Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)
TITLE: Quest for the Gossamer Snail
By Beth LaBuff
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by Meriwether — with Jay and Seattle
—uploaded utilizing solar power—
Day 1—Mission Accomplices
Welcome to my research blog,
We'll study realms together.
My interest is conchology,*
Friends call me Meriwether.
Companions on this pilgrimage,
A cameraman named Jay,
And Seattle for reconnaissance
Will guide our journey's way.
For years I've studied folklore 'bout
The ethereal Gossamer Snail,
Its fragile shell of lazuli
That moonlight fades to pale.
Off to the tropic rainforest
To seek and to assess.
Our quest—locate the Gossamer Snail,
Then tag with GPS.
These tags will grant to scientists
To ascertain its habits and
Its seasonal migration.
Day 2—A Snake in the Grease
Today we journeyed further on,
Like clockwork, ticked our team.
Seattle's navigational skills
Propelled us down a stream.
'Twas later on toward evening
While encamped upon a bank,
Seattle readied for our meal
Then pulled a harmless prank.
Our campfire blazed with savory smells
From frying up a steak,
Into the hot-greased frying pan
He flung a plastic snake.
Well, Jay leapt back in panicked fear,
Erupting with a shriek.
A shame—his camera wasn't on,
He tumbled in the creek.
Day 3 – Embarking up the Wrong Tree
Today our hopes were realized,
We'd reached our destination.
And soon we'd sight the Gossamer Snail,
'Twas cause for celebration.
And in my mind I saw the press
And I could taste the glory,
As every major newspaper
Would headline-news our story.
We climbed an oak to view the snails
While Jay filmed from below,
But those we found weren't Gossamer—
Nor fit for escargot.
The only snails up in that tree
Had shells a dingy gray,
And thicker than an old hounds tooth—
It pulverized our day.
Then bad to worse, we'd need to charge
Our solar batteries,
But that posed a dilemma 'cause
No sunlight breached the trees.
Day 4—At a Snail's Place
Eureka! Triumph! We prevailed.
The thing we sought, 'twas found.
It wasn't clinging to a tree,
But inching 'cross ground.
Then Jay filmed the discovery,
And as the camera panned,
Seattle gently held the snail
Within his calloused hand.
For every folklore tale was true
About the Gossamer Snail.
The shell was colored lazuli,
'Twas paper-thin and frail.
Seattle appeared hypnotized
Awaiting lunar light.
Fatigue set in for Jay and I,
We turned in for the night.
Day 5 — Up a Creek Without Seattle
At morning's light, there dawned on us
These two discoveries—
One, Vanished—Seattle and the snail,
Two, Drained—our batteries.
What mischief played the moonlight
With our guide and with the snail?
And can the cameraman and I
Retrace our aqua trail?
Oh woe! — We are befuddled with
No guide to lead the way.
Our batteries are flashing red,
Oh heaven, help our day!
(The blog ends abruptly with the Day 5 entry.)
*conchology—the branch of zoology that deals with the study of mollusks and shells
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