Some time in mid-September, I was in Fournes irrigating our orange trees, a task now being accomplished automatically by nature itself. The field snails had woken up from their summer slumber as the irrigation taps were being turned on. There were hundreds of them walking about; I counted 100 snails in my plastic bag when I turned them into a boiling pot of water (really, they are delicious if you know how to treat and cook them).
We don't usually eat the small ones. Maybe this one didn't catch my attention; it escaped from the bag and climbed up the kitchen curtain. There it curled up and hibernated until I saw it only a few days ago.
"Don't worry", I comforted it, "you're not ready for the cauldron, not just yet anyway", I said to it as I threw it into the garden.