The last two posts were a little long and heavy. We have enough seriousness going on today, so I thought I would share a short story of Charlie. It’s more informational and serves no purpose. I hope you enjoy it. lw

I called him Charlie. There was no particular meaning behind the name other than it was the first thing that popped into my mind. Charlie always sat in the dirt by my door each morning when I left for work. He would be on the right-hand side of the steps in the soil on the left-hand side when I returned. I started thinking of him as my little watcher. I imagined it took him all day to cross my walkway to get to the other side and back again the next morning.

Have you ever seen a snail walk or rather crawl? The snail crawls by relaxing and contracting the muscles in the foot. It has two sets of muscle fibers that can work independently of each other when moving. One contracts and pulls the front and pushes it off the front to the back. Simultaneously, the second set pulls the outer surface of the sole forward. You can see this if you place a snail on a glass surface and look from below. There are glands located in the foot that seep mucus. There is mucus on the rest of the body to protect it against the loss of water.

 Snails move like earthworms and slugs. The worm and snail crawl similarly as the snail by alternating body contractions with stretching. A bread roll would look similar to a snail laid out but different because when the dough is raw, you can shape it any way you please. A snail does not have the luxury of reshaping itself.

 Snails have many natural predators, and humans also pose dangers to snails—the apparent threats of stepping on them or putting salt on their fleshy part. There are species of snails highly prized in some parts of the world as human food.

 Snails move slowly and usually need help from others to get around, most often by riding on Franklin’s shell. They have to produce mucus to aid in movement and by reducing friction. The mucus also helps prevent the risk of serious injuries. They are known to crawl over a razor blade without damage.

 Snails are members of a group of gastropod mollusks; most members of this species secrete a spiral shell for protection. Some of the species of snails have no casings and are known as slugs.

While it is true that snails eat garden plants and vegetables, they also eat decaying plants and soil. For this reason, Charlie is allowed to live without fear of my destroying or wanting him as a delicacy as he slowly patrols my walkway.

Until next time, keep the faith and live in peace. lw

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