A Day In Slugville ©
Grandma Doris was a water rat who lived in a cottage by Harper’s Fork. By sunrise she was up and she knew it was going to be a glorious day. “Oh I am happy!”she said. “Is there anything I can do to make you happier, grandma?”asked Jamie her grandson. Silence. “Perhaps I can go to the town? run an errand for you?”
”You run along and enjoy yourself.” So Jamie took off instantly.
On the way he came across a slug with a woebegone face. “Never have I been put to shame as this morning.”
“Aha this sounds promising,”Jamie thought he was going to hear a story. “How did that come about?”Jamie asked helpfully.
Tim was his name and he replied morosely,”the gnome who tended the cabbage patch saw me stepping out prim and proper, and he tells me roughly, ‘don’t you run as if you own the whole place.”
“But you don’t run. You crawl at a snail’s pace.”
“What! I don’t run?”Tim looked as he was shocked and he asked,”am I going at a snail’s pace as you put it?”
“Of course!”Jamie replied,”snails are slow and they can never run.”
In reply to this Tim the slug burst out in tears.”Oh shame!” “come, come there is no shame in that,”Jamie said softly,” snails and slugs move very slow. It is common knowledge.”
“Common knowledge!” the snail raised himself on his belly and exclaimed,”Poppycock!” Jamie kept silent.
“We slugs have been vilified! Oh double shame!”
Jamie at first thought that Tim was pulling his legs. But Tim cried loud and tears fell thick and fast. “There, there take hold of yourself Tim!” Jamie said sharply. But Tim was not to be silenced. After he had dried himself he lashed out at everything in sight and in the end he accused the world had some grouse against the folks from Slugville.
“So you live in Slugville,”Jamie asked in excitement,”and there slugs are fast on feet. Is that what you wanted to say?”
“Of course we are the fastest creatures that have ever seen the daylight.”
“See, there you go again, with your unfriendly comments.”
“How can I comfort you then?”
“Plenty of ways I can suggest.”
“You can say slugs are intelligent.” “Are they?”
At this Tim did a somersault and said in a fury ,”You are bent on annoying me. Ask me anything.” “OK” Jamie said in seriousness,” Does a hungry bear watch salmon run?”
“A salmon can barely run !”replied Tim off-handedly,”with a hungry bear around.”
“Bravo!,”Jamie observed,”You are the sharpest slug I have ever come across. But do you run? Well. Ahem”.”
“ You are being unfair.”Tim said among sniffles,” Have you ever been to Slugville?”
“No, I have not.”Jamie replied. He said,”It is only fair that I see for myself.”
“Good,”Tim replied drying his tears. “I shall take you there.” Suddenly he stopped short and said,”You must know the password. Without which no one can come in.”
“Yes,”Tim replied,”Slow in reverse is wols.”
Tim took Jamie to the cabbage patch and whispered,”see that gnome, he has not moved even by a hairbreadth?”
“How can he?”the water-rat asked in amazement,”he is stuck on a pedestal and shall not go anywhere even if he wants to.”
Tim and Jamie stopped before the gnome who introduced himself as Gnome Bert. Jamie said the password and the gnome observed, “I guess I will have to let you in.”
As they were about to go in he called out,”Hey Tim you have been out for sometime. Ages I must say.”
Jamie thought it was some mistake. “The day has just begun. Tim only came out to say hello to me!”
“So? He took ages just the same!”
“Really?” Jamie thought something was wrong. He asked, “Bert tell me how many hours make your day?”
The gnome in red and blue dress with a cap almost crumbling at the point thought for a while,” A trillion and three hours and five minutes to be exact.”
Tim nudged Jamie to whisper,”Hurry up, my folks must be frantic with worry. I told them I shall be back for soup. It must be getting cold. ”
Later that night Grandma Doris wanted to know where he had been. Jamie replied:”Slugville”.
“So quickly you came back,”she asked with some concern, ”what, weren’t you sufficiently entertained?”
“I thought a minute in Slugville was the longest hour I spent.” He groaned and said,”I feel as some antediluvian!” His grandma snorted and said,”Whatever it is, you are using words with syllables that go on and on. Don’t spoil my day!”