The Snail and the Lizard©

On the seashore at the bottom of a mountain lived a snail named Snooky. He was a good friend of a lizard named Lilly who lived in the valley on the other side of the mountain.

One early morning, while Snooky the Snail was curled up in his shell, his neighbor, Gracie the Grasshopper, came knocking. “Wake up, Snooky. I’ve got something exciting to tell you.”

Snooky the Snail slowly woke up, slid his head out of his shell, and, after giving a big yawn, asked, “What brings you here so early in the morning, Gracie?”

Gracie the Grasshopper replied, “We’re having a birthday party for our friend Lilly. It’s going to be at her tree house—the day after tomorrow. Can you come?”

“Oh, yes,” said Snooky the Snail, “Lilly is one of my best friends. I’ll have to start traveling right away. It will take me two days to get to the other side of the mountain.”

“That’s true,” said Gracie the Grasshopper, “and don’t forget to bring a present.”

He remembered Lilly liked sesame seeds. He soon found some and placed them in a small peapod. He then began dragging the pod beside him as he started up the mountain.

As we know, snails move very slowly and have to carry their shells everywhere they go. So, Snooky the Snail had a hard time pulling his shell and the pod full of sesame seeds. But up the mountain he went. Inch by inch, he slithered and slid, slithered and slid. He did this all day and all night, without stopping to rest. However, by the next morning, he was only half way up the mountain. So he began to slither faster and slide faster. But it didn’t help. By the following morning, he barely reached the top of the mountain, and the birthday party had already started. What am I going to do? he wondered.

Suddenly, he had a bright idea. He left the pod of sesame seeds on the ground and slithered to the edge of a big rock. He could now see straight down to the bottom of the mountain. I can’t bring Lilly a present, he thought, but I’m not going to miss her birthday party.

He curled up inside his shell and flipped himself over the edge of the rock. Down the steep mountain he went, rolling like a ball, faster and faster, hitting boulders and rocks— spinning out of control like a tumbling stone that couldn’t stop. But he finally did, right in front of Lilly the Lizard’s tree house.

“Look, everyone!” shouted Lilly the Lizard. “Snooky has come to my party.”

All the friends came running over. But the shell holding Snooky the Snail didn’t move. It looked battered and broken, and not a sound could be heard inside. Everyone became silent.

Lilly the Lizard then moved closer to the shell and whispered, “Snooky, are you all right? Snooky, can you hear me?” No answer was heard.

But in a few moments, there was a slight movement of the shell. Then, to everyone’s surprise, a very dizzy Snooky the Snail slowly began sliding out of his shell. “Happy birthday, Lilly,” he mumbled in a shaky voice.

Everyone shouted with joy, especially Lilly the Lizard. “Oh! Thank you, Snooky. You have made me so happy by coming to my birthday party.”

Snooky the Snail then had to say, “Lilly, please forgive me for not bringing you a present.”

“But you have,” she replied.

“I have?” he asked. “I don’t think so.”

“Yes,” said Lilly the Lizard. “You have climbed a mountain for me. No one has ever given me such a present.”

“Gee,” he responded, “I didn’t think I was doing anything so special.”

Lilly the Lizard replied, “You have done something special, Snooky. It’s not what friends give to one another; it’s what they do for one another. Thank you for being such a true friend.”

And Snooky the Snail and Lilly the Lizard remained true friends forever after.

No greater gift can you give or lend
Than the good you do for a friend.

Snail and Lizard Snail and Lizard