Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Home ranges and habits of mid-Atlantic weresnails

In this study we identified weresnails in human form on the basis of two criteria: giant slime trails in their dwellings and nascent eye stalks on the days preceding a full moon. We followed human-form weresnails and used a modified tranquilizer gun to implant tracking devices on their shells at the onset of gastrothropy.


Gordon hurried home, dodging snow mounded where the plows had left it. He did love Elaine, desperately, but he had sworn never to bring a child into the world. He was afraid that his fear of what his curse would do to any offspring must have looked a lot like rejection. She didn't know, and how could he explain now, when it was too late?

Elaine had cooked a wonderful meal: clam chowder, a green salad, and a spry young California Merlot with an unexpected kick. Then she told him.

"I felt sick this morning.".

"I'm so sorry!" he replied, wondering at her odd expression. "You certainly shouldn't have cooked for me when you didn't feel well. You're feeling better?"

"For now. I don't know what will happen in the morning."

She finally had had to simply tell him. Then he gave her that look, and he ran.


The shell of the first subject shattered when struck by the tracking device. The tranquilizer gun had to be further modified before successful implantation was possible. Ultimately, time and location data for three subjects were successfully collected for three lunar cycles (fig. 1). Figure 2 shows movements of all three subjects, superimposed on a high-resolution digital elevation model.


Gordon could not sit still. He walked, trying to believe his son or daughter would be normal. After all, the gastrothrope gene was recessive, so unless Rachel had snail blood, their children would look fully human. He pulled out his cell phone.


"Rachel, listen. I was just so shocked, but I want..." Then Gordon paused, bathed in moonlight.

"Me too, and.... This morning you looked...terrified. You don't feel that way now, do you? Gordon? Gordon?"

His cell phone shattered on the sidewalk as Gordon underwent a transformation made excruciating by the salty meltwater covering the ground.


Unfortunately, aggressive salt distribution by county road crews resulted in destruction of the three remaining experimental subjects. The study will resume, with new subjects, after the last frost date in the spring.

The end

when the city salted the streets he panicked.
At a rare October snowfall

October snow
the salted briny streets
weresnails writhe

Publ. Daily Cabal, 2009

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