Children

The Naked Snail

A Naked Snail Photo: Antonio Garcia

*I was pushing my one year old in his pram whilst my four year old was jumping over puddles on the pavement next to us on our way back to infant school after lunch. The heavens had opened that morning and the rain had been continuous since I had done the first school run of the day that morning. In front of us was a mother with a four year old girl dressed from head to toe in pink in one hand and her slightly older brother in the other hand. Suddenly the trio stopped before us and the young girl let out a shriek,

Ew. Wat is dat mama?” she asked, turning to her mother. She pointed at the ground to a slug.

“Dat is een naaktslak,” said her mother laughing. The Dutch word for slug, naaktslak, litterally translates to naked snail. Both children were now laughing. The young boy said,

“Yes, he woke up this morning and forgot to put his clothes on.” His little sister giggled. As did I. My four year old looked up at me,

“Nee, toch mama?” my son asked, questioning the validity of the boy’s statement. The mother continued,

“Yes, he must have been very confused when he woke this morning.”

It reminded me just how fabulous the Dutch language can be!

*This article first appeared on my other blog, A Letter from the Netherlands, in June 2011.

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