The education of a slug!
“For the slug, water is the essence of life,” the lecturer is repeating to his students, on a day of translucent stillness.
“Know the rain which stings the skin with the violence of its descent. It deals as harshly with the flowers as with us. The air sits heavy on the shoulders in such weather. The cold makes us stiff, though the water makes journeys smooth. In such weather it is best to wait until the plash of drops has eased but water still runs glistening down the flower stems and beads in the lupin, the leaf of alchemilla.
“However great your hunger, the art of survival is timing: always stand still until the worst of the storm has passed. Wait until the rain has exhausted its passion and falls softly once more. Then seize your chance to journey a furlong, and find its gifts: fine leaves, freshly cleansed: flower buds which have just stepped out of their sepal safety, and are unfolding their gowns, letting their silk and satin tint softly in the daylight: best of all, tucked between the crumbs of soil, are the shoots of seeds which have germinated in the last few hours and have sent out their first comical leaves. Tiny morsels of pleasure, no more. A little restraint may be in order, no matter how delicious these seedlings, for they are also our future food; a more substantial meal when just a little bigger. Hard to resist after winter’s fastness, I know. Discretion is the word to remember.”