9 September, 2013

While walking to the bus, on a damp, cold, December morning, a kind man noticed a snail in the middle of the path. He was worried that it might get trodden on, so he picked up the snail and put it on the grass verge.

“For crying out loud!” grumbled the angry snail, who lived down the drain across the other side of the path. “It took me four hours to get that far, and now I’m going to be super late home for dinner”, continued the snail, “The wife’s going to be livid! Bloody do-gooders!” he cried.

But just as the snail was resigning himself to another long day crossing the path, along came someone who, having seen the actions of the kind man, resolved to take a much wiser course. She admired the man’s well-meaning intentions and was grateful for his kind act, but she also knew that, sometimes, it was best not to interfere. So rather than keeping the snail out of harm’s way, she put the snail back where it was; in the middle of the path.

“What’s ‘appening?” the confused snail asked himself. “One minute, I’m ‘ere. Next there. Then I’m ‘ere again!” But then a realisation dawned on the snail: “I might make lunch!” And so he continued on his journey, happy that he would see his children much sooner than he might have done otherwise.

Meanwhile, a Jackdaw, sat on a telephone wire above the road, was keenly watching the scene unfold. As soon as the wise woman left, the Jackdaw swooped down, snapped up the snail in its sharp beak and flew high into the sky. Up! Up! Up! he flew, higher and higher until the frightened snail was soon gasping for oxygen. And then the Jackdaw let his prey drop. The poor snail, who was struggling for air moments before, suddenly had lots of it rushing into his lungs.

“Thwap!” came the sickening sound as the snail’s shell crashed into the road and shattered into a million pieces. “What’s going on…” agonised the terrified snail, moments before having his thoughts cut short when the Jackdaw gobbled him up hungrily.

The Jackdaw flew back to his perch and considered his full stomach. “Thank God for the wise!” he chuckled, wiping the remnants of his dinner from his beak.

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Wisdom by Steven Huckle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://glowkeeper.github.io/assets/stories/Wisdom/.