Animals, Functional, Rock
Area of origin
Area of use
A flat stone onto which song thrushes dash snails in order to break their shells and access the soft body to eat. Such stones are used habitually by individual thrushes and can be found littered with the broken shells of scores of snails. In J.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit it’s the rapping of a snail against a rock by an enormous thrush that leads to the finding of a passage into Smaug’s lair.
“There on the grey stone in the grass was an enormous thrush, nearly coal black, its pale yellow breast freckled (with) dark spots. Crack! It had caught a snail and was knocking it on the stone. Crack! Crack!”