The two-feather slug

Image - Slug Totem by ursulav, devant art.

Image – Slug Totem by ursulav, devant art.

While I am away, doubtless the slugs will play… Another old one revisited…which I hope the slugs won’t take as in invitations as they have been at it again with the weather this past week…

It has rained this week, all week. My feet and every pair of walking shoes I own … well, both pairs… have been permanently wet and the heating has gone back on. Ani, of course, completely oblivious, insists on having the back door open which leads from the living room to the garden. The wall just inside the door is now rain streaked and the carpet damp, which probably explains the persistence of the resident slug.

Now, I have written of slugs before… fascinating creatures, but not ones I want to get up close and personal with. Especially uninvited and barefoot. They are also not recommended for dogs… or, for that matter, plants. Nor do I want them on the dining table or kitchen worktops. Slugs, on the whole, I can personally live without.

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate their contribution to the ecological balance and food chain… except for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s slug fritters… but as house guests they leave a lot to be desired. As well as slime trails.

It is odd, perception changes. I positively welcome the first slug of spring, seeing it as a herald of warmer months to come. But now those technically warmer months have been and gone they are taking advantage of my welcome and moving in without so much as a by your leave. And I object.

lama

The big fat black one seems to come in every night. I mean, this thing is huge. I keep a large duck quill handy to eject it gently… it clings obligingly while it is returned to the garden. Yet whether it is the same one or one of its stunt doubles, the darned thing is back every evening as soon as dusk falls. The first night I got it before it did more than cross the threshold. Every night it gets more daring, more intrepid, stealthily making its way along the dark crevice that runs between the skirting board and the carpet. Last night it made it a good three feet past the door before I spotted it. This morning it sent in an undercover agent. Disguise... very clever….  I picked it up by its shell and placed it gently at the bottom of the garden. It had also sent in the stealth reconnaissance team in the form of a miniature slug which narrowly escaped being the victim of a small, bare foot.

Breakfast in Slug Town indeed…

Yesterday there was the Trojan horse ploy … a large bunch of valerian I had brought in, being obliged to cut its rain-heavy blooms away from the path, apparently played host to a small posse of the things … which ended up on the dining table. One even hitch-hiked a lift from Ani, hiding inside the half eaten tennis ball she favours. Is there no end to their temerity or ingenuity?

Perhaps the worst was the one in the sink where I had been soaking Ani’s food bowl. It could have been the fall that killed at as I dropped it… I couldn’t see it for the bubbles to be fair. Bare hands too… it might have been the scream that scared it to death. Either way, it didn’t make it… the hot, soapy water seemed to disagree with it…it was a funny colour… I don’t think they are made for bubble baths… and I wasn’t about to try and resuscitate it. Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. Robert Browning might have been happy to try artificial respiration, but not me. It took two feathers and a fair amount of cringing to dispose of the inert little body.

Maybe I’m being unfair. A little research shows the humble slug has been regarded as a magical totemic being, a numinous, liminal creature of the place between the worlds and the epitome of the inner equilibrium, leaving its iridescent trails… Perhaps it is so…

But please…not on the carpet.

slug

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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87 Responses to The two-feather slug

  1. My rule is all creatures can live as long as they respect my space. In other words – NO IN MY HOUSE!!!!!!!

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  2. alienorajt says:

    Hilarious, Sue – made me laugh so much I nearly bust a gut. Can’t be doing with the little bastards myself! xxx

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  3. alienorajt says:

    Reblogged this on ALIEN AURA'S BLOG: IT'LL BLOW YOUR MIND! and commented:
    This is utterly hilarious. Sue on the common slug is definitely worth two in the bush! Don’t read whilst imbibing anything, otherwise you might be in need of the Heimlich Manoeuvre!

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  4. Ah, the plight of the poor misunderstood slug. Poor little blighters. It’s good to know they’re been given a good home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tiramit says:

    Somebody I know used to embed containers in the earth, level with the surface, and fill them with beer. He used these old fashioned eggcups, I don’t know why, maybe just because he had them. Anyway the slugs would have a few sips (maybe a lot) and fall in…

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      It is a slug ‘cure’ much used still in the north I believe… they find them irresistable.

      I don’t want to dispose of them though… just not cohabitate…

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  6. Slugs are up there with big furry spiders on my “no thanks” list. Centipedes and ticks too. I hope this isn’t the beginning of an icky trend. I get nightmares from this stuff 🙂

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      I promise not….though I caught my son a good one the other day. Going through his cupboards for him I came across a big furry reote control tarantula he had bought to terrorise his younger brother a couple of years ago.
      Passing my son a bag full of wires to sort, I bobbed it in with some other stuff, not thinking….
      He squealed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue, I’m glad to hear that you didn’t apply CPR to the slug. It was bad enough to have touched it. 🙂 They are welcome at my place as long as they stay out of my vegetables. Usually they hang out in my compost piles.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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  8. I once found a slug in the kettle. After I’d boiled the water in it. And made coffee with the water. And drunk the coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. BunKaryudo says:

    I quite like slugs, but then I’m not a gardener. The creatures I’m really fascinated by are the mollusk cousins the octopus, the squid and the cuttlefish. They are such amazingly intelligent and amazing creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I did a double take on the title of your post, Sue. Living where it rains for 8 months of the year, we are no stranger to slugs. My husband figures their probably good eating and researched how to detox them for some fancy slug-cargot. Fortunately, it looked like too much work, so he gave up on the slug-fest. Phew. 😀

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  11. Oh, come on! Slugs are cute. And they leave trails over the place, looking at you oddly enough when you stare at it. LOL 😛

    I always rescued slugs from the road and put them away because I don’t have the heart to see people just crushed them. They did nothing wrong to people and they are part of nature, looking helpless there – the least that the snail got a shell to cover itself. Poor Sluggy! 😛

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  12. fransiweinstein says:

    I do not like creepy crawlies of any kind. They have a right to live, but nowhere near me. Yuck!!

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  13. Thanks for the laugh, Sue. We have a slug hound. He likes to track slugs and snuggle up to them. Only dead ones though.

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  14. laurie27wsmith says:

    Place a saucer of beer outside in the garden for them Sue, apparently they like it. Then again they party hard and make a helluva noise all night, then leave wobbly, slimy trails all over the place. 🙂

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  15. Ritu says:

    This reminds me of one of mynuniversity student houses! When we got the keys, after the summer holidays, it looked like no one had been in there for the 8 weeks… Except a whole army of slugs! My, the trails were everywhere!!

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  16. Pingback: The two-feather slug | oshriradhekrishnabole

  17. I can’t bear them either, nor snails, and last night there was a bloody great spider that was sharing one of the cushions with Miss Hap. Well he was, until she shrieked and threw the cushion about. They can take their slimy bodies and countless legs out of my house! As for daddy-long-legs, I become hysterical if they start bumping about! One landed in one of my large candles, yes IN it! That was the end of him! I couldn’t fish it out, Grump wouldn’t fish it out, so there it lies, covered in wax during the day, and exposed again by night! YUCK!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We have so many woodland rodents…the small creatures never stand a chance. And for that…we are grateful. ☺

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  19. Widdershins says:

    Slugs have a very tender foot, have you tried sprinkling finely crushed eggshells across their usual highways? Head ’em off at the pass, so to speak. 🙂

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  20. Eliza Waters says:

    I hate slugs, one of the few creatures I simply cannot abide. A can with salt and in you go!

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  21. Ali Isaac says:

    I’m with you here… no slugs for me. Or spiders.

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  22. I hate stepping on them accidentally in the dark with bare feet. (Shiver – just the thought.)

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  23. I am glad in a way, especially now that I have finished my first year of study with The Silent Eye Mystery School, that I have always had an interesting relationship with all creatures inside and outside. It has been sort of a curiosity when I was very young. At times I used to lie out in the backyard and peer through the grass, trying to imagine what it must be like to live as one of the creatures that lived there. I lived in the southwest, and we had a sort of phenomenon that when it would rain and there would be puddles, tiny frogs would come out of the ground. They could ribbit as if they were huge frogs – you could hear them all over. And they could mate and live a whole life cycle in the short time that puddle was there. But when it was over, they would be back in the ground, living in a state of metamorphosis.

    I am mostly interested in the symbology and significance of appearing suddenly in our environments. Most of these creatures will not hurt us, and most will tend to shy away from us if they are able to do so. Even things like the dreaded black widow spider is actually prone to stay away from humans. They WILL bite, but only if they feel pressed in any sense. I have carried all kinds of spiders safely out of the house (not black widows or brown recluses, which I have never encountered in the house) and have never been once bitten. We do not connect regularly with them, so for the most part, we have no sense of what they do on this earth and if it is a value to some part of nature.

    I suspect that everything on earth plays its own important part. They are not here to necessarily look cute or cuddly to us; in fact, that may well be its only protection so to speak. I liked what the one gentleman said about them being related to squid, octopuses, and some other creature, and how those were highly intelligent too, which I also know to be true, having lived near the Pacific Ocean and having seen them up close and personal. So the thing is that we do not yet, and may never know the intelligence or the spirituality of creatures, especially creatures like these. But I think every creature on this earth has some form of intelligence to enable it to not only survive, but to grow and multiply and continue to live. I have long wondered if a day will come when we are able to find ways to communicate with other life forms on this earth, and if so, what the outcome of such communications might be. Thank you one and all most kindly, and especially Sue, who wrote about this.

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