"Too bloody right I'm magic sonny Jim! One more move and I'll turn you into a, uh, squirrel...uh wait, no, they can still hurt us...an elephant..umm, no, that wont work...a, uhh... Captain, what can't hurt a snail?"
"How about a cabbage, we can even eat them."
"Right! One step closer and it's cabbage time for you boy!"
Toby leaned in closer. "You know, I don't think you're really magic, I think you're just trying to scare me."
"Of course I'm trying to scare you! Scare you with my magic! Wheeeerrrrrrgh!" Al yelled, waving his eyestalks in a pseudo-mystical fashion, which for a snail was actually quite impressive.
"But I don't want to be a cabbage!"
"Well my pappy didn't want to get squished, but you don't see him complaining. Admittedly mostly on account that he's dead, but still the point is that tough, these things happen. You squish us, I turn you into a cabbage. Come on laddy-buck, fairs fair and all that."
"But I never squished a snail before, I like snails!"
"A likely story."
"Hear him out Private." The Captain butted in. "This could be just the break we needed. Come on then boy, speak up. Did you just say what I think you said?"
"Ummm, I like snails?" Toby said, feeling a little confused.
Al slithered up to the Captain and whispered to him. "You know, I think we might have something here. Maybe he could be an agent for us?"
"And trust a filthy traitor? Hmm, not the best of plans is it?"
"Well, what else have we got?"
"Okay, lets make him an offer. Either way, we keep a close eye on him from now on."
Al returned his attention to Toby who by now was starting to get bored and was starting to wander off. Not even talking snails can keep the attention of a seven year old boy nowadays.
"Oi! We weren't finished! How'd you like to be a spy?"
Toby perked up at that idea, it sounded exciting. "What's a spy?"
"Well, a spy is a very special person. They listen to and watch other people and then come back and tell us what they did. They try and answer questions."
Toby was a little confused by this, at first it sounded like they wanted him to watch TV, then it sounded like they wanted him to go to school. All of a sudden it didn't seem quite so exciting, but they were magic snails so he guessed they knew more about this stuff.
"Okay. Umm, when I do I come back and tell you stuff? And where do I find you? Will you be here?"