Okay, it was a snail. But it was interesting nonetheless, and surely racks me up some karma points (I am not yet sure if those are transferable with my good guy tokens)?
Cycling along Higher Cambridge Street I almost squished a snail who’d started a long and perilous journey across the road, and wasn’t looking left and right. I doubled back. A bike and a van missed him/her/it (they’re hemaphrodites, yes?) by a gnat’s whisker. I picked him up and she did the whole ‘going into my shell, literally‘ thing. As the Chinese proverb goes, once you save a life, you’re responsible for it – so I had to find some grass that wasn’t getting built on (that’s tough in Manchester). There was a school opposite, and I threw him at low velocity through the black mesh fence.
And she landed on its back, foot up and quivering. Great, I thought, I’ve saved him from a mercifully quick crushing death only to condemn her to a slow one. But snails are not, it turns out, tortoises. The snail arced up out of his shell, like a gun-metal grey finger, like the T-1000 in the vat at the end of Terminator 2. Incredibly long, she latched onto the leaf of a weed and pulled itself over. I left it making happy (non-crushed) trails across a patch of grass…
Oh, and googling this, I found evidence that there are in fact, genetic dickheads.