I have to admit I was starting to feel a little bit cocky. I’d been warned about slugs and snails—told I’d have to defend against them constantly—but I had yet to find one. I thought it was because my lettuces were housed like royalty in the Palace of the Raised Beds, surrounded by a mote of gravel, brick, and mulch. What gastropod army could be brave enough, hungry enough—crazy enough—to attempt such a perilous attack? None, it seemed. I was sure that my realm of mixed greens (and assorted other herbs and vegetables) was safe from any outside threat. I never considered that the enemy might already be lurking inside the castle walls.
And then it happened. I was surveying my empire of dirt one afternoon, when I saw what at first glance appeared to be wilted, rotting lettuce leaves. I stared for a moment, and then squinted my eyes and looked a bit closer.