The story of Anna, a snail who found her home
Recently I finished the Snail Anna image. It delivered great joy and happiness to me. Every time I look at it, I feel a strong motivation to tell the story I created for it. An instant inspiration hit me, and I wrote based on that energy.
Below is the story of Anna, the Snail.
The Snail, named Anna, has a beautiful, shiny pinkish shell. She lives in a snail village with her mother, Nancy. Her most sparkly backshell is a great pride and joy for her mom.
But one day, Nancy found another snail named Amy adorned her shell with gorgeous jewels that shine brilliantly. Thanks to the fancy decorations, the Snail Amy became the town's fashionista at once. Nancy couldn't admit it. 'Oh, Anna is a natural beauty. Artificially groomed Amy can't compare to my daughter'. But Amy's décor has become famous and has become her must-have in the village. Relatively, Anna looked very shabby, and Nancy didn't want to lose her popularity, so she bought more prominent decorations than Amy. "Anna, If you put this on your shell, you can become more popular." Anna puts her decorations on her own back out of love for her mother. And she added embellishments to her beautiful natural pretty back shell, making it seem like there was no snail in the world more beautiful than this. Nancy's plan worked. Anna beat Amy back to first place. Nancy was satisfied. She made sure to put more of her decorations on it so no one could catch up with Anna. Seeing Nancy working hard and happy, Anna diligently put her jewelry on her back shell.
But one day, while crawling hard, Anna realized. "OMG!...I can't walk anymore...She stopped. The decoration of the carapace became too heavy. Seeing her stop Anna, Nancy was startled. She thought. 'Nobody stop in the world.' If you stop here, it means not a live snail. You must move. What will other people say when they see you? But she was already unable to go even one step further under the weight of her decorations. Seeing her motionless Anna, the townsfolk began to gossip. Nancy was nervous. She pushed Anna's back shell and pushed her Anna. After that, Nancy told her, "All other snails crawl well, so why can't you? Why are you giving me such a hard time by being born"...she yelled at Anna. Anna went inside her the shell of her back with deep depression and despair. And she never came out again. Nancy was so embarrassed and worried that everyone will notice it. She hid Anna behind a rock and told neighbor and relatives. "Anna went to attend to a beauty pageant!"
Inner shell, 2021, Myungja Anna Koh
Anna spent day by day in the dark shell. Then one day, suddenly, she heard a thump. Then her surroundings turned bright surprisingly. The ceiling of her back shell collapsed and covered dust on Anna's body.
Because birds flying over Anna saw a sparkling jewel and came down . They pecked at the treasure to remove it. The birds utterly destroyed Anna's shell. She lost her home in an instant. Nancy drove her bird away to protect her Anna. She would have expected to let Anna recover her heart quickly and come out of her back shell and become her radiant daughter again. But it was only after the already beautiful glory was broken. Nancy cried aloud. "The world is too harsh on me. It's so unfair. I can't live with a shame!". Anna just listened.
She couldn't accept Anna, who had become a slug overnight. Anna wanted to give some relief her Nancy. "Nancy, I don't need my back shell. Slugs also don't even have a shell. But Nancy talked to Anna with a sigh. "Anna, it's a slug. You're not a slug. You're a snail that should have a shell. If snails don't have a home, villagers will ignore us and stay away. I can't live with shame. " Nancy cried. Anna was so sad. She tried to comfort Nancy, but she eventually decided to leave her town.
She crawled hard somewhere. But for a snail without a shell, it was a painful journey. The sun's stinging light burned her back. The cold snow of winter put frostbite on Anna's back. She is occasionally bit by bugs. Anna was so abandoned in this world.
Then an autumn day, she stopped suddenly on her way through the woods. She told by herself. "Nobody loves me. Nobody protects me. I hate myself". She was going to end her life by herself. Then she lay down on the ground expecting that some bird would pick her up for a feed. She looked at the ground between trees before closing her eyes. However, the beautiful fall colors of orange, red, yellow, and brown took Anna's attention. Anna thought. "The world is so beautiful. But Why am only I so unhappy? " She cried out loud. But the beautiful fallen leaf has already been a great comfort to her. She gathered the leaf of the fallen leaves to form a shape. Triangle, square, star, heart, circle... Each time the shape changes, the picture changes. Her beautiful works have comforted Anna, who is weary of her life. Anna moved her body harder and aggressively. Her gathered fallen collections became a large ball. It was dazzlingly beautiful. She got that beautiful ball on her own back. It was cozy and warm. She put the ball on her back. "Now, I am not afraid even when the sun shines, the wind blows, or the snowfalls". Her warm leaf ball protected her.
While she was on her way, met another slug that appeared out of nowhere. Upon closer inspection, he was not a slug, but a snail, like Anna, that had lost its home after the house had been destroyed. Snail Jack looked at her Anna and said hello. "Wow!! It's a lovely house! How did you make it? Can you help me make it too?". Anna created another leaf roll. He was pleased and went home. After then, She built a house for the snails that had lost their homes like this. Among the snails, Anna's nest is starting to become famous. Nancy, her mother also heard the news of Anna from the village. Nancy was surprised to find out that she was her very daughter, Anna. She went to Anna. Anna was so unique and beautiful. Anna has a beautiful shell of her own that no one in this world can break, cannot estimate, and cannot take away.
Anna talks to Nancy, who is surprised. Nancy, you don't need to do any decorating for yourself on my back. You can't do anything for my life. It's mine, and it's the one I love the most.
Like this snail Anna, I was slow, passive, and dependent, and was satisfied with the decorations that other people put on for me. But like the snail Anna, I broke my mold, found my true self, and started to find my own color. I think this process is a necessary process for everyone, not just me as an artist, so I'm posting the story I made.
Story and Illustration by Myungja Anna Koh.
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Myungja Anna Koh