Here’s a silly poem I wrote a few years ago when I was struggling to build a balanced relationship with the slugs in my allotment. It’s called ‘If Slugs looked like Polar Bears’.
If Robert Burns can write a poem addressed to a mouse, then maybe it’s ok for me (another Scot) to write an ode to a slug. May at least raise a smile.
George Dow – Green Christian
If slugs looked like polar bears
How would we feel?
Would it make us less willing to squash them with our welly boot heel?
If slugs looked like kittens
Would we keep them as pets?
Cuddle and stroke them and spend small fortunes at vets?
If slugs looked like puppies
Would we take them for walks?
On leads in the park (or more realistically) carry them in a box?
If slugs looked like snails
Would that would be OK?
With their beautiful shells and their swagger and sway
But slugs look like other slugs
I can’t see improvement
Except to say how effective they are as a dangerous, radical underground movement
So let’s hear it for slugs
Let’s embrace wildlife’s diversity
And keep a place in the ecosystem
For horrible, slimy creatures as well as those which are cuddly or pretty
Having said that, I don’t believe a word and will continue to rail
Against these ugly wee rascals who eat my veg and leave a silvery trail
Let’s fill them with nematodes, colonise their inners
So that I can continue to eat my dinners
In peace without bothering whether
Tomorrow’s beans and kale has been decimated all the gither
But if we truly believe that we need to take care
Of all of God’s creatures who only take their fair share
Then let’s stand up for the slug
Let’s give it some glory
And leave it to live as part of life’s wondrous story.