Animal Writes
3 October 2001 Issue

by [email protected]
(with permission)
Submitted by [email protected] 

Once upon a time there lived a big, brown slug in the small backyard of a small house nestled in the small foothills of a small town. His name was Archie. Archie was the granddaddy of all slugs and very proud of his physique. And his prowess. In length, he reached almost 6 inches and was nearly three quarters of an inch in diameter. When moving at full steam, Archie could travel long distances .. like from the kitchen sliding glass door to the studio door which was way around on the side of the house. And all in less than one hour.

Tonight as Archie made his nightly trek, nearing the studio, he noticed the screen door'd been propped open. "Ah haaa," he thought, "an adventure!" He glided up onto the shiny metal threshold and took a look around. The lights were out and the radio on the counter was still. Not a soul was in sight. He knew two cats lived in the house but that didn't scare him because they let him alone. They didn't like the clammy moisture he left on their paws. So, Archie decided to go inside.

The threshold wasn't very wide and rather abruptly Archie found himself on a doormat. It was scratchy and prickly and made gliding very difficult. But Archie, a firm believer in always forging ahead, struggled on despite a strong feeling he really should turn back. Finally, after much exertion, Archie reached the middle of the mat. He was stranded. And exhausted. He decided to rest a bit before continuing on.

Suddenly he was dazed and blinded when the overhead lights were turned on. Lifting his head, he tried to focus bleary eyes but all he could see was white. With a sickening surge, he felt himself being lifted into the air. His terror was so great he wanted to scream .. but remembered he didn't have any vocal cords. Then, just as suddenly, he felt the coolness of the brick pavers outside the studio door on his underbelly. He was outside! But...Archie still could see only white. "What is wrong with my eyes?!?" he frantically wondered.

It was also about this time Archie noticed something was sticking to his skin. Try as he might he found he couldn't move at all because whatever was sticking to him held him tight. And, to make matters worse, something was tugging at his skin. "Ooh dear, " Archie thought sadly to himself, "I guess this is, truly, the end of me."

But in the next instant, just as Archie felt all was lost, cool water came splashing down on him. As it gushed from the drinking glass, the tissue that had made him a prisoner floated off. Sensing he was free, Archie regally glided away .. moving at full steam for the kitchen side of the house. Archie never looked back so he didn't see the hand that reached down ... and picked up the soaked tissue.

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