Jonathan, the Fastest Snail in the Meadow

Jonathan, the Fastest Snail in the Meadow
A children’s story by Jan Luthman
Chapter 1

Jonathan The Snail
Jonathan, the Fastest Snail in the Meadow

Jonathan was looking dismal.
Robbit had never seen his friend looking quite so forlorn, not even on that rainy wet day when Jonathan had fallen over on a slippery corner and got mud on his nice shiny shell.

“What’s up?” Asked Robbit.

“Oh, nothing,” Said Jonathan, and carried on sliding glumly along the little snailtrail that led to his house

Robbit stared after his friend anxiously: whatever it was, it must be really bothering him if he wouldn’t even talk about it. Robbit hopped thoughtfully after the retreating shell, trying to think what to say.

“Bad day at school?” He ventured, “Get your sums wrong?”

Robbit almost always got his sums wrong; and his spelling. Getting things wrong at school was just the way things were for Robbit. Maybe, he thought, if you were extremely clever like Jonathan, then getting a sum wrong might make you unhappy.

But Jonathan just shook his head glumly; it wasn’t anything to do with sums.

“So, why are you so gloomy, then?” Demanded Robbit.

“Bullies,” Mumbled Jonathan at last.

“Bullies?” Asked Robbit, “What bullies?”

Jonathan hung his head

” At school,” He muttered, “They tease me.”

“Who tease you?” Demanded Robbit.

Jonathan hesitated.

“The beetle boys,” He said at last.

“Oh, them,” Robbit snorted, “Nobody likes them. They bully anybody who’s smaller than they are.”

Robbitt thought for a bit.

“How do they tease you?” He asked eventually.

“Oh,” Jonathan sighed, “They call me names and….”

“And what?” Asked Robbit sympathetically.

“They write things on my shell.”

“On your shell?”


Robbit was amazed. Everybody in the meadow knew that Jonathan always took such care of his shell; it was always beautifully polished, with never a speck of dust on it.

“What did they write on it?” He asked.

Jonathan turned sideways.

“Look,” He said.

There, all across Jonathan’s gleaming shell was scrawled the word “SWOT”.

“They say I’m just a swot,” Sighed Jonathan, close to tears, “A boring, boring swot.”

Robbit hopped up and down in agitation,

“But you’re not,” He cried, “You know lots and lots of things. That’s not boring at all.”

Jonathan cheered up, just a little bit. It had helped him feel a little better already, just telling a friend.

“Thank you,” He tried a watery smile, and fished around inside his shell for a handkerchief, “You’re a good friend, Robbit.”

Robbit was angry on his friend’s behalf.

“Why didn’t you just chase the beetles away?” He demanded, “I would have.”

Jonathan blew his nose.

“Dad’s bedos you’re a rabbid,” He said thickly through his hanky, “I’m only a snail. A swotty, slow snail. The only thing I can catch is a cold.”

Jonathan blew his nose loudly and tucked his hanky away in his shell and began to slide off up the hill again. Robbit hopped after him.

“Let’s go home together,” He said, “Maybe we’ll think of an idea.”

And so they did.

Go to Chapter 2 of this story of
Jonathan, the Fastest Snail in the Meadow

A Special Old Spider Secret

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