Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

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Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

I have potatoes growing in a pot. First time I’ve tried it this way, but I’m sick to death of the taters I never planted coming up year after year in my small vegetable patch. Said patch is nothing but sage and oregano now – with the never-ending, never-able to fully dig out potatoes growing up amongst the uncountable stems and roots.

The ones in the pots were started from the eyes from store-bought spuds that I let get go to long before eating. I chopped those eyes out, left maybe a centimetre or quarter inch of potato ‘meat’ for sustenance, and put them on top of about an inch of compost. Once they started making leaves, I dumped in more compost. Repeat. The idea behind this is that potato plants will grow spuds all up their stem if the stems are buried as they grow taller. Supposedly. I’ll let you know in the autumn if it worked…

I rather slacked off on the ‘repeat’ part in the last two weeks, so this afternoon when I spotted the rounded side of a nice, fat, baby ‘tater emerging from the compost I figured it was past time for a dirt top-up. Then I looked again. It wasn’t a ‘tater!

A big snail had snuggled down into the dirt and under the shade of the leaves (probably to wait for darkness to start its evil plant-munching duties). I plucked it out of the dirt, meaning to toss it over the wall, safely away from my plants.

Something stopped my good right throwing arm; I held the snail, looking at the perfect camouflage sworls and swirls and zigzags on its shell. I removed the encrusted soil from its tightly-pulled-in foot. Then I set it on my hand, to see what would happen.

What happened is that I made a friend.
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The damn thing seemed to have a personality!

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It had no fear of me, or of cat, or of dog. Indeed, it seemed to be looking at me and saying “Hi!”

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“Howr’ye?”

How odd that I want to spend a little more time with this invertebrate. It was really fascinating to watch, and the slime wasn’t a thing like what a slug leaves behind: it washed off right away. What is odder, perhaps, is that I’m pretty sure I would eat this critter. If I had a few dozen of its friends to make it worth my while. Maybe I’ll start an escargot farm! I only had escargot once, but I sure did love it. I like chewy, garlicky food.

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Maybe I’ll just keep it around a bit longer, for more photo shoots, and try not to think about garlic butter sauce.

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Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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