Stable, Michele, and Linda Gamlin (1990). Wissen für Kinder: Tiere, 15.

Story behind the Passage

No, I am not kidding. Yesterday in the garden while chaffing some wood, I happened to notice a slug couple underneath a shadowy bush. Actually, that was the bush where I had buried the snake from a few weeks ago. The slugs where obviously very alive — they were having sex. Well, first, I was not sure if they were just dropping their eggs there but as I later googled, that must still have been in the production stage. So, there will surely be more of them, I guess...

This year we have many of them because it is so wet and not that sunny. And that made me wonder about snugs and snails. I mean, everywhere you look, people hate them. Just google it. The top entries you find deal with killing and driving them away. I kind of understand that. They ate up all my zucchini and the radish as well. So, I started wondering what they are actually good for. And I also started wondering about their anatomy. Why are they so slimy as they are? And is it really true that all living creatures are good for something?

All this thinking made me grab my decade-old children’s book about animals. I did find slugs in there and the funny thing is that it even talks about eggs. That degree of detail really suprised me. But my amazement did not stop there. When I looked at other pages, I found more detailed descriptions about other animals. There are answers to questions like: “What do Chiton snails look like?” “What are mollusks” (Stable and Gamlin 15)?

To be honest, I got quite embarrassed. I did not know any of these animals even existed! It could have been a language issue but this book was written in German! So, I should have heard these names at some point in my life. When I double-checked the date of publication, there is only one conclusion I can draw: children in 1990 were definitely smarter than grown-ups in the year 2021. Supposed — they read these books. I, obviously, did not…

My Learnings

August 9, 2021

“Wegschneckeneier besitzen keine solche Schale und müssen deshalb an einem sehr feuchten Platz (z.B. unter einem verfaulten Baumstamm) abgelegt werden, damit sie sich entwickeln können.“ / “The eggs of slugs do not have such a shell which is why they have to be spawned in a very damp place (e.g., underneath a rotten tree) in order to evolve.“

Wow!

This is exactly what they did in my garden.

I caught them (see photo proof above).

I will check now if the eggs are still there.

By the way,

the slugs are good for something:

They eat dying plants and dead insects.

This makes them create humus.

And humus is the mother of new plants.

See!

There is purpose in everything.

Even slugs…

And they are ahead when it comes to gender issues.

As you might know,

They are hermaphrodites— male and female.

If they wear funny name tags with “he/she/it” nowadays,

I do not know.

I will check out their LinkedIn profile.

I doubt that they have gender-neutral bathrooms.

But who knows.

We humans have the talent to advocate and sell all kinds of crazy ideas.

Maybe they will buy into it at some point.

If that happens,

I am going to be in trouble.

I would have to remodel the house according to their needs.

So they do not sue me.

Or they leave out of frustration.

If they did that,

They would be gone,

No matter how useful they might be,

That is not a bad option!

Reflection Questions

1) How do slugs breathe?

2) What kind of animal can you not stand? Why?

3) Which books did you like when you first started reading on your own as a child/teenager?

Founder & CEO of Companypoets