There I was, in my Berlin kitchen, minding my own business. Preparing a salad at a leisurely pace when I noticed a round, gooey, grey, slimy, blob on one of the bio salad leaves (has anyone else noticed bio supermarkets are less hit by the panic shoppers?). On closer inspection, the blob turned out to be a very small, dare I say cute, slug. What to do? I considered putting it on my balcony but quickly thought otherwise as I didn’t want to put my darling plants, and recently sole companions, at risk. Perhaps I would wrap it in a small piece of lettuce and throw it out the window. No. Living on the 5th floor, that would be an unnecessary risk and irresponsible (like those teenagers throwing a Corona -no, not the beer- party at Pankow this week).
I settled on keeping it overnight in a glass jar from my to-be recycled corner. Or what I refer to as the pile of glass items that will stay on my counter for at least one month before I bother taking them all the way to the glass recycling bins, located a good 20 meters from my home. The slug could spend the night in my kitchen. I would bring it downstairs in the morning and find him a suitable home. I diligently rinsed out the jar and placed my betrothed – um sorry, pet, (must be the isolation talking) inside with a piece of lettuce, a bit of radicchio, and a slice of cucumber for good measure. My own salad having been finally prepared and consumed, I went to check on my baby. To my horror, it was seemingly floating, not moving, in the little bit of water that had accumulated at the bottom of the jar. Had I drowned my one and only breathing companion? Quickly, I drained the water and performed CPR. Just kidding, of course, my CPR knowledge ceased to exist a few days after the course my last employer offered me. Anyway, I lovingly placed the slug back in its home and held my breath. Success! It was well and alive! I decided not to put the lid on from fear of suffocating him and went to bed.
The next morning, I eagerly trotted in the kitchen (yes, I trotted, gyms are closed remember?) to greet my slug. It was gone. Nothing. The jar was empty, the lettuce untouched. I cupped my face in despair. Noooooooo. What had I done? The slug could be anywhere by now and exposed to a multitude of dangers I could no longer protect him from. An investigation ensued, and so I closely inspected the black kitchen counter the jar had been set on and discovered a trail of slime. Aha! All I had to do was follow this 10cm long trail and I would find him! At the end of the glistening clue laid a dark looking grain of rice. I picked it up. It was no grain of rice, no. It was the slug. Lifeless, all dried up. It had apparently run out of slime in an attempt to regain freedom. This emotional rollercoaster left me drained. I wondered, would I too, run out of slime after being quarantined?
Text: Emilie Lomas
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