Raj Arumugam

A Snail Goes To Heaven (A One-Act Tragicomedy) - Poem by Raj Arumugam

Bare stage. A square neon sign on extreme right which reads: “This way to Heaven”.
Prolonged silence. Enter Snail, moving very slowly throughout the play.

I’m a dead snail.
I’m going to Heaven.

I’ve lived for 15 years.
That’s a ripe old age.
I’ve been blessed.
Had a marvellous sex life, you know.
Well, if you know snails
we attract a mate with our slime.
Oh, slime turns me on, baby.

(Snail moves slowly, and then stops.)

Well, maybe I should focus on holy thoughts.
Purity...refined thoughts...you know...
Snail God does not like sex.
Copulation is not exactly what
Snail God meant when Snail God declared:
'Go forth and slime the world;
be ye together...'
Snail God demands purity
so let me be so...
after all, I’m going to Heaven...
a dead snail and moving on to Heaven...

(Snail moves slowly, and then stops.)

Had a precarious life,
you know,
all these 15 years...
A farmer saw me in the grass.
I heard him curse
and he raised his foot to crush me.
Well, unfortunately for him
he stepped on a snake
and the last I heard of the man
was an expletive
and the last I heard of the snake was a hiss.
Yes, I’ve had a long life
a risky life - but it’s all worth it
for an eternal life in Heaven
is my reward

(Snail moves slowly, and then stops.)

(Enter Frog, jumping. Snail looks at Frog in amazement. And Frog stops and looks at Snail in amazement.)

Frog: What are you doing?

Snail: That’s what I was about to ask of you.

Frog: I’m a dead Frog and I’m jumping on my way to Heaven.

Snail: I’m a dead Snail and I’m moving on to Heaven.

Frog: This is ridiculous.

Snail: Indeed. It is ridiculous.
A Frog going to Heaven?
No, for it is truly declared by Snail God:
'None but Snails shall enter Heaven.'

Frog: And in the words of the Frog God:
'I shall confound all other creatures.
Only Frogs shall enter Heaven.'
And so it has come to pass
Snails think they can go to Heaven.
Unless the Frog God
in Its Infinite Wisdom
has arranged for a Dish of Snails
when all Pure Frogs are at Its side in Paradise.
Well, Snail...you’re toast when I see you in Heaven.

(Frog jumps on to near stage right, screaming: “Heaven - here I come! ” and then disappears.)

(Long silence.)

Snail (facing audience) : Well, what next? - The snake to Heaven?
The Farmer to Heaven? His dog to Paradise?
Donkeys to Heaven?

(Snail moves on, in its slow way, to nothing but Heaven...)

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poem Edited: Friday, November 11, 2011

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