Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snail trail

Encouraged by a post in Filth Wizardry, the girls and I tried snail painting yesterday. We took some food coloring with us and, as it had just finished raining, found a large bunch of snails in the grass. We took about four of them, dipped them into colored water and left them on paper.

We waited about five minutes, and the snails didnt move. Anjali and Sophia began to paint with the remaining food coloring for about ten minutes, coming up with a marvellous watercolor. The snails still didnt move. I looked and saw that they were just coming out of their shells. We went for a couple of rounds, up to visit the hansters and then to the playground for a bit. After that, we went home to take a bath before coming out again to check on the snails.

They were still sitting put. Husband had several theories (he was not very supportive of the snail painting in the first place because he felt it was a sort of snimal cruelty - though the food coloring is non toxic). one of husband's theories was that the paper absorbed the moisture that was in the snail shell and therefore the snail couldnt move. As it had been over half an hour, we took the snails out and pt them back on the grass.

Then we noticed something strange. Where the snails had been, there were holes on the paper - rather like burn marks (but without the brown).

"Why are there holes?", I asked

"Maybe they secrete something toxic", husband said

"but we let the girls carry them around", I said, a little concerned

We didnt say anything for a bit but watched while Anjali "rescued" the snails by taking them out of the pavement and putting them back on the grass.

"Snails cant be toxic", I said. They are supposed to be friendly to farmers.

We looked agian at the holes on the paper. Then husband exclaimed

"They have been eating the paper", he said. "Its cellulose, you know". They have been going round and round and eating the paper. thats why they have not moved.

Interesting. maybe we'll try it again at some time. I wonder however, how the guys in filth wizardry got such a beautiful line though

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