A small pet is often an excellent companion. — Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing, 1912
The natural world is the refuge of the spirit... richer even than human imagination. —Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984
In early spring, a friend went for a walk in the woods, and glancing down at the path, saw a snail. Picking it up, she held it gingerly in the palm of her hand and carried it back toward the studio where I was convalescing.
...my grandfather settled into life as a country doctor...when he answered a patient's call, even in the middle of the night, his very first words were always, "I am so sorry that you are not feeling well." How rare is it to hear a doctor express such empathy.
It seemed far more sensible to belong to a species that had evolved natural tooth replacement than to belong to one that had developed the dental profession.
I hope the terrestrial snails, secreted away in their mysterious lives, gliding slowly and gracefully through the night, millions of years in the future.
While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris - acommon woodland snail. Intrigued by the snail's world - from its strange anatomy to its mysterious courtship activities - she becomes a fascinated and amused observer of the snail's curious life. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is an affirmation of the healing power of nature, revealing how much of the world we miss in our busy daily lives, and how truly magical it is. A remarkable journey of survival and resilience, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating shows how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence and deepen our appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.
Most unlikely friend, Humble snail, shows me the way. Glide here. Stick there. Wait.
In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a "Neohelix albolabris" --a common woodland snail.