March 01, 2007

Of a slug and its silvery trail


Some things bring back memories. It could be a song, it could be a smell, it could be a place or an ambience...it could even be an insect!

A slug brings me many happy memories. Memories of a special time, a special place, a fun-loving group of friends, picnics, fooling around. Somewhat like in Shaan’s Tanha dil... whenever I see a slug, I visualise green lawns, my friends and me relaxing during lunch break, talking, joking, one naughty friend pulling another’s leg, giggling...and slugs in the grass!

What amused us were the silvery trails they left as they moved ever so slowly on the grass! Every time we saw a slug leaving a trail, we would stop and watch, as fascinated as we were the first time we saw it.

At that time, I never bothered to read about why they left this trail. I did, now. See below, the explanation. Lots of interesting details and all that...but all I want to say is that this little insect has left a silvery trail, not just in the grass, but also in my heart! And it always does, and always will remind me of that special place, a special time...and a special moment.

___________________
According to Wikipedia, slugs produce two types of mucus (the silvery trail): one which is thin and watery, and another which is thick and sticky. The thin mucus is spread out from the centre of the foot to the edges. The thick mucus spreads out from front to back.

Mucus is very important to slugs as it helps them move around, and contains fibres which prevent the slug from sliding down vertical surfaces. Mucus also provides protection against predators and helps retain moisture. Some species use slime cords to lower themselves on to the ground, or suspend from them during copulation.

2 comments:

dharmabum said...

interesting awright, but posted twice - THAT interesting? :O)

SADHANA RAMCHANDER said...

I wonder why it appeared twice! Just deleted one...thanks!