Posted May 05, 2014
First I built a Garden of Eden in an old cake tin - a Rock Garden of Eden. with soil and weeds and stones.
Then I collected a few snails from the garden, subsequently adding other interesting ones as they appeared on walks to and from school up Kitesnest lane in in the Cotswolds near Stroud.
Fascinating little creatures, with such soft sensitive eye stalks and feelers and an infinite variety of exterior home decor, from contrasting glossy black and gold to more subtle lilac and gray shells. I was fascinated by their hiding in the shell, then gradually emerging, extending first one feeler, then the next and finally gliding confidently along in search of food.
Seeing the edge of a leaf being eaten into seemed like magic, for such a small soft animal with no visible teeth.. But the best miracle of all, my pièce de résistance, with which I was able to amaze and astound family and friends, was my death-defying "trained" performing snail, who would demonstrate(with a little coaxing) his ability to slide up one side of a knife blade, over the edge and down the other, his soft vulnerable body sliding over the very edge of a razor sharp blade, without the slightest trace of a scratch.
In fact, this is something snails are able to do, with the aid of their lubricating slime and careful sensitive foot.
They were super economical, absorbing, many had very attractive shells and were easily disposable (released back into the hedgerow). Don't make much noise, they do need to be kept in a mildly moist environment. Feed them what you found them on. An excellent low maintenance pet for youngsters with zero budget.