Recently we got an aquarium as well as a few fish and a snail to help clean up the tank. All was fine and dandy, the fish were doing whatever the hell it is fish do and the snail was working it. The girls named it Tiny Joe, and Tiny Joe was all over every surface of the tank sucking up any algae there was to be found. Our tank was immaculate; I really need to Google “house snails” to see if I can buy a few to help clean my house.
To get back on track here – the snail was growing quickly, the girls were excited to have pets of their own, and I enjoyed watching the boring fish and Tiny Joe in the tank while I futilely cleaned my kitchen 15 times a day.
One day while feeding the fish I noticed something weird on the bottom of the tank lid. It looked like a teeny tiny brain. So naturally I left it alone since it was crazy gross, I didn’t want to touch it or search online to see what it could be; I am still scarred from images I viewed in the past when googling something – there is some nasty shit posted that will give you nightmares. Anyway, I learned my lesson and the lesson was this, leave it alone and let the hubs deal with this one.
Naturally this meant that the creepy brain-thing stayed attached to the top of the tank for FOREVER, or a few weeks. While feeding the fish about 2 weeks later I noticed Tiny Joe was climbing above the water. I sat and watched him climb to the underside of the lid and just hang there. I opened the lid a crack to knock him down and saw something strange coming out of Tiny Joe: little eggs. Tiny Joe was actually Tiny Josephine, and she was laying hundreds of eggs.
At that point I felt I had no choice but to Google Mystery Snail eggs and saw that, yes indeed, the creepy brain was a clutch of eggs. But we had only one snail and she had been with us for nearly 3 months at this time, so how could she lay eggs? These kinds of snails are not asexual (I read that once I started Googling – I can assure you I am not a snail expert), there has to be a male and a female to make babies.
When my oldest, T, saw all the eggs she declared “These eggs are just duds since there is no boy snail in there with Tiny Joe. We won’t get any snail babies.” She was very matter of fact, not disappointed at all.
What the… How in the world did she know that? Since she didn’t probe into the specifics of why you need a mommy and a daddy I agreed with her and crossed my fingers that this wouldn’t be the beginning of “the talk”.
A few days later Tiny Joe took the snail trail to heaven. We held a funeral for her, complete with a eulogy given by T. I wrapped her up in pretty tissue paper, tied a ribbon around it, and we placed her in front of the house in a spot that we didn’t mind digging up since there already was not grass there. The girls pulled flowers from the plants I have worked so hard not to kill and placed them on her grave (and have continued to do so daily since she died).
Without Tiny Joe my tank was starting looking like the rest of my house, nasty and filled with scum. It was time to clean the tank, and go snail shopping. The kids were excited, they love cleaning the tank. I got the holding tank and rinsed it out. While doing this T looked in the tank and called out “Mom! There’s a baby snail in our tank!”
Suuurrrrrrreeee there is. That tank was so nasty it was probably some piece of slime just stuck to the side of the tank. “T, it is probably just scum. Don’t worry; we are going to get a new snail later today”
“Noooo! Mom, really, there is a baby snail on the side of the tank. COME LOOOOOK!!!!”
Ugh, fine. I trudged over to point out to her that it was just a bubble of yuck and she was delusional. I peered in, and had to admit that it did look like a lot like a baby snail up against the glass but I couldn’t be sure, the tank was so dirty there were all sorts of slimy things in it other than snails. I looked closer then grabbed a flashlight to confirm.
Holy Shell! It was a baby snail! We looked more and saw 4 other baby snails. I turned to T and told her Tiny Joe left us babies to remember her by; it was a good thing we didn’t clean the tank and kill the babies.
T declared “No mom, this is a miracle from God! He knew we missed Tiny Joe and turned her duds to babies!” as she told me this tears streamed down her face from the joy of this slimy phenomenon.
While I do think that our Lord and Savior can and does perform miracles, I highly doubt this was one of them. Instead of letting T know my thoughts or the disturbing fact that I read online that Mystery Snails can actually hold sperm in their bodies for months (and then having to tell her about sperm) I just smiled and agreed with her that yes, the babies were a gift from God. But I did inform her we are not going to keep them all; I have no plans to start the miracle snail farm anytime soon regardless of how happy it makes her.
Okay, I’ll keep two and try to train them to mop my floors.