Snail mail

Snail in a broken shell, ripe for predation

Snail in a broken shell, ripe for predation

Send your letter by email and it arrives practically instantaneously.

Send it by ‘snail mail’ and it’s going to take a day or more at least, as it wends its way through the postal system.

Clever phrase. Neat little rhyme with a nice derogatory tone.

One observation though: it belongs to the English language.

I say this because the Italian for the @ sign, integral to email addresses, is ‘chiocciola’ which means snail.

Because it looks like a snail.


The snail’s on the thorn

Snail on the balustrade

Snail on the balustrade

So runs a line from Robert Browning’s poem about all being right with the world.

This snail has a more comfortable surface to walk on, though.

I found it making slow and stately progress across the shiny paint of our balustrade after a downpour.

It should have been glad I wasn’t interested in popping it in the pot …