"Inside the shell the snail lives. He has a mantle of soft flash
which also forms a collar at the opening of the shell."
"But," said Peggy Ann, "tell me how the snails live."
"Well, they have a very orderly way of living. Six months of the
year, during the dry winter season, the snails find themselves a nice
hiding place under the broken bark of a tree and begin to take a long
winter nap. Because they like the warm afternoon sun, they nearly
always choose the west side of the tree. Very often a snail decides to go
to sleep in open places high up on a tree. The winter nap of the tree snail
is much the same as that of the animals who hibernate, or go to sleep
during the cold winters in the North."
"But how do they stay on the trees if they are asleep?"
"When the snail is ready to take this nap, it sends forth from its
mouth a soft liquid which hardens like glue. This gluey liquid seals the
base of the shell firmly to the tree; in fact it sticks so tightly that if you
try to pull the shell loose you might easily break it.
"During the time the tree snail sleeps the shell stops growing, but,
when the warm spring rains come, the snail awakens and becomes very
active and busy, and the shell starts growing again. It grows rapidly the
first two years, but after that they growth is slower. Snails often live
from four to five years, and sometimes nine."