Ann Cannon: Be warned, the ‘Snail Huntress’ is fired up in Provo

First Published      Last Updated Aug 13 2015 03:08 pm

Attention all snails!

This is ME giving YOU fair warning. You have a new predator on the horizon and it's not (as Dave Barry once joked) the French.

Are you afraid yet? Because you should be. In fact, you should be very, very afraid. Your new predator is relentless when she puts her mind to something. Do you hear me? RELENTLESS.

How do I know this?

Because she's my mother.

Over the years I have watched this woman complete impossible jigsaw puzzles that everybody else abandoned long ago. I have watched her play cards late into the night with her grandchildren until everybody fell asleep at the table. Except for her. I have seen her knit sweaters from patterns so complicated that they (the patterns) make Professional Sweater Knitters weep.

You hear what I'm saying? This is a woman who does not give up.

And now my mother, aka "the Snail Huntress," has decided to come after you and your kin, and she'll keep coming after you and your kin until she has obliterated you from the face of the Earth. Why? Because you crossed a boundary, my slimy little friends. You've recently invaded her garden. You killed her marigolds. PREPARE TO DIE!

See, here's the deal. My mother lives in Provo, where I swear that your kind didn't exist while I was growing up there. You were basically mythical creatures. Like unicorns! I never saw you until I moved to Salt Lake and planted my first garden, where I discovered you and your friends shouting "party on!" to each other beneath my leafy vegetables. Then you went ahead and ate all my leafy vegetables.

I called my father shortly after the First Great Leafy Vegetable Massacre.

"Dad," I said, "do you guys have snails down there in Provo?"

He said no. He'd never had a snail problem in his own garden. It's like there was this sign on the outskirts of town that said "Welcome to Provo. Except if you're a snail, in which case you should feel free to slither on back to Salt Lake."

So you did. You slithered on back to Salt Lake and ended up in my garden AGAIN where, in spite of my best efforts to curb your enthusiasm, you made a meal out of my hostas summer after summer after summer.

I'll admit that I tried briefly to see you through different eyes after reading "All the Light We Cannot See" last year. The heroine in that book, a young French girl named Marie-Laure, admires your kind for your ability to withstand the seabirds that try to eat you. Marie-Laure was totally Team Snail. So I thought to myself, "Maybe snails aren't so bad after all." But then I stepped outside, saw you guys chowing your way through my garden and realized that in the end I was (and always will be) Team Seabird.

Anyway. I was surprised when my mother told me you guys finally stepped off the bus in Provo and started helping yourself to her marigolds. Obviously this younger generation of snails is bolder than previous generations.

Kids today! They're always eating other people's marigolds!

But, as I said before, the Snail Huntress is definitely after you and would appreciate any tips from a) Trib readers who are also b) experienced Snail Slayers. Thank you, Trib readers!

Meanwhile, please believe me, Snails, when I say that your days are numbered. …

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com.