What a Snail Shows

I was recently rearranging my snail home and (Gah!) dropped T1 … onto my tiled floor. My heart dropped, too, before I even saw the broken shell. We know what happens when things drop on tiles.

I was sure I had condemned T1 to a painful death. Such a significant portion of the new growth cracked off, exposing florid pink flesh. I started googling …  and behold! Snails can mend their shell. Quite quickly, in the right environment.

I always have eggshell and shell grit in their home – but I crushed more and added it, then added more moisture to the soil (so his body didn’t dry out) …  popped the vented lid on …  and voilà! Five days later the shell had regrown. It was only thin – and there was an obvious line. But I was astounded! Another 10 days and if you look closely you can see the mended shell. (And so much more new growth added for good measure. T1 just keeps on growing!)

I do not recommend dropped snail. If the shell had broken in the middle, the outcome may not have been so good. But how amazing is the intricate detail in creation; that snails can mend a broken shell?

Poetry Peeps and blog followers may recognise that this poem is inspired by some similar poems posted recently – though it doesn’t conform to the form. You can read ‘What a Snail Knows’ and ‘What a Snail Does NOT Know’ here.

Poets know that you will find the link-up to today’s PoetryFriday at Linda’s blog; TeacherDance. Thank-you, Linda!


  1. That’s pretty cool to see your experience turn into learning turn into preserving T1 and a poem. This whole blog post is a science – poetry collaboration. S-T-E-A-M in action. I’m so glad you are enjoying spring and some rain and writing time for your new verse novel. Keep spring well. Send it back in a few months. We’re going to need it up here 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This day must be a learning day, Kat, from other posts and now yours, too. I had no idea that snails (like some other animals) are able to re-grow their shells. And you’ve made this miracle into a special poem, too! Happy times! As Linda wrote, too, enjoy your spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the joy of discovery. (I think that’s why I struggle with the prescriptive curriculum currently in schools. Where is that random joy of discovery – and new paths travelled, for kids and teachers? That sparkle in learning!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, hooray, Kat! I am learning so much from you about snails. When I first read your poem, I thought you had to do something with the eggshells and shell grit, kind of a make-shift splint. But then to see that you have only to add the elements to T1’s habitat and its body does the work–really amazing! What a miracle that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently, if a piece of the shell is cracked out further into the coil then human intervention is needed. I’m so thankful that didn’t happen here – and will be very careful, so it isn’t required in the future!


  4. A wonderful example for poets how you can take a happenstance and some scientific learning and pack it into a poem of greater wisdom. I will share this poem and story with my students.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So wonderful, and what a metaphor, too! There are quite a few things that seem unfixable that really aren’t. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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  6. I had no idea! I love the way a moment and some research inspired poetry. We were out walking a local trail last week when my husband found a snail. We really don’t see too many of these in our area. How delightful to then discover your poem in that same week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We don’t get snails at our house, either. Which is perhaps why I’ve got such a fascination for them. My boys used to rescue them from roadsides and guideposts, each flood season. And now that I know what I do about keeping snails for a pet, I’m wishing I knew it when the boys were younger. They’d have loved them!


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