Snail Trails


I was expecting a package today and as I walked towards our mail box, I studied the sidewalk along the way. The military-haircut styling of the green grass along every lawn upon our block looked stiff and cold. Our neighbor to our left was bold with their trim. Leaving their grass a slight one inch longer than the rest. Rebels. I had to wonder if this was all for show. If all of the front yards along the street were cut short and close, while their backyards were left wild and free. Were my neighbors’ rear lawns, hidden behind their matching painted trim, sporting dueling grassy mullets? What devious personalities were they hiding amidst the green turf behind the fence?

Glistening spiral trails shot from the edge of the sharp grassy line onto the hard grey cement. It looked as though a miniature motorcycle had been doing wheelies along the ground. Perhaps it had escaped from the party in the backyard.

Some trails ended in bits of debris. Small crumbling brown pieces of what had once been an organic house lay littered in front of my feet. I realized that even if I tried to put each fragment back together, there would always be a piece of the puzzle I would be unable to recreate. As enchanting as a line of slime, its inhabitant was missing.

Following the sidewalk to the mailbox, I noticed that some of the snail trails ended abruptly. There was no sign as to what had become of their creators. Just a glittery line and then nothing. I knew if I scanned the skies, I would find the answer.

The sun hit the spellbinding iridescent streams making them shimmer and wink. I carefully stepped around the lines and crushed tragic rubble. I dare not disturb nature’s original painting.

What was left of the artists would not be pleased.

Who knew snails could do magic?


* This post was written in response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots. The task this week was to create a picture using only words. I realize I cheated a bit by adding a photo, but my daughter’s painting from a few years ago fit this post so perfectly, I could not resist using it. However, I did not take a picture of the actual beautiful snail trails (as much as I wanted to). Thank you for indulging me!

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