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Dead or Alive...

Let me tell you a little story about the time I tried to kill our snail, Spot, two days ago….

It all began when little Spot stopped moving for a few days. Upon closer inspection, I saw that had had kind of shriveled and fallen out of his shell.  I poked him (gently) and he didn’t move. This guy usually runs all around the tank like a happy little critter, so I knew something was wrong.


That night, I removed him from the tank and saw that his little body was sucked back in, and his flappy lid thing closed. Now, I don’t know how snail rigor mortis works, so I just assumed his little body had finally shut down.


I plunked him in a baggy to bring to the pet store the following day, so I could attempt to find a close replacement and trick my children. #thehubby said, “why don’t you put some water in the bag just in case.” Ok. Whatever. I’ll put some water in with deceased Spot to keep him happy. Before bed, I looked down to see his body was once again mostly outside the shell and shriveled. WHAT is going on with this dead snail? I picked up him and tried to touch his slimy little shriveled body, and nothing happened.


Out of an abundance of caution in case he was somehow still alive, I removed him from the baggy and placed him in a cup of water before going to bed. In the morning, he was sucked up in his shell again, but in the exact same spot I’d left him. This dude was dead and playing tricks on me. Alive Spot would have been moving all around the cup and/or escaped onto the kitchen counter by now.


I once again plunked him in a baggy, and put him in my car before taking the kids to school; where he stayed, during three hours of volunteering, and hour of running errands, and finally a trip to the pet store on my way home to replace him.


The pet store employee and I picked-out a decent doppelgänger for Spot and got him bagged up for transport home, before I inquired, “hey, how do you really KNOW if a snail is dead?” to which she responded, “usually the smell.”  I held up the baggy containing Dead Spot and told her that I’ve had a terrible cold and can’t smell a thing. She opened the bag, took a loooong whiff, and proceeded to grab him and start to muck with his little, shriveled body. To both of our surprise, he sucked up super quick into his shell with a big Fuck You.


“Welp, he’s alive!” she giggly said. We put the replacement snail back in his tank, and she kindly put my very much alive snail into a bag with safe, not-kitchen-sink-water, and told me he was probably just hungry.  


I quickly took spot home, placed a tiny pellet of algae into the bag with him, and let him float in the tank to acclimate for a while. He was still suuuper pissed when I put him in the tank and refused to come out. After a few hours, I checked on him and found that he had woken up, had a little snacky snack, and hitched a ride on his tank make Turbo.

I’m proud to report that these little fuckers are much harder to kill that you’d think, and Spot is eating and moving around the tank today. Who knew that snails can hibernate and appear dead for several weeks at a time if they are hungry or unhappy about tank conditions?  #notme #imagoodsnailmom #swear



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