Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get happy

I have an assassin snail. His only purpose is to kill and eat all the other little invertebrates in my tiny shrimp tank. He is supposed to do this with vigor--his kind hunts in packs and violently sucks out the soft bodies of their prey, leaving only pristine shells behind.

Instead, my snail has tried to kill himself three times. Of course, it could be more, but these are the incidents I've witnessed so far as I've sat in front of the tank on suicide watch. First attempt: He tried to drown himself. I found him three feet away from the tank on my bookshelf, dry and upside down. Second attempt: He tried to climb into the filter. Third and ongoing attempt: He is refusing food. Twice I have placed a victim snail in front of, beside, and on him, but he just slithers away, sullenly, not even bothering to wave the tube on his head at it.

Snail, on a bad day. If you look carefully, you can see he is in the fetal position.

Maybe we should have known when we picked him out at the store. He kept climbing high up on the glass and then suddenly letting go and tumbling into the rocks at the bottom of his tank. We thought he was doing slapstick, but it's clear now, his wife took the kids, he lost his job, and he's balding.