My brother tells me that it’s listening for earthworms. That blackbird on our lawn is certainly on the lookout for something – but our hardworking earthworms? I’d much prefer if he went for the snails. Those snails are the bane of my life.
Well, just one of the banes, I suppose, but those snails have been causing major problems here in Harold’s Cross ever since we began to grow our own vegetables.
I had a plan. Not a complicated one, I would simply drop them over the garden wall. Next door’s garden was just an unkempt lawn and nobody lived there, but d’you know – those snails used to come back over every night! My brother tells me that they’re like homing pigeons, they can find their way home. And I’m sure of it now because every morning, when I went out to check, there’d be less and less green shoots and more and more gastropod devastation.
I became a bit desperate. I used to go out at night with a torch and a saucepan, and I would search and find every single marauding mollusc and… but what to do with the seething, sluggy mass of Pulmonata?
I had a catapult. I would launch those slimy pulmonates into space, right over the roof of the house behind. Now, find your way home from there, you slug!
Bhuel, bhí go maith agus ní raibh go h-olc. But I was out in the garden one night around midnight. The sky was clear, the stars were twinkling bright. (I love to stand in the garden those nights and listen to the distant hum of the city). Then I heard something fall on the lawn; there it was again! Something landed behind me. I turned – and something hit me on the back of the neck! Something small and slimy…
And even though this is a terrible story (and very little to do with my art practice), I reckon I’ll be preparing the ground soon for another season of slugduggery. Any sensible suggestions would be very welcome.