SOME animals live in very queer homes. The snail always carries his house around with him on his back. When he is frightened, he curls all up in his house of shell, so that you could hardly tell whether there was any live thing in there or not.

All of you have no doubt seen the common garden snail crawling along the walks on a

wet morning, after a breakfast of some tender vegetables or choice fruit. He knows very well which fruits are the ripest and best, and is sure to make his meals out of them.

He is a queer-looking animal. At the top of his head are two long, sensitive horns, or tentacles, as they are called, that he uses for feelers. At the end of these horns are two black points, that many people think are eyes. But the snail's eyesight cannot be very good, for he does not in the least mind going from the dark into a bright light; and when he travels in the night, he does not turn aside for anything that lies in his way.

He doesn't seem to hear very well either, for he never draws into his shell unless the noise is so close as to move the air around him. In the ocean there is a very curious snail called the violet snail, because its shell is a violet-blue color.

It lives on the surface of the water. It has no power to steer itself where it wants to go, and cannot even sink when in danger. How do you suppose it keeps on top of the water? Let us see.

At the foot of the animal is a sort of raft, made of a large number of little sacs. These sacs are filled with air, and thus form a life-preserver for the snail. But this raft is not very strongly fastened on; so in a bard storm the snail sometimes loses his preserver, and goes to the bottom, where he dies. This raft is of a delicate white color, and looks very beautiful floating along with a violet-blue shell.

One man, who was watching these snails to learn all he could about them, pierced the bodies of some of them, and there flowed out of each one three or four drops of a very blue liquid. He used it for ink, and wrote several pages in his journal with it. He found at the end of five years that the writing was just as bright and plain as it was when he first wrote it. He tried to keep some of this natural ink in a bottle, but in a little while it faded out. Is it not wonderful to what strange uses even a snail may be put?



W. E. L.