I recently tried, to no avail,
to slow down a forward moving snail;
each time I blocked its middle section
and gently pulled its house in the opposite direction
I felt a rather purposeful reaction
of it sticking to the base and of additional traction.
How unsuccessful I had finally been
could unmistakably be seen
from the linear, slimy trail
left behind the tiny traveller's tail.
Not being French, I suddenly became apologetic
towards this little escargot, which was so energetic,
and I therefore helped it onto a laurel leaf
and wondered if its life would be long or brief.