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UNDER THE cover of darkness, I crept around the building. I wasn’t sure what I would see or even if I could see, when I turned the corner. The night was quiet; not an animal was scuffling, nor were the branches of trees moving. The silence was total.
In the still air, it felt if I were heading into a solid wall of blackness. Ever since the lights went out, I had been worried about being alone in the old warehouse. I felt much better being outside. I had scurried through the door as it was about to shut. Now I was less afraid of entrapment. There were more chances of survival being on the outside than on the inside.
Suddenly I heard a noise. I stopped and crouched next to an old board, leaning against the wall of the building. What was that? I heard it again. It sounded familiar and yet misplaced. Where had I heard that sound before? Not able to recognize it immediately, I cautiously moved on. There it was again! This time it was louder and nearer. I looked around, shaking and deathly afraid. I could not see anything out of the ordinary and yet I knew something wasn’t right.
I think it was the smell that I first recognized. Then, the rest of the clues fell into place. I felt relieved that I now knew what it was. I was not afraid any longer. How silly of me not to remember the sound of water dripping into a tin bucket. The smell of rain had triggered the answer. Being small was not always the best thing in the world. Everything looked, felt and smelled bigger somehow.
I crept slowly under a protruding brick and curled up inside my shell. Being a snail had its privileges.