(Image taken by Annette Corkery, check out her Art Page : https://www.facebook.com/artbyannettecorkery/ )

As if my life wasn’t hard enough!

I watch you all with your two legs, four legs, eight legs, many more legs, wings and things, moving about with ease while I need certain specific conditions to move with care or I get hurt or worse dry up and die.

Then to top it all you want to stand on me, poison me, eat me, shrivel me up with salt or drown me in beer. In fairness, the latter isn’t the worse case scenario, if I wasn’t so greedy I could enjoy a bit and move merrily along but I tend to forget, fall asleep and drown and I never know when I have enough, much like many humans I believe.

You think we have no feet, never bothered to learn that actually we have one, strong muscular foot. We are members of the rather large family of gastropods. Gastropod means ‘stomach foot’ from Greek don’t you know. Oh yes you didn’t know because you didn’t bother finding out did you?

All the while you consider me ugly, slimey, squishy, yucky, sticky and icky. You have no consideration for all that I do for you! Do you know how quick we can clear an area of dead smelly rotten stuff that you don’t want but we love, that we also eat lots of pests that you don’t know how to control in your garden too? Did you know that we do it so well that we often leave nothing behind but our beautiful silvery trail? Do you even know the purpose of our silvery trail? No, why bother learning, just stamp on us instead!

Our silvery trail which is quite beautiful and an amazing feat, if I do say so myself, is actually a liquid crystal that we create to help us move around without getting hurt and to mind us from fungi. We also use it to communicate, and you think we are simple uncomplicated rubbery creators of slime!

Did you know we have teeth? How do you think we eat all that food so quickly? We have thousands of teeth and some of us are huge… imagine if we grew bigger than you? You wouldn’t have a chance. Luckily for you we are too busy eating,

Without us in this circle of life many of you would find it hard enough to live yourselves. We don’t like the necessary evil that are the many who rely on us for food but we understand we might be too many without them as the one thing we lack is a sense of enough and would multiply to cover the earth, much like humans, maybe humans are big slugs too?

Hedgehogs, Foxes and Birds are just some of the hunters we have to contend with. Sometimes we just leave our tail behind with them and off they go on their merry way with their meal while we continue on to ours. Did you know that if you poison us you poison them too? No, of course you didn’t because all you could think of was your dahila, lettuce and yourselves.

We are necessary, as the air you breathe, the sun on your skin, the water you drink. Our purposes are many. Yes we have a few bad members of our society who insist on eating the vegetables and flowers you plant but as with all societies they are few in the great scheme of things. There are over 40 different types of us and just because two of us have taken a liking to what you humans want to eat you pick on us all. We come in many shapes and sizes, many purposes, many appetities for various foods and you insist on tarring us with the same brush. We don’t like tar either by the way, not many creatures do.

Much of what you blame us for is really your own fault. Do you have to do everything on such a grand scale? Everything? Once upon a time a little was enough for you and so it was for us. Do a bit of this and a bit of that instead of all at once creating acres of fields of the crop we like or acres of fields of the creatures you eat. None of that makes sense to us , too many of anything is bad for all.

We’re not doing well lately because you have destroyed many of our environments with all that you make, do and eat, on land and in water, yes we live there too. Please stop poisoning us! Learn to grow things we don’t like beside your precious lettuce or potato. Let birds, hedgehogs and foxes into your garden if you hate us so much. Get some hens! They’re a bit thick and we can usually hide well from them but sometimes they get us.

If you must protect your plants, crush some eggshells and put them around your plants. We don’t like them, or briars, not to happy about them either and you can eat their fruit. Don’t be cruel. You know you could pick me up and place me elsewhere, wear gloves if you don’t like how I feel, I’d appreciate that, I don’t like how you feel either, too much salt!

Right I’ve said enough, I’m hungry and I spotted some lovely dung I need to digest. Think I spied a beautiful girl slug as well so I might go hang in a branch with her a while.

Slán agus beannacht,

Simon Slug.

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