Slugfest

bits 003How much do you know about slugs? Probably not a lot, if the truth be known. They are not the most appealing of creatures… and as long as they stay off the hostas and strawberries most of us will happily ignore them. For my part, I admit, I am not keen on them. Ani, in spite of my best efforts to keep her away from them due to the threat of lungworm, persists in bringing them in the house on toys she leaves outside overnight… and I persist in going barefoot and, occasionally, finding them that way… though these days even while I cringe and shudder at the underfoot squelch, I have to smile at the best chapter title ever… Breakfast in Slug Town, in Heart of Albion.

I recall one horrid summer when we had a leak beneath the floorboards in the kitchen, a leak the plumbers could not find. It went on for months and every slug in the vicinity seemed to take up residence in my kitchen. Nightmare.

Image Gregory Badon

Image Gregory Badon

Yet they are fascinating creatures, if you actually learn a little about them. I did… don’t ask me why, I really don’t have a clue. Look them up and see for yourself. I had no idea, for instance, how many varieties of land slug there are in Britain alone. Nor any idea of their anatomy, other than the visible. I didn’t know many still have a vestigial shell beneath the mantle. Or even that there was such a thing as a freshwater slug…

I was aware that they are hermaphroditic… though the rest of their mating habits were a bit of an eye opener (gentlemen, I suggest you skip that part… it will make your toes curl, though that may be a poor choice of words under the circumstances).

It is odd, though… snails most of us don’t seem to mind. Their shells can be beautifully marked, wonderful colours… even pastel pinks, blues and yellows… I even have recipes for snails… though not a one have I seen for slugs, which on the whole have to be easier to prepare… And if you have a slug recipe… please don’t tell me… I don’t really want to know!

(Well, I didn’t, but being an idiot I googled… see slug fritters….or not, depending on how squeamish you are about the idea… I do recommend not googling over breakfast….)

Yet a snail is little different from a slug apart from the shell. Funny how much difference appearances make to our emotions sometimes. It makes me wonder how often we make such illogical, emotional judgements based purely on a reaction to what we see, or think we see.

However, this morning the sight of a large slug on the path was welcome. Their bodies are mostly water and they are subject to weather… hiding from the sun that dessicates them and hibernating from the winter freeze. So to see the determined little creature slithering towards the primroses was rather nice. Either his sleeping habits are as off kilter as mine, or spring is round the corner in spite of the wet and windy weather.

I never thought I would see the Herald of Spring in the guise of a slug… but if that little chap is right, he’s welcome to the odd primrose or two.

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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14 Responses to Slugfest

  1. ‘orrible things!
    When I was a keen angler, I read that a good black slug is a ‘killer’ bait for chub, but despite them being quite plentiful at some times of the year, I could never pick up the nerve (stomach) to pick one up and use it. (The chub seem to be perfectly happy taking the cheese on my hook!)

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  2. Running Elk says:

    Well… do you remember an infestation what I may have writ about? Then along came a shaman… slug is much more than I could have ever imagined. I like slug! 😀
    http://spiritlodge.yuku.com/topic/837/Slug-Totem#.UwgPAs7T12o

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  3. Eilish Niamh says:

    Slippery, slimy things. I had one ooze out onto my hand while washing organic lettuce. I admit I was grossed out by the critter, but squeeled when it started moving. Personally I would not eat slugs or snails.

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  4. lumar1298 says:

    Really… Slug fritters? Yukkkkk….

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  5. Pingback: The two-feather slug | Daily Echo

  6. I absolutely LOVED this article. I have a newfound respect for the creature since I looked up its symbolic significance and also read this article. A lot of times we turn something away because we might, in the case of plants, judge it to be a weed, or if it is a creature, we might see it as being a horrible or nasty or scary pest. But the reality is that every single thing here on this earth is part of some greater design by a God or Gods as the situation may be, and as such, there is no such thing as weeds, or yucky or scary creatures except in our own sometimes inadequate consciousnesses. This was an excellent article and I am glad I got a chance to read it. These days since I have finished my first year, my mind is open to so many things I previously just wrote off as insignificant, or things to which my mind was perhaps closed. It is a truly amazing new world.

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  7. Pingback: Dear Don: Cheesehound… – France & Vincent

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