Snails and toads, but no puppy dog tails

How doth the snail scale my sliding glass door two feet from my chair? I really miss my camera, still in for repairs. Both the snail and its shell are translucent. It's climb is more subtle than the struggle into a girdle. Something seems to be rippling up and up like the credits for the best boy, gaffers, and grips, scrolling at the end of a movie.

While I've been working on somethings I deem important, the snail has moved five bricks up the window. Where is it going? Is it fleeing ahead of a deluge? It has passed a dried out snail shell stuck to a brick. The intrepid explorer must pass the relics of failed previous expeditions.

Now the snail is meandering on the surface of my scanner. It retracts into its shell the instant I turn the scanner on. It responds to stimuli. It avoids paparazzi. I take it back outside and regret interrupting its climb.

This morning I flicked on the light above the front stoop before venturing out to grab the newspaper. The tiny toad was there. Yesterday it was down by the sidewalk near the sweet potato vine. Or maybe not. I'm not a sophisticated amphibian observer. I may have one toad or twenty loitering on my sidewalk.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

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