This is one of my favorite stories from Hallswood and it took place when Keith was still with us.
His kindness and spirit are what defines Hallwood to this day.
The little girl was clearly upset as she walked up to Keith.
“I broke it,” she said. “Can you make him well again?”
With her eyes full of tears she looked at Keith.
Her mother shook her head and said “I am so sorry for bothering you like this but she insisted”.
“No worries at all. Give us here” he said. “I need to get it to surgery”
He walked over to a nearby building and disappeared inside.
The snail had a pretty damaged shell and between me and you, it didn’t look very good. Keith however realized just what an important moment this was for this little girl and was determined to make this moment right.
After a few minutes, he came back out with a little box in his hand.
“I have put the shell back together and he now needs time to heal,” he said and continued “put it back in the darkest and safest spot in your garden and I am sure that he will make a full recovery.”
Whether the little snail actually did make it the story does not tell but what did happen that day was nothing less than magic. A little girl was shown that feeling compassion for other living beings, be they great or small, loved by all or just a few, is an amazing thing.
As much as any gardener will swear over these little snails and dare I mention slugs they too have a very important part in the big picture. The balance of nature is a beautiful and magical thing and the loss of even the smallest group of creatures creates unbalance.