The other day I took my son to the library. After I’d conducted my own biblio-business, I sat down in one of the comfy chairs near the desk to wait for him to finish his craft project…he made an African Rain Stick that day. The gluing and crafting was taking a little longer than I expected, so my eyes wandered to the “New Books” display where I spotted The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. This ought to kill some time, I thought, as I expected to flip through an adult picture book full of beautiful wild snails–eating, I supposed. What I found was so much better!
By the time my son brought his rain stick out of the craft room to show me, I was completely engrossed in this tiny volume of prose, science, memoir, and enchantment! If you’ve ever felt trapped in your life, by illness as the author is, or really just wishing with all your heart to be someplace else, but compelled to stay put, you’ll relate on some level to Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s tale of her relationship with an ordinary woodland snail that hitched a ride on a visitor’s gift of potted flowers.
Bailey adeptly draws her reader into her world…a world that most of us would rather not consider at all. She writes: “It was all I could do to get through each moment, and each moment felt like an endless hour, yet days slipped silently past. Time unused and only endured still vanishes…” Though bedridden, Elisabeth Tova Bailey nonetheless finds a reason to hold on, and a reason to remain interested in her monotonous, mind numbing surroundings. The little creature captures her imagination, and she begins to study its nocturnal wanderings, its habits, and the hard biological and ecological science behind the lot of it. And then, much to the delight of anyone willing to give this little book a chance, she writes about it all…and she makes it magical!
I don’t think I’ll ever think of a snail as ordinary again….
To purchase the book, or Kindle version on Amazon.com, click here: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
To visit this gifted author’s website, click here: Elisabeth Tova Bailey