Pastoral seen

 We open in a woods — not a forest where trees go on and on for miles, just a little woods of an acre or three — and a snail is crawling along the ground minding its own business.

A rabbit runs by and the snail says, “What’s your hurry?” but the rabbit is already gone without answering the question.

The snail sighs.

“People are rushing here and there and don’t stop to talk anymore, or even look around to see what there is to see.”

The snail sputters along for a few feet and encounters a frog hiding under a burdock leaf.

“Is it safe?” whispers the frog.

“Is what safe?” the snail asks.

“Is it safe?” whispers the frog.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Is it safe?” whispers the frog.

The snail shrugs and moves on.

A puppy scampers into view. The frog jumps away, and the puppy scampers after it. The frog jumps another way, and the puppy jumps that way, too.

“Oh,” says the snail.

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