozen lovely photos of a bucket of snails. Whatta freak.


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