Not based on true events
At this most unforeseen turn of events, Elisa’s eyes popped open and she watched the children playing before her yard with a renewed interest. The snail had already been swept from its perch and now was presumably on the ground, for Elisa could see nothing below the children’s knees for a nearby rosebush obstructed her view. But she could guess what was to happen next. Yes, she could guess, and every little muscle in that delicate body stiffened like iron and the grip in which she held on to her chair grew to a constrictor-like ferocity. Her mother, though, failed to take note of any change and continued to read. Elisa but listened to the voices of her peers now, and not to those quaint rhymes. “ Hey! It’s a big one!” Peter said, bending over and admiring the snail which Elisa could not see. The girl in the small group, though, would not draw nearer to it and shuddered. Matthew, who also was gazing at it, looked at her mischievously. “ You don’t like it, do you?” And raising himself up, he looked her straight in the eye, “ I picked up the stone, so now you pick up the snail!” But the girl only cringed away and would not obey. Then Peter himself bent over to the creature who was slowly moving away and picked it up for her. She immediately saw his intent and fled for safety. “ Awwww! It’s no fun scaring girls!” drawled Matthew with a dismissive flap of his hand, “Let’s go to that strip of sun over there,” he pointed to a bright place a few steps away in the road, “and see how fast this snail can go!” His larger companion readily and energetically agreed. And so it was done, and the snail, under those uncomfortable conditions, did move slightly faster but not fast enough for the boys. Elisa, meanwhile, was like a spring of wire she was so tense, and would have leapt over to the scene of the crime directly had not she restrained herself. After all, the snail might yet be saved by some fortunate occurrence or abandoned out of the boredom of the boys. She, again, was wrong, for they began to prod and poke at the poor living being in attempt to speed its travels, but finally halted in the utmost frustration. “ Oh! Bother this snail!” Cried Matthew, and rising from his prostate position in a fit of rage and discontent, he lifted his foot far above the mollusk and let it come driving down - and found himself immediately bowled over and on the ground. His first thought was that it was the deed of his companion who was in an equally ill-mood, and scrambled up from the dust with his fists clenched pugnaciously. But he saw not his friend but Elisa planted stoutly before him.