All the snails stop slime sliding when
Uncle Shelly says, “Hide! Birds are coming.”
“Cherry dew, cherry dew, knee deep, knee deep,” sing the
thrushes as they smash snails for lunch.
Oskar, a shiny black snail, slips past the hungry birds.
just like Uncle Shelly.
He shimmies along on his one foot, practicing
fast starts in the vegetable garden,
because Uncle Shelly says practice makes speed.
He munches fast. He eats with gusto.
“Oskar, hide! Farmer O’Day is here,” Speedy Dragonfly signals.
Clinging to the lettuce, Oskar pulls in his four antennas
and draws into his shell.
Farmer O’Day picks the lettuce and roars away.
Oskar bounces about, and wishes he could move fast,
like this bumpy ride!
With slimy mucus and thorny teeth he clings to the lettuce
being delivered to the bistro kitchen.
Gushing water sends Oskar flying, moving fast.
Where will he land?
Oh no, on a salad? A salad with black olives and tomatoes.
“That olive moved,” the diner shrieks.
Oskar quivers when her chair upsets.
“I did not order es-car-got!” the diner bellows.
Oskar wants to hide.
He knows Uncle Shelly would say, “Oskar, go hide.”
Oskar’s eye antennas pop up. Ouch. Bright light hurts.
A shiny, four pointy thing prods his shell – – – move,
move faster. Too late.
The bistro manager scrapes the salad into the compost bin.
Oskar plummets – – – down, down, down!
PLOP! Food. Food all around.
Dark green spinach to devour. Spinach for speed.
Speed is what he needs.
Farmer O’Day collects the compost bin.
He tosses it on his garden pile near the Gastropod Raceway.
With a twitch, a squirm, and a poke, Oskar pops up.
He senses the nearby snail racetrack and moves on over.
A race is about to begin.
Oskar does his warm-up routine. Flexes his antennas.
Stretches and slimes his foot.
Breathes. Turns his head.
The racetrack manager numbers the snail competitors.
He paints 33 on Oskar’s shell.
The Race Starter shouts, “Read – – – y! Stead – – – y! Go – – – !”
The racers are off – – – after a gentle thump from their trainers.
Uncle Shelly says, “Oskar, go!”
Oskar starts his m – – – o – – – v – – – e toward the finish line.
Slime—slide, slime—slide, faster – – – faster.
Oskar shoves harder and harder, and pushes more slime.
Snail Number 11 is very close. Moving in. Closer and closer.
“Oskar, go!” cheer his snail friends, their antennas waving.
“Onward. Forward. You are a-l-m-o-s-t there.”
Finally. He slides ____ over_____ the____ finish line.
“WHEW!” Oskar breathes.
“The Winner! A tankard of lettuce for Oskar, number 33.” calls
All antennas high, Oskar proclaims, “I am now OskarGo,
snail racer and trophy winner. No longer escargot! Thank you,
Uncle Shelly, and everyone. Join me for the lettuce chomp.
I want to give special thanks for . . . Spinach.”
OskarGo’s snail friends wave their antennas, “OskarGo,
Speedy Dragonfly loops and dives to honor the winner.