“We’re related, aren’t we?” Asked the snail to the slug. “You’re my second cousin, or third cousin twice removed, aren’t you?”

The depressed slug looked at his happy companion, safe inside his shell.

“We aren’t the same—you and me,” the slug said.

“Why not? We both make slime, and we’re both slower than hell.”

“That’s all a matter of perspective. We’re slower than humans, and it’s debatable, whether or not we make more snot.”

“But what about us?” The snail protested. “We both make slime.”

“So do human beings, but we’re nothing like them.”

“Why not?”

“We only have one foot, for one.”

“Maybe that’s why we’re slow.”

“You have a brain, even if you don’t use it very much. It must be tucked somewhere safe inside your shell,” the slug said.

“You have a brain too, don’t you?”

“What do you think? Idiot! The family man gets his kicks by sticking his pocket knife inside slugs like me. You can see our brains coming out of our skin. For some reason, snails are cute. They’re fragile. Children want to show them off at show-and-tell, and safely turn them loose inside their mother’s gardens, but slugs like me get burned, stuck, salted, and stepped-on.”

“It’s not fair, is it?” The snail said.

“No, it’s not.”

“What are you going to do today?”

“Lay-down a fresh layer of slime.”

“That’s funny—because that’s what I’m going to do today. We’re the same—you and me.”

“No, we’re not.”

The snail put his head inside his shell and pouted.

A little boy, with a wicked cute smile, picked him up. “Mommy—look-it. I have something to take to show-and-tell.”

“Johnny—don’t turn that snail loose in my garden. If it finds a female snail, they’ll make 300 babies.”

“Oh—gross. Look at that brown wrinkly slug!” Johnny said.

His shoe raised-up into the sky and the slug sensed the shadow of death.

“I’ve got to slide faster,” he cried-out, but he wasn’t fast enough, and his brains got smooshed into the soil, where sugar ants carried his grey matter into their tiny holes to be eaten.

The End, of the Slug

PS. The snail showed-off at show-and-tell like a celebrity. It laid-down a fresh layer of slime like a dirty poet. And when it was done signing autographs, it got turned loose into the Garden of Eden where it found many young beautiful female snails to have babies with, and his offspring ate all of the carefully cultivated strawberries that were not meant to be eaten by snails, and his children were as numerous as the stars and the grains of sand on the sea shore, and they enjoyed the promised land together.

So, what is the moral of this story?

Sometimes, it’s better to be cute than smart; it’s better to be loved than understood; You make slime, just the same as a slug, but your destiny depends on how the audience feels about you. There are boys who never get into trouble, and there are boys who always get into trouble, but they’re cute, and there are boys who are ugly and mean, just like the slug. They get a pocket knife through their brains. They get salted, burned, and stepped on. Prison is their eventual home, if not execution.

So, always remember to be the snail. Always remember to be loved. Always remember to be cute. Always remember that it matters how the audience feels about you.

The End


2 thoughts on “The Parable of the Snail and the Slug

  1. The snail is, better in that it has a hard shell, to protect itself from the, predators, but, because of the shell on its back, it can’t be, as agile as the, slug, and, the snail can only, hide inside its, shell, if it gets, attacked by a, predator, and, thd slug can have the, options, of, scurrying away to hide, given that it runs, fast, enough…


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