Free, low-maintenance, a great listener, patient, always willing to be held, low mess… could it be? Yes, we had the perfect pet.
Growing up, my mom paid me a nickel a piece to kill snails in our yard. But last November, my daughter and her cousin found a baby snail in the yard and I surprised myself by suggesting we keep “her”. She was so tiny and cute, I couldn’t resist. My then-five-year-old eagerly snatched the container I rescued from the recycling and raced back outside to craft her a suitable habitat.
Spot the snail!
We checked in with her every day or so to see where she was hanging out. We sprayed things down a bit with a water bottle every week or two, change up the rocks or grass/moss/leafy greens as we thought about it, and we enjoyed her companionship.
Until about April, she lived happily (by all appearances) in our home in her spinach container and aside from turning a little blue from grazing on the label on the top of the container, she appeared unharmed by our efforts to care for her. From the label incident, we concluded that since she snailed her way back into the container, she must like it there!
It was pet success as far as I was concerned.
And then, one day about five months after we adopted her, inexplicably Lily had ~14 babies. I googled it and admittedly, I only skimmed, but it makes no sense to me. Snails are hermaphrodites but it should still take two to tango.
The babies were cute though, and didn’t seem to require any extra maintenance…
But then there were more babies.
I decided it was getting a bit crowded in that bin and it was time to let the snails go, so we bid them a fond farewell (along with the three worms who had somehow found their way into the bin as well.)
We counted 21 and Mackenzie might have even shed a tear before she commented that the snails “really seem to like each other” and I hastily cut the goodbyes short.
Lily, the Long-Necked and her unexpected posterity