How Snail Got So Slow

A long time ago, Snail was one of the fastest animals around.  He was so fast; he was able to outrun Hawk!  Few animals could catch up to him and those that could were not the ones who could crack open his shell.  Many predators longed for a bite of him, but they just could not get to him.  Snail was very speedy, but he was also very curious.  This almost cost him his tail a couple times, but his speediness saved him time and time again.  If that did not save him, his shell usually did.  Once he fell right into the mouth of Eagle.  He thought there was a worm that he had never seen before, but using his speed he curled into his shell in 0.001 seconds as he was going down Eagle’s throat.  Eagle started to choke, and choke, and choke.  He choked so hard, he choked Snail right out of his mouth, and Snail dashed away.

One day, all the predators who wanted to eat Snail decided to form a meeting. Hawk, Eagle, Gull, and Raccoon were there.  They told each other about how Snail had evaded each of them all the time.  Gull said, “If Snail was really slow; we could catch him very easily.”

“Yes,” said Hawk, “but we cannot walk right up to Snail and say, ‘Hello Snail, could you please slow down a bit for us to catch you and eat you?’.  I’m telling you guys we just cannot catch Snail!”

“Who says we can’t?” asked Raccoon. “There is a tree near my hole that has a slime inside it that makes you very slow if you mix it with water and drink it! Look what happened to Sloth when he drank from a pool that had a bit of the slime inside it.”

“Yeah,” said Eagle, “But Snail is smart. He knows when water is poisoned or not.  So I was thinking that we could show him the tree and say that we were going to do a peace treaty and that we were going to show him something he has never seen before.”

“But he will be extremely suspicious if we are all there, so only one of us should show ourselves when we lure him into the tree.” Gull added. “I think it should be Raccoon, because he rarely tries to eat Snail and because he’s the slowest of all of us.”

This produced agreements from Eagle and Hawk.  Raccoon consented after muttering, “Personally, I believe Gull is slower than I.”

The plotters put their plan in motion the very next morning.  Raccoon went looking for Snail in the forest where Snail usually took a nap about that point in the day.  Soon, Raccoon saw Snail dozing in the shade of a tree.

Raccoon whispered “Psst.  Snail.  Wake up.”

Snail woke up, took one look at Raccoon and started to dash away but Raccoon yelled “Snail!  Wait!  I’m trying to start a peace treaty with you!”

Snail was 200 feet away at this point, but when he heard Raccoon say that, he skidded to a stop and slithered slowly towards Raccoon.  As Gull predicted, Snail was suspicious.  He came closer and closer to Raccoon until he was only three feet away.  Then Snail said, “How do I have any proof this is a real peace treaty?”

“Because I am going to show you something very special”, said Raccoon.  Snail’s eyes widened. “It’s over by my hole, and it is not very far.”

Snail’s curiosity was saying that this was the chance of a lifetime, while his brain was thinking, “Raccoon has been my lifelong enemy, why would he be trying to make a treaty with me now?” However, Snail’s curiosity won and he said “I’m in.”

‘It is not very far’ was farther than Snail had thought it was.  He kept zooming up to every single tree that came into their sight and saying, “Is this the one?  Or is that one it?  Oh, that is the one, I’m sure of it.”

After four miles, the tree came into view and Raccoon said “That’s the one we are looking for.”

Snail yelled, “Yes!  Finally we are here!”

He climbed the trunk and looked inside an open knothole.  Raccoon signaled Gull, Eagle, and Hawk, who were hiding in the bushes nearby.

Snail called to Raccoon “It looks weird, some sort of greenish, transparent slime.”

“Now!” yelled Raccoon.

“What did you say?” asked Snail just before Hawk slammed into him from behind.

“AHHHHHHHHH!!!” screamed Snail as he fell into the tree with a splash.

“Gull, find a big stick so I can fish him out,” said Hawk.

Gull came swooping up with a huge branch and gave it to Hawk.  Hawk kept fishing until he found Snail.  Snail lifted up out of the slime and said “I’m glad you got me out Raccoon.  Who knew what that slime might have done if I had swallowed any of it?”

Hawk was so surprised that Snail had not swallowed any, he dropped the stick and it fell out of the tree.  Just at that moment Snail saw who had been pulling him up and he realized it was a trap.  He fell right in between Eagle and Raccoon.  They started to pounce as Gull and Hawk swooped from two sides. Snail braced himself and then he heard KA-THWONK, and then…plop. Snail opened up one eye and saw all of his predators lying on the ground down for the count!  Luckily for Snail, they had all slammed into each other and knocked themselves out.

Snail started to dash away, but he noticed that his skin was covered head to tail with the slime and he couldn’t move fast at all, only a couple of inches every minute, and he left a slimy trail behind him when he moved.  Snail knew that one of the predators would see him when they came to and that he should move to a place where he would be safe.  Snail looked around in desperation until he saw a mouse hole a foot away. His eyes brightened and he moved towards it.  He was only a millimeter away when Eagle woke up and saw him. Eagle screeched and dove towards Snail, but he was too late.  Snail was in the mouse hole and out of view!

Later Snail had some children, who had slimy bodies too, but the poison was out of their bodies and animals were free to eat them.  And that is how Snail became slow.

The End

By Ethan, Age 12


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