What Should Sandy Do for Winter?

One fine autumn day, Sandy the snail decided to go for a walk in the woods. While she was walking she saw someone rushing  around on the forest floor. It was Chippy the chipmunk! “Hello Chippy!” cried Sandy. “What are you doing on this wonderful fall day? Why are you rushing around? Come and take a walk with me and enjoy the day!”

“Oh hello Sandy,” replied Chippy.  “It is a very fine day indeed, but I cannot take a walk with you today because I am busy collecting seeds and nuts so that I have something to eat during the winter. I am also making my nest so that I have a place to sleep when it gets really cold outside.” Sandy stopped and thought for a moment. “Chippy, should I be gathering food and making a nest for when winter comes?” By the time Sandy asked the question though, Chippy had disappeared into a nearby tree. What do snails do to get ready for winter?

Sandy continued  her walk through the woods. Up ahead of her she could see the creek  as it began winding its way through the woods. She was enjoying  the beautiful colors of fall when she came upon her friend Bruce the beaver.  Bruce was hard at work. “Bruce! It is such a nice day outside, won’t you come take a walk with me?” asked Sandy.  “Why hello Sandy,” Bruce replied. “I am sorry but I cannot walk with you today because I am preparing my house for the winter. I have to finish cutting down these trees and make sure my house doesn’t leak  before it gets too cold outside.”

Sandy stopped and thought about this. “Bruce, am I supposed to cut down trees to get my house ready for winter? Bruce did not hear her because he had just made the final cut on a very large tree and it fell into the creek with a loud SPLASH!

As Sandy started back towards her tree she couldn’t help but wonder what do snails do to get ready for the winter? On her way back, Sandy came across another friend that was walking along the creek. “Hi Janet!” exclaimed Sandy.

Janet turned around and greeted Sandy with a warm smile and an enthusiastic hello. “Janet, what do you do to get ready for the winter? Do you gather nuts and seeds so you have something to eat all winter like Chippy? Do you cut down trees to make sure your house doesn’t leak when it gets cold outside like Bruce?

Janet chuckled. “I don’t gather food for the winter. I eat a large amount of food during the spring, summer, and fall seasons because during the winter I hibernate . Do you know what hibernating is?” Janet asked.  Sandy had to think about it for a minute.

“Hibernating means that I sleep during the winter months when it is very cold outside. So in order to do that and not be hungry I eat enough to keep me full the whole winter.” Janet explained.

Sandy thought about what Janet said. “Janet, what do snails do during the winter? I don’t eat seeds or nuts like Chippy, and I cannot cut down trees for my house like Bruce. So what do I do during the winter?

Janet gave Sandy a warm smile and said “Snails hibernate during the winter like bears do. So when the weather turns colder you will burrow  beneath a tree and use your shell as protection  against the cold months. “Wow”, said Sandy excitedly, “ I never knew that! I better go find a really good tree to sleep under all winter because I’m hibernating!”