Dear Oreo,

As you may know, I and my friends were brought to the USA illegally a long time ago from Greece , by people who didn't think or realize they were doing anything wrong. It was a very long, lonely and scary ocean voyage. My friends and I almost died on the trip. We were very frightened and oh so very very hungry by the time we got to our new home. Our first human in America was not able to keep us and we were adopted by a wonderful family. Even though all this travel and upset was hard on our systems and very nerve wracking, we are all very happy now. We now have a lovely home inside our new human's ( we're allowed to call her Mom) house and everything a snail could ever possibly need or want.


However, there are things that I can never do now, that I could have done if I still lived in Greece. Never will I be "free" to live the life I was born to. Never will I be allowed to have babies. That makes me sad. But Mom has explained why this has to be and I really do understand.

If I an my buddies still lived in our home country of Greece, we would be "one with the environment". This is very important! This means that we are part of Nature's balance. We would do no harm. We would eat what we were supposed to and we wouldn't upset the environment. This "cycle of life" is the "same but different" in all the different countries of the world. And, in every country, every different habitat has it's own fauna and flora. NOTE: Habitat means: the type of environment in which an organism or group of organisms normally lives or occurs; "a marine habitat, terrestrial habitat, Fresh water habitat, Desert Habitat, Mountains Habitat and so on".

Mom says, that if we were to be set free in our new habitat in the USA, it could and most likely would upset this county's environment. The Cycle of Life is different here than in Greece. She says, it would not be fair to all (people or other animals and snails) who live here. We would eat things we shouldn't! We could even be responsible for starving other snails to death! Perhaps we would eat people's crops and gardens that they plant and that could cost them lots of money. We could even make people sick if we got and carried parasites or other bad "bugs". We could upset a whole ecosystem. WOW! Now that really would be BAD! NOTE: ecosystem means:"a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment ".

I thought about not ever being allowed to be free and natural again and, at first I didn't think it was fair and it made me sad - even mad!. But then, I thought of my homeland. Greece is so pretty and everything and every species has its own place in nature. I saw pictures, in my head, of the friends I knew were still living there. I sure wouldn't want some foreign snail destroying their home and threatening their very existence!

One day I sat thinking and dreaming about all this and Mom said something that broke into my day dream. She told me: " in this world many people have released snails into environments by accident or in some cases "on purpose". There are snails that are so big they eat everything until nothing is left for anyone else". There are snails that eat other snails. Pictures of these horrors flashed through my head. Could this really happen! Could one unthinking , unknowing or careless person cause this to happen anywhere or even in my beloved home country?

Fear, flashed through my mind. Thoughts of , No please not my country!


Then I understood what Mom was telling me. Oreo, any sacrifice I have to make, I will do it proudly and with a happy heart. I will do this for my new home country - the wonderful USA, and for all the other countries, especially for my beloved country of Greece. I will do this for all snails that , like me, had their lives put in my situation.

Never will I or my buddies ever be able to reproduce in this country. This does make sense, We are NOT supposed to reproduce here. Believe me, my friend, we have plenty of relatives in Greece that are very busy reproducing, right where they belong so it is unnecessary for us to help keep our species alive and flourishing.

Here is my statement:

"Never will I be a truly free snail; but, I have a beautiful home, with plants and caves . Mom makes it rain on us two times a day. We have food, all we want and anytime we feel like having a snack it is there. We are surrounded by friends. I have the sweetest pen-pal that I can tell all my troubles to and share my happy times with. That's you "Oreo"! So I will live this life and make the very best of it . I am very happy!"

Speaking of telling you my troubles; Mom says I eat like a pig! I'm working on my table manners but, It's very hard. I just love those biscuits Mom makes us so muuuch. I start out like this-

Next thing you know, I'm right in the food, my big foot and all! Mom says, its not good manners to bury my face up to my eyeballs but, what do you think? Maybe this is a snail thing!!

Well, Its time for me to check out and see what everyone else is doing in the house or at least what I can see and hear from our terrarium. Most of my snail buddies, like Adonia, Demeter, Clarissa and Peanut are sleeping a lot lately. Adonia has been asleep on the window for four days. Don't you think that's a funny place to sleep? Even my human's house is quiet at the moment. It's very peaceful. Most of the time all that chitter chatter gets on my nerves; but, I think I'm starting to miss it.

Take care my handsome friend.



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