Jonathan, the Fastest Snail in the Meadow


Jonathan was looking really unhappy.

What’s up?” Asked Robbit.

“The beetle boys were bullying me,” Said Jonathan glumly, “They wrote things on my shell.”Robbit looked: there, all across Jonathan’s carefully polished shell was scrawled the word “SWOT”.

“Why didn’t you just chase the beetles away?” Demanded Robbit “Cos I’m just a snail,” Replied Jonathan, “I’m too slow.

”Robbit put a friendly paw round Jonathan’s shell.

“Never mind,” He said, “Let’s go home together.” So they did.

On the way, they met Old Mrs Spider. They told her all about Jonathan being bullied.

“ I’m just a snail,” He explained, “I’m too slow to chase anybody.” “Fiddlesticks!” Said Old Mrs Spider, “We’ll soon see about that.” She held up a small, dark green bottle.

“Try some,” She instructed.

Cautiously, Jonathan took a sip.

“Now,” Said Old Mrs Spider, “See how fast you can run.”

Jonathan gave a little hop of excitement and, with a puff of dust, shot off in a blur of speed.

“Wow!” Exclaimed Robbit.

“Ooooh!” Sang Jonathan as he whizzed along, “ This is exciting.”

Too late, Jonathan saw a bush in front of him: he tried to turn, but skidded straight into it. Crunch!

“If you really want to run fast,” Said Robbit, wiping mud and leaves off Jonathan’s shell, “You’re going to have to look where you’re going.”

“But,” Jonathan scratched his head, “I wear glasses, so things sometimes arrive before I see them.”

Robbit thought for a bit.

“I know!” He snapped his fingers, “We could ask Andy the ant to sit on your shell and tell you which way to go.”

So, off they sped off to find Andy.

They found Andy building a huge ant nest in a sunny corner of the meadow.

“Hi Andy,” Robbit yelled up to the top of the hill.

“Hi Robbit,” Andy called out of the corner of his mouth, his teeth clenched on a large twig,

“What can I do for you?”

“We were wondering,” Robbit began, “if you could steer Jonathan.”

“If I could do what?” Andy’s mouth dropped open in amazement, and his twig fell out, tumbling down the hill.

“Steer Jonathan,” Said Robbit.

Andy scurried down his hill, grabbed his stick and bustled back up again.

“You crazy?” He called out behind him, “You think I’ve got time to steer a sleepy, slow snail?”

Jonathan bristled indignantly.

“I’m not sleepy and slow,” He declared, “You just watch me.”


With a noise rather like a little jet plane taking off, Jonathan screeched off across the meadow and out of sight.

“Wow!” Exclaimed Andy from the top of his hill.

They watched in amazement as Jonathan raced round in the distance and headed back towards them.

“Oh, oh,” Said Robbit.

“Jump, Ant!” Yelled Old Mrs Spider.

But it was too late. There was a loud crunch! as Jonathan crashed right into the middle of Andy’s carefully built pile of twigs and little sticks. Andy came hurtling down and landed at Jonathan’s feet.

To be continued…

© Jan Luthman 

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