A snail is climbing up the windowsill

Into your room, after a night of rain

You call me in to see, and I explain

That it would be unkind to leave it there:

It might crawl to the floor; we must take care

That no-one squashes it. You understand

And carry it outside with careful hand

To eat a daffodil.

I see then that a kind of faith prevails,

Your gentleness is moulded still by words

From me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,

From me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed

Your closest relatives, and who purveyed

The harshest kind of truth to many another.

But that is how things are: I am your Mother,

And we are kind to snails.

Fleur Adcock.