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Snail Stairwell

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Snail Stairwell Page 11


They all began thinking of another way to get out. After a while, one of the snails said, "Maybe you could stay down here and we will bring you food every day."

"NO!," cried the frog. "Please, consider that option only as a last resort! There must be another way!"

"But I've met other frogs like you. Aren't you going to die in a few weeks anyway?"

"Yes, but I don't want to spend my last days down here."

So they thought again.

"I have a possible solution," a snail finally offered. "When you first climbed on our shells, there was no problem because your weight was pushing the shells down on our backs. When we climbed the walls, the force of your weight shifted so that our shells were being pushed across our backs and we felt them coming off."

"So?" the others asked in unison.

"This tells me that the part of our bodies connecting the shell to our backs can withstand strong compressive forces but not shearing."

"So?" they said again.

"Maybe instead of carrying you, we can build you a stairway with our bodies leading out of here. We'll get about 200 snails together to do it. There will not be a problem this time because of the reasons I just gave."

A series of "Ahhhh's" then followed as a wave of simultaneous comprehension swept though the group. "It's certainly worth trying."

So the snails climbed out and called to all their friends for help. They knew they would need a lot of snails so they went deep into the forest to find as many as they could.

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