Back in yesteryear, a school assignment, in English, was to compare and contrast apples and oranges.

The assignment was dropped on us to develop critical thinking, stimulate observation, and bring order to our primitive minds. The assignment proved that apples are not oranges and oranges are not apples but they do have things in common, and liking to eat either is not a bad thing.

This snail and tortoise have things in common.

Both, on this day, are sticking heads out, coming out of their shells, testing waters, seeing if the coast is clear, checking weather, on the prowl for morsels.

The snail is on Alex’s front porch and moves slimy, leaving residue on the tile as he moves. He peers over the edge of the porch,seemingly oblivious as I bend down to take his photo.

The tortoise is on the backyard path I follow to feed Charlie and Sharon’s adopted deer, who come to their back yard in the Albuquerque foothills for snacks, water, and rest .His head sticks out for a moment, but he pulls it quickly into his shell as I step over him.

Sticking one’s head out is dangerous.

In this life you are either looking for dinner or looking not to be dinner.