I went for a walk in the park yesterday, and came upon a slug eating a leaf. Normally, I feel the same squishysick aversion to slugs that other people feel to spiders or blood, but this was fascinating.
Sorry, I hadn’t meant to post that quite yet. The gist of my thoughts, before I was rudely interrupted by a fabulous museum visit (which I’ll get to in good time) was this: how do slugs decide what to do next? They’ve got brains the size of pinheads. Assuming that a slug would have some rudimentary kind of self-awareness, I crouched there for a good 15 minutes, wondering what it would be like to be a big ol’ black slug eating a leaf, and that leaf expanded to fill my world. It was crisp, dissolving slowly in my goo without losing its essential tang, and it pressed up gently against my blubbery chin. My odd slice of a mouth moved slowly, and though I was aware of it I was not aware that I could stop it if I so chose. It felt like textured rubber boots.
When I was done being a slug I went home. That was yesterday. Today, I went to the National Museum, to see things that have been dug up from bogs around the country. I only made it from prehistory to the year 1200 or so, the end of the Viking exhibit, but the number of metal arm rings that passed before my eyes is astounding. I left with visions of Viking serpents and Bronze Age hand symbols dancing before my eyes, wishing I had a good design project in which to incorporate them.