I was hiking with Bronko in the Grand Forest, a local park. The wet winter was coming to an end. New green was beginning to show.
He’s from a more compulsively social species than we are. Like bees in some ways. Visually though, very unlike bees. He has a strange walk. Visualize the split hoof of a goat, then take it all the way up to Bronko’s (two) knees, so he actually has four feet.
A banana slug on the trail caught his eye. They’re big. This one was even yellow.
“They’re amazingly cute,” he said, leaning so close he was practically breathing on it, “Do you people keep them as pets?”
“Um, no….” I had just realized that I might be veering into intercultural quicksand. Normally I’d plow straight ahead. Maybe I’m getting smart.
Sprinkled into the conversation that followed I managed a few oblique questions. I intended him not to understand what I was getting at. Eventually I did extract what it was:
Our slugs look like their babies. Or vice versa.