Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Barleycorn - Paradise For This Snail!

This is one of many stories
told by St. Francis to his followers
and it goes something like this . . .
The very first animal to appear
at the gates of heaven
was the snail.
St. Peter bent forward
tapping the snail with his staff,
and asked,
"What are you looking for here
my fine little snail?"
"Immortality" the snail answered politely.

Peter howled with laughter.
"Immortality! And just what
do you plan to do with immortality?"
''Don't laugh,' the snail countered.
"Aren't I one of God's creatures?
"Aren't I a son of God just like the Archangel Michael?
Archangel Snail,
that's who I am"
"Where are your wings of gold,
your scimitar,
the scarlet sandals
betokening your regality?"
Peter replied.
''Inside me,
asleep and waiting."
"Waiting for what?"
"Waiting for the Great Moment,"
replied the snail.
"What Great Moment?"
"This one now!"
said the snail.
And before he had finished saying 'Now'
he took a great leap as though
he had sprouted wings,
and he entered paradise. . .
St. Francis finished
by saying to his followers
"Do you understand?
We are just like Brother Snail.
Within us are the wings,
the scimitar and the royal sandals.
If we want to enter Paradise
we can at any moment.
We must simply want it
more than anything else
and we must be willing to take the leap . . . jump!"
To view the latest blooms at Barleycorn, click here.
To view the latest painting, click here.


Mark said...

Is that one of my snail art participants that has escaped???

Cheers Mark

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, Mark, and a warm welcome to you. I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the bathroom window after my shower this morning and saw this beautiful banded snail on the window sill. It hardly moved, thus allowing me to take all those photos.

Libbys Blog said...

Excellent little snail tale! lol!

A wildlife gardener said...

Great to have your company, Libby.

Allowing snails in the garden means I get to hear the wonderful song thrush. He leaves the evidence of his feasts dotted around large boulders he uses as his anvil :)

Barbara said...

This is a wonderful little story. I'll tell it to my pupils!!
Thank you!

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning, Barbara. Lovely to see you again.

It is great fun to tell because it has a certain ring to it, doesn't it? Children will identify with the smallness of the snail as they are small in an adult world.

Sally said...

Morning W.G. What a beautiful snail! And he looks yummy too - LOL! Do you like escargot? Thanks for inviting me.

A wildlife gardener said...

Couldn't bear to try them, Sally! My mother had a job feeding me as a child as I saw all the creatures as friends or pets and didn't want to eat them.

When I was encouraged to feed the animals around my grandparent's farm, I burst into tears the first time they told me we would have one of the turkeys for Sunday's dinner!

Thanks for visiting, Sally :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hadn't heard that story before. Interesting.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for introducing yourself, Lisa, and a warm welcome to our little corner of paradise. I'm glad you liked the story :)

Becky & Doug said...

thank you for sharing with me.
Yes, i believe this is true.
Love ya,

BJ said...

What a great little story! And the snail is gorgeous! Have never seen one quite so colorful. Thanks for sharing the pics and the story. And thanks too for visiting my blog.

kate said...

What an adorable snail. I wish the ones by my pond looked so cute. This story reminded me of the snail family my nephew and I had one summer at the lake. We had a house for them. It brought back some good memories.

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a wonderful story...words to truly live by....congrats on your blogging birthday...

Take care and God bless,

kari and kijsa

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to our little corner of paradise.

Lovely to have your company, Becky and Doug. It's a good little story, isn't it?

Hi there, BJ, nice to see you again. I thought him amazing, so perfect, so cute :)

Hello, Kate, great to see you. i'm glad it brought back happy memories for you. Little creatures have an ability to pass on happy feelings, don't they? They certainly cheer me up and make me smile :)

Thank you very much, Kari & Kijsa, for you kind wishes. I have enjoyed sharing the story of our wildlife garden, and can hardly believe a year has passed so quickly :)

Ewa said...

story is very encouraging and giving hope to each of us at little worse moments.
Congrats to your blogs 1st anniversary :)

ps. if somebody didn't see bisons in europe come to have a look :)

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, EWA, and a warm welcome to you.

I enjoyed the bison in the street and recommend everyone to visit Ewa's blog to see such an amazing sight!

Thanks for the good wishes for my first blogging birthday, Ewa :)

admin said...

A lovely whitelipped snail and a beautiful story. happy blogging day.
Sara from farmingfriends

A wildlife gardener said...

Lovely to see you, Sara, and thanks for the good wishes :)

Chris said...

This is a nice little tale, I hadn't heard it before. These little yellow snails do look sweet, its the big brown ones that cause so much damage in our garden but still we try to leave them to nature :-) Great to have thrushes! Happy blog birthday :-)

paris parfait said...

What a great story! And Happy Blog Birthday to you! Hope your next year of blogging will be just as much fun!

joey said...

Happy 'Blogging' Birthday!

Love this post ... what a handsome creature and engaging tale. It's always a joy to pop in for a visit.

Tina Trivett said...

How sweet and delicate. Like fine porcelain is his house. :)

Marie said...

Beautiful snail! Nice story!

Muum said...

thanks for the positive spin on a pesky critter! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Andrea's Garden said...

Hello, beautiful story! Pretty pictures of the snail as well. Nice how we still find something to blog about. Take good care, Andrea

Sheila said...

I have to admit snails give me the 'willies'...!
This one however, has such a pretty shell, I can make an exception. I'm going to look at your Barleycorn pictures now.
Have a great weekend...

ginger said...

One year? Congratulations and I am happy to see the little creature who came to celebrate with you! What a lovely shell/house he has.

layanee said...

Blogger sometimes won't let me post under my name, Layanee, and at those times, I am Ginger! Previous comment is mine and thank you for visiting me over at Ledge and Gardens.

Andrée said...

That is beautiful photography and storytelling. I have not heard that story. Thank you!

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our little corner of paradise.

Thanks for your good wishes, Chris, which I really appreciate.

The story is worth repeating, if for no other reason than to demonstrate that we all play our part in the web of life...even the lowly snail, and I do love the birdsong in the garden :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the story too, Paris Parfait. I have enjoyed my first year in Blogland, having met so many interesting people :)

Hi there, Joey! Lovely to have your company. I marvelled at this miniature creature, perfect in every detail :)

Great to have your company too, Tina. your description of the little snail is like your amazing poetry...lyrical.

I recommend Tina's poetry blog to everyone :)

Thank you for coming all the way from beautiful Norway, Marie. Thanks for your positive feedback :)

The little snails you call 'pesky critters',Muum, feed the birds, who, in turn, gobble up all the aphids and grubs on all the plants...so they are welcome here, as part of the magical web of life in the garden :)

Thanks for popping in to the garden, Andrea. I enjoyed writing about my chance meeting with the handsome Mr Snail :)

It's wonderful to see you here, dear Sheila. Little snails let us know that no matter how small we are, there is room for each and every one of us in the world, and we all have a part to play in the great scheme of things :)

A warm welcome, Layanee..what a beautiful name you have...it flows like a song. I'm so glad you appreciated the little snail :)

Thank you for introducing yourself, Andree. You are very welcome to join us. I'm glad you enjoyed the story :)

Sandy said...

Ahhhh... love it, the photos and the story.


Dawn said...

I love the snail & the clever story you've included. Well done! Also want to add a belated Happy Blog Birthday to you as well. You have created such a pleasant place in cyberspace. It's always a joy to see your photos and read your ideas. May you blog for many happy years to come.

Best to You,

Catherine said...

Great story! And great photo's..your little snail visitor has a very pretty home..:D
Happy Blogging B~day!!

A wildlife gardener said...

It's 4 degrees outside today here at Barleycorn, so I wish you all a warm welcome on this chilly day.

Thank you, Sandy, for all your encouragement. I'm so lucky to have you visit me :)

What a beautiful name you have, Dawn. I'm very much a dawn person :)

Thank you for your good wishes and your very kind comments :)

Lovely to have your company too, Catherine. I did admire the little snail's pretty shell too...so perfect in every way :)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Great story about the snail but in my paradise they are absent and so is brother slug. ;-)

How's your back holding up?

http://www.brittarnhildshouseinthewoods.typepad.com/ said...

Whata a beautiful story.
And your photos are amazing.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful! St. Francis is my favorite saint.

A wildlife gardener said...

0.1 degrees here this morning, but I extend a warm welcome to you all :)

I can imagine that slugs and snails make for bad company when growing all your own vegetables.

I wear a body support on days when I am unable to bend forward without acute pain. Every other day I strap on my magical TENS machine, which enables me to lead as normal a life as possible.

Thank you for asking :)

Lovely to have your company, Britt-Arnhild. Thank you for the compliments :)

I like everything I've read about St Francis too, Iowa Gardening Woman. We are all here to play our part in the great scheme of things :)

A wildlife gardener said...

Sorry, Yolanda Elizabet..I meant to add your name to the first comments I made re slugs and snails and my back problems. It was so kind of you to ask. Thank you.

Linda Lunda said...

What a beutyfull story!

A wildlife gardener said...

Lovely to have your company, Linda Lunda. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for visiting :)

Ki said...

Lovely snail. I wonder why it has such a colorful shell?

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning to you, Ki, and a warm welcome to our little corner of paradise.

That's a very good question. The one I photographed ia a white-lipped banded snail. If you want to know more about snails the BBC Open University has a great website ...


Green thumb said...

Everything slow and tardy is generally labelled as "snail", snail mail, snail's pace etc, but your enlightening story so beautifully illustrates that ultimately we all are snails till we 'decide' to spread our wings and take the leap to paradise. Beautiful story!

A wildlife gardener said...

A very warm welcome to you ,dear Green Thumb. 'Slow and steady wins the race'...Thenk you for your valuable comment :)

MrBrownThumb said...

What a cool shell on that snail.

Nice capture.

Gowri said...


heirloomgardener said...

I love your St. Francis story. Thank you for sharing it.

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