Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dig if You Will A Picture (Give a Girl a Little Privacy!)

So, we have this snail named Frisky. She is one of the original two snails. In fact, she is the mother of all of our other snails. The father, sweet Mister Sinister, passed to the great snail playground in the sky shortly after all his offspring were born, er hatched. But Frisky is still around and she is still very Frisky for a snail. I mean she really gets around the tank.

Now, normally, when you have apple snails you leave a little room at the top of the tank; an inch or so, to give the snails a place to lay their eggs. They like to lay them just above the water line. Well, the last time I changed out some water I filled it a little higher than usual. There was probably only a 1/2 inch between the water line and top of the tank. Now, that still leaves that 1/2 inch, plus some of the black plastic edge, plus the 'ceiling' where the lights are. I've found eggs on the ceiling before. But apparently that wasn't good enough for Frisky this time. She wanted space. She wanted room to move. She wanted room to breathe darn it! So what does she do? I'll tell you!

Before I went to bed she was at the waterline. I noticed that her foot was curled up more than usual. The snails do some funny and cute things and this wasn't unusual, but I noticed. I figured she was probably there to lay eggs because she was actually out of the water most of the way. So I fed the fish and went to bed. Gotta give a girl some privacy to lay eggs, right?

At some point during the night she apparently decided to look for a better place to lay her eggs. Someplace more secluded perhaps. So she climbed all over the tank investigating. And she discovered the 2 inch cut-out area in the cover between the heater and filter where there is a gap. And she crawled out. Up and over the edge and down the side of the tank (you thought I was just making up those Mister Sinister stories didn't you? I know you were. But they are true!) Then she crawled a few inches to the wall, then up the wall. And, I kid you not, she laid a big ol' honkin' pile of eggs right on the wall. Gross huh? (I should have gotten a picture! It's always good to share the gross stuff.)

And then, apparently, she was exhausted and she let go. Clatter, clatter, clatter, clink, roll. Yep. The hubster couldn't sleep and was up at 3 AM watching TV and he heard a funny sound like a marble dropping. He went to investigate and found little Frisky just lying there, panting and exhausted and tired from her trip and trembling and scared from her fall. (OK, so she was just lying there, but INSIDE her shell I'm sure she was panting and trembling). He picked her up and put her back in the tank where she belongs.

Now, dig if you will a picture (yes, I loved that song in the 80's) of little Frisky inside the tank where she belongs, sliding up the side. She slides up to the top, waving her tentacles in the water and having a grand ol' Frisky time. She curls up her foot and pops herself off the edge. And she slowly wafts down, floating slowly through the gently filtered waves of the tank, waving at the guppies with her tentacles as she glides to the bottom. Nice and gentle, tranquil, relaxing.

Now, dig if you will, this picture, of little Frisking sliding up the side of the wall. She lays her eggs, then curls up her little foot and pops herself off the wall. But this time, instead of slowly floating down through warm waters, she drops like a rock and clatters across the surface of the table and rolls loudly to the edge of tank - clank! Not quite what she expected I'm sure (if snails actually have expectations - but of course they do!) I'm sure it was quite a surprise. I imagine she was scared almost out of her shell. I bet that shell door snapped shut like a spring-loaded, um, something (I need a good simile here, help anyone?)

Poor little silly Frisky.

So, I guess the lesson is to leave a little more egg laying room and to cover that gap somehow to keep adventurous snails in. Of course, if she's anything like Mister Sinister, she will learn pretty quickly how to open the top door to the tank. Then watch out! Snail slime on the TV remote again!


  1. Like a spring loaded garage door, lunch box, car trunk, Soda machine, jack in the box (no that's the wrong way). That is a hard one. I love the story, not much help with the simile. :)

  2. This is what it sounds like, when snails cry.