A Pilgrim's Progress and other novel adventures

Friday, 20 September 2013

The triumph of hope

I take the dog for a walk every morning along the river.  The path is made of grit and gravel, and yet I always see a dozen snails bang in the middle of it, trying to get from one side to the other.  It must be agony on their tender little bellies.  So why, I wonder, do they do it?  Do they just set off in a straight line, and stick to it, come what may?  At what point does tenacity cease to be a personal asset and become a liability?  At what point does it become stupidity?

Or is it really about hope?

Do the snails simply hope that there is something better on the other side of the path, and keep going, buoyed up on a slime of optimism?  I can tell, of course, from my lofty point of view, that the vegetation on the left hand side of the path is no more likely to satisfy snail-y appetites than the vegetation on the right.  Does that necessarily invalidate the snail's quest? Who can say?

I guess it depends on your point of view. 

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