I had a good thing going once upon a time. But Shel Silverstein, he ruined it all for me.
I’m sure his intentions were good but Mr. Silverstein so slandered me and my carapace-carrying friends that generations of little fingers would never again stroke our tender shells.
See, it’s a little-known fact that the sharp-toothed snail thrives on the gentle taps of tiny fingers that probe deep into the nostrils of young noses.
We live for this.
One Shel Silverstein, however, would have all children since 1974 believe that upon putting their finger up their noses at various depths, a sharp-toothed snail, not unlike myself, would potentially take off either their nail, a length dangerously close to ring level, or “the whole darn thing.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sharp-toothed snails are a gentle and loving creature who provide a diligent and necessary service to the inside of your nose. Our species, a variant within the proud class of Gastropoda, typically exhibits a spectacularly long life-span. We have, however, sadly been on a general decline since the mid-70’s.
A widespread extermination of the sharp-toothed snail following the publication of Silverstein's brutal but untrue account of a snail attack left us close to extinction. This aggressive elimination forced those of us remaining in safe nasal cavities to slowly retreat higher and higher.
Admittedly, this may have accounted for the increased prevalence of sinus-related illnesses in some parts of the Great Lakes Regions where larger populations of my species once existed.
This increase in sinus-related issues we now realize, was blamed on gluten-heavy foods, dairy products and a general lack of Vitamin D but really, it was us. We’re sorry about that. You can go back to eating real bread and ice cream, please. We actually prefer a mucous-heavy nasal passage.
Another misunderstood element of our existence I would like to clear the air about is our sharp tooth. See, we only have one tooth at all, so in evolutionary terms, it really was necessary for it to be extremely sharp.
In reality, it’s also quite small. A detail we feel, as a species, was exponentially overlooked in our depiction by Mr. Silverstein. The tooth’s main function was simply to assist with the cultivation, maintenance, navigation, and trimming of nose hairs.
Really. I’m so glad to get this off my shell. It’s been a weight no snail should have to bear.
With this, I would like to also ask for a new understanding of our kind. The world, from where I sit atop my nasal perch, seems to have become a much more trusting, diverse and accepting place and I felt it was safe to broach the subject.
With a sincere apology from myself and what’s left of my escargatoire, I would also like to extend an offer of a truce. We would love to glide down from our hiding places, resume the exemplary grooming of your nose hairs and encourage a new generation to unabashedly explore the inside of their nostrils with confidence.
Your rings are safe, we have no interest in your nails. Please let us push aside the fears and untruths perpetrated in the name of a good rhyme and start anew, as friends.