There was once a man and a lady Snail who lived on a cabbage.
They were big, fat and shiny, and they would have been happy. But they had no children, and it missed them a lot.
One day was passing near their cabbage a poor skinny little snail asked for alms.
They questioned him and learned that he was an orphan.
Right away Ms. Snail, deeply moved, said to her husband:
“What if we adopt him?“
“I was going to propose to you,” replied Mr. Snail.
And almost entirely he left his house to kiss her new son.
In no time, the little snail became big, fat and shiny.
Then the mother Snail told the father Snail:
“My friend, we have to marry our son. We must find him a pretty girl of our world, so that we have beautiful grandchildren.“
“I was going to propose to you,” said the husband. “But where to go for it?“
“From my green balcony,“ says Ms. Snail, “I see ants people…“
“The people of ants,” says Ms. Snail, “is an active people coming and going constantly on the roads and must know many people and be aware of many things. We will ask the ants if they would not know a girl worthy to marry our little Snail.“
“I was going to propose to you,“ said the Snail father.
He went down from his balcony with his wife to question ants.
“Precisely, we have what you need. A few meters from here, in the eye of an old wall, we saw a young lady Snail with the prettiest shell, which parents were recently cooked. The poor is all alone in the world.”
“She will not long stay single,” cried together Mr. and Ms. Snail. “Go, I pray you, ask her in marriage for our son.“
Ants set off and arrived near the old wall where the orphan was crying that her parents had cooked.
She was so pleased with the proposal, she immediately gave his hand, even without knowing him, to the adopted son of the old snails, and she began running, drooling of joy along the way.
But she was not moving fast. So ants fabricated with grass a sedan chair they charged on their shoulders. And so the poor orphan came to pass after many days, at the cabbage her stepparents and into the arms of her fiancé.
(Translated and adapted from ABC – Petits Contes, by Jules Lemaître)