Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

About Mr. Drill

H ERE is a small shell-fish. He looks like Mr. Conch, but he is not so large. He is small. His real size in the sea is not much larger than he is in this picture. His name is Mr. Drill.

His color is dark brown. His shell has ridges on it. The body of the drill is dark green. It has a long tail to twist round in its shell.

The drill does not live alone in a place by himself. A whole host of them live near one another.

The very strangest thing about the drill is his tongue. It is from his tongue that he gets his name.

Did you ever see a man use a file? With it he can cut a hole in a piece of iron or stone. The tongue of the drill is like a file. I wish you could see this queer tongue!

It is a little soft band that will move in any way, or roll up, or push out. In this fine band are set three rows of teeth. There are many teeth in each row. The teeth are fine and as hard as the point of a pin. We could not see them if we did not use the glass that you were told of.

With this fine tongue the drill can cut or saw a hole in a thick shell.

The drill is very greedy. He eats many kinds of shell-fish. He likes best of all to eat the oyster.

How does he go to work? He cannot break the shell of the oyster as the conch can. No. The way he does is this.

With his tough foot he gets fast hold of the oyster-shell. He picks out the thin, smooth spot called the eye of the shell. Then he goes to work to file his hole. It will take him a long time.

Some say it will take him two days. But he is not lazy. He keeps fast hold and saws away. At last the hole is made clear through the shell.

It is small, smooth, even no man could make a neater hole. Then he puts into the hole a long tube which is on the end of his cloak or veil. He can suck with that, and he sucks up the oyster till the poor thing is all gone.


The Little Robber