Everyone needs a home, she says, busily whittling. She bores a hole and sets the shell down, a whorl of mottled brown and cream. There. A home you can take with you.
Naked, the snails bow their antennae and accept the burden.
Nearby is a house where no one lives anymore. The children cried when they left, not understanding. The mother did not; she felt she should be strong. But she paused on the sidewalk. Picked up a snail shell. Slipped it in her pocket.
A home to take with you, said the goddess. No one heard but the snails.