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This is a question I have often asked myself whenever I have stepped out into my garden to tend my plants. You see, I am terrified of all the little creepy things that we gardeners come across with excessive regularity. Insects and other garden livestock are never nice. They are creepy or slimy or wriggly or multi-legged or scaly or just down right horrid!

image of slugBut having this fear of horrid things in my garden in no way stops me from gardening. I may take up my trowel in trepidation, but I do take it up. Occasionally a well prepared and well briefed creepy will lay in wait for me and momentarily get the better of me, but I return ... shaken maybe, but resolute and determined.

One day, while tending my favourite Fuchsias in my greenhouse, I fearlessly lifted each pot to closely examine and appreciate the finer points of each specimen. I was happy in my work, content with my mission, and a prime target for a sadistic creepy set on ruining my day.

image of slugI carefully returned one plant to the bench and selected the next for closer scrutiny. As I lifted the pot, I had the strangest sensation of something tightening around my finger. Puzzled, I twisted the pot for a better look and that is when I saw it. It was HUGE!!!! It must have been at least 50mm long. (I prefer millimetres ... two inches doesn't sound a lot).

I dropped the pot and shook my hand. When I looked the $&@% thing was still there ... a vile slug of monstrous proportions and wearing a smile that said "shift me if you can". I hopped around my greenhouse, heart racing, shaking my hand furiously as if I was trying to throw away a red-hot coal. Its vice like grip tightened. Would it never let go? With even greater vigour I shook my hand expecting it to part company from my wrist at any moment. The slug's face distorted this way and that because of the centrifugal forces acting on its slimy body. This was the best Theme Park ride this slug had ever been on.

image of man with slug on head Suddenly I heard a dull thlup on the other side of the greenhouse. My hand had finally come off. No, thank goodness, when I looked my hand was still there but the tight sensation around my finger had eased. I staggered outside and sat on a nearby low wall debating how long it would take for my pulse to ease and my blood pressure to return to something near normal.

Once rested and suitably recovered I took up my trusty trowel and went in search of the enemy. I found it, and dealt with it unceremoniously, but effectively. This is one slug that would never again attack an unsuspecting gardener. After a strong cup of tea to calm my shattered nerves I once again returned to the battle ground (my greenhouse) and continued to inspect my treasured Fuchsias.

image of snailSo, though I am a wimp to fear such tiny insects I am nevertheless brave enough not to be deterred from my hobby by such feelings. But 'brave' is one thing, isn't 'Super Hero' overstating the case, I hear you ask? Not at all. My fearless approach to gardening does not revolve just around my own selfish protection. My wife quite recently lifted a stone and said "oh, look at all the snails under here". Like a man of steel, a human tornado, a fearless defender of the human race, I leapt forward without concern for my own safety ... and loaned her my trowel.