I too made friends with gastropods as a child. Slime was my favourite. He was faster than Long One, and more handsome than Matthew Jones. I kept him in a little margarine container filled with dirt and lettuce, and I carried him all over the garden. But one day I put his container somewhere and forgot about it. It was a week before I found him, round the back of the shed in the far corner of the garden, hidden by the clovers. Slime had been in his container the whole time. Unfortunately so had the sun, and when I opened it up he was black and crispy and very very dead. RIP, Slime. You were the greatest and most tragic friend I ever killed.