Today I ran into a long-time friend rummaging about the mulch near the peppers and tomatoes. I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Sebastian Snail. (I know this is his name because he told me). He enjoys spending his day in the shade, sipping on lemonade, and dreaming of his true love. On days when he’s feeling a little more adventurous, he reads Charles Dickens novels. I recommended Jane Austen’s works to him, especially Northanger Abbey, as it is deliciously gothic and romantic. He perked up at that and promised to look for it at the library on his next trip. By night he adopts quite a different persona from this meek-mannered, scholarly day-dreamer. Once dusk envelops the garden, the moonlight rays work their magic on this little snail and turn him into a voracious predator of all tender, green things. Nothing withstands the razor-sharp blade of his radula as he becomes “Defoliating Monster”. Tomatoes quiver before him and the peppers weep disconsolately at the mention of his name. Now when morning comes and you mention this to Mr. Sebastian, he blinks at you calmly and doesn’t have the slightest clue what you are babbling about. As far as he’s concerned, he drank his chamomile after a light supper of salad and biscuits and retired to his soft comfy bed to once again dream of his true love with her translucent shell and gently swaying tentacles. I point to the gaping holes in the pepper plants; he believes it’s clearly the work of a professional, not at all anything he’s capable of – even on his most adventurous days when he pretends to be Oliver Twist. It’s quite a hopeless situation. And that is why, my dear readers, I invited Mr. Sebastian to view some of the other properties in the vicinity this afternoon. I pointed him in the direction of a three-story townhouse, with a private swimming pool and professional chef on site. It’s closer to the library, and in a very good area of the forest – close enough to the yard to enjoy the views, but near enough to the heavy foliage to escape any predators. And the variety of greens is amazing – quite a banquet every night. He loved it and I promised to come visit at least once a week. And this is how I cleverly managed to save the garden plants from the defoliating terror and keep my friendship with Mr. Sebastian in tact…. Now to locate his true love in the coneflower plants….
Blessings to you,