Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Escargot and other matters culinary

Growing up here in the Pacific Northwest, I've seen plenty of slugs but never had snails in my yard until I moved here. Lots of snails, whose shells make them less gross than slugs. The chickens, it turns out, are very particular about which snails they'll dine on. They turn up their beaks at adult snails. I found a small one the other day and threw it into the pen with some other snacks. Muffin gave it a few whacks to break the shell and happily dined on young, tender escargot. Good thing they don't expect to dip the snails in garlic butter.

Snakes supposedly don't hear, except for feeling vibrations, and they definitely don't understand English. But there was a moment tonight...I put Matilda's thawed mice in the tank and she started sniffing around. She opened her mouth to start eating one from the tail end. I said, "Not that end, start at the other end," because it's easier for them to eat nose first (think of which direction the mouse's legs bend). She lifted her head toward me, paused, and went to the other end of the mouse to start eating. Coincidence, of course, but I like to imagine we are communicating.

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