A Snail and its Shell

A short fairy tale about a small snail which was afraid to leave its comfortable shell.

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1. A Snail and its Shell

Once upon a time, there lived a shy snail. It had never wanted to leave its shell. The weather was cold or too hot outside, but inside the shell, it was always comfortable. It was dark inside, but that faint light which came from the outer world into snail's home was more than enough for the small snail.

“Why going outside, when it is so great here?” said the snail to itself. “I won't get either dry or cold, which means I won't fall ill.”

Nevertheless, hardly had the snail known that it just feared the outer world. Long ago the tiny mollusk tried to show its tiny head to the things outside, but it didn't go well. A gigantic crow cawed and frightened our shy creature.

It wasn't long after when the snail made another timid attempt to go to the outer world. There were no crows this time and the snail thought that, maybe, it had just imagined things. But suddenly a loud croak was heard. A terrible green toad was laughing at the small snail.

Time went by. Rarely and rarely left the snail its home because each time it gathered its courage to look outside, something terrible happened to the poor snail. Until, finally, the mollusk lost all the confidence in itself.

“When I try to show myself they frighten me. I don’t want to feel hurt. I won’t try going outside anymore,” our snail decided.

However, no matter how comfortable it was at home, each day the small creature became more and more lonely.

“I want to hope that they will understand me,” the snail thought one day. “But haven’t I decided that it was better not to hope anymore? Wasn’t I proved wrong each time I tried to show myself to the outer world?”

Although the snail was hurt and frightened to the point a shiver run down through its whole body whenever it thought about going outside, the snail made up its mind to try for the last time.

The little mollusk shut its eyes tight, gathering all the courage it had. Then it carefully took the right eye outside, then the left one. Until, finally, the whole head made its way outside.

Silence: no caws, no croaks.  Slowly the snail opened its eyes. There were no crows and no frogs. A wide road was before our snail.

“What a wide road!” the snail said in amazement. “I wonder what is on the other side,” and it started to crawl there.

It was crawling slowly, very slowly. A cycler appeared nearby. He was heading right on our tiny snail, which didn’t notice the danger.

When, finally, the shy creature noticed the cycler it had no possibility to get safely from the bicycle.

“I shouldn’t have looked outside,” our poor snail thought. “Seems my life ends here.”

Suddenly, the cycler stopped right before the snail. He noticed this tiny frightened creature. Having got off his bicycle, he helped the snail to get on the other side.

“Take care, cute snail,” the cycler said and smiled. “You have a beautiful home, don't you?”


Since then our snail became more confident and realized that if it had stopped trying to open its heart to others, never would the cycler have noticed the little snail.

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