Consider the Snail

Let’s learn a lesson from the snail
Where he goes he leaves a trail.
When he goes where he shouldn’t be,
His trail is there for all to see.

Our life is like the little snail;
Where we go we leave a trail.
The things we do and the things we say
Are the trail we leave from day to day.

In late 1996 we noticed that the lakes and ponds on our Texas ranch had become overpopulated with a giant species of Amazon snail. We found empty shells as big as apples lying along the shorelines. With a coat of varnish they became quite pretty, and I began to think of ways I could use them in artwork.

That same year our yard became infested with slugs. Every morning the pavement and rocks were covered with the trails left by these shell-less snails, showing clearly where they had been and what they had done. Of course I know that a water snail leaves no trail, but the idea germinated and many of my friends now have wall plaques with one of the giant shells with a body sculpted from clay, leaving a glistening trail across the words of Consider the Snail.

I’m sure that they take them out of the closet and hang them in the den when they know I’m coming by for a visit.

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