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Elisa Part 3

Not based on true events

Her entire countenance and demeanour was savage; her hair dishevelled and her ribbons tattered. At her feet, blocked from the awful rays of the sun, was the helpless snail groveling piteously in the dirt. “ I have watched you torture this harmless animal for long enough!” Elisa said stoutly, “Long enough! And I won’t stand for it anymore!” Peter, also shocked by her sudden appearance, came up behind her and asked if she were mad. “ Yes!” she declared, turning her head toward him, “ Hopping mad!” -evidently she had mistaken his meaning- “ And if you still want to bother this poor snail, you’ll have a tiff with me first!” With that, she balled her own little fists, and stood at a ninety degree angle to both the boys and looked as wild and as savage as a lioness. “ You are both bullies and cowards, and I’ll prove you such even if I get pounded!” Pounding a girl, though, was not high on the lists of things to do for these boys. Their own rascally selves would not think twice in performing such a deed,  but what would their parents say? Their teachers? The mayor? The LAW? Were they going to fight that bristling she-spider of silk and satin and lose their good repute with all of the authorities over a snail? No, no, they would not, and lowering their fists, they relaxed their stance, turned separate ways and vacated the premises, each whistling as if nothing had happened. Elisa watched them, devoting a few minutes in glaring at each. She was quite beside herself, and quite unaware of anything more than those ruffians until they disappeared, one around a bend and the other in a backstreet. It was then that she came to herself, and the ringing laughter of her mother who had been watching in amazement, sounded in her ears. Elisa also remembered the snail as well which was crawling pitifully at her feet, and without losing another moment, she took  it gently up by its multi-hued shell, crossed the cobblestone street and deposited it safely into a clump of bushes that was there. And the snail is yet there, even  to this day, and all because of Elisa.

Class Gastropoda

All snails are part of the class Gastropoda which is a subdivision of the phylum Molluska, which contains clams, oysters and mussels, as well as snails, octopus and squids. Snails themselves are quite variable. There is a Violet Sea Snail ( Janthina janthina) which rides under its self-made raft of bubbles in the ocean. There are snails which live in ponds and pools and feed upon greens. Finally, those snails most commonly seen are terrestrial snails, of which I have most commonly seen tiny pale species. Do you wish to see them as well? Turn over fallen stones and bricks and logs and you will find these snails. Do not disturb them, though.

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Wednesday November 17, 2021