"There is nothing at all," said Father Snail. "No place can be better than ours, and I have nothing to wish for!"
"The manor-house has most likely fallen to ruin!" said Father Snail. "Or the burdocks have grown up over it, so that they cannot come out.
"You must not scold him," said Mother Snail. "He creeps so carefully; he will afford us much pleasure--and we have nothing but him to live for!
"I thank you!" said Mother Snail. "Our son shall not go into an ant-hill; if you know nothing better than that, we shall give the commission to the white gnats.
"At a hundred human paces from here there sits a little snail in her house, on a gooseberry bush; she is quite lonely, and old enough to be married.
And so they went and fetched little Miss Snail. It was a whole week before she arrived; but therein was just the very best of it, for one could thus see that she was of the same species.
At that second knock, a window on the third floor opened and the same Snail looked out.
"Dear little Snail," cried Pinocchio from the street.
"My boy," answered the Snail in a calm, peaceful voice, "my dear boy, I am a snail and snails are never in a hurry." And the window closed.
That brave little animal, the Snail, had taken exactly nine hours to go from the fourth floor to the street.
Won't you try, pretty little Snail, to free me from this terrible torture?"
Why, oo'd never get the snail along, if oo hadn't somebody to hold on to his other horn!"
I tried to think of some good reason why "big things" should hunt foxes, and he should not hunt snails, but none came into my head: so I said at last, "Well, I suppose one's as good as the other.
But the snail replied "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance--
The further off from England the nearer is to France-- Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.