Wriggling in the mud. Stretching out its segmented body with fresh confidence for a brand new day. The sunlight filtering through tree tops reflects off of the golden strip on its glistening black surface. The sucker teeth up front prepare to fulfill the gory appetite of their slimy beneficiary. Steadily, it detaches its razor-sharp teeth and propels the head forward, and gets ready to dash towards any living, stirring creature in a motion of peristalsis. The sun rays wash the glittering black skin with beams of vigor.
A hint of light-footed movement towards the west appears and instantly the smooth and flexible body rapidly contracts and stretches. The targeted creature keeps shuffling around some dry leaves, oblivious to the determined leech taking long strides towards it. One moment of stillness and it latches its fanged ends to the furry hind leg of the rabbit. Thus commences the breakfast ritual of our slimy friend, as the rabbit scurries off on its way, knowing little of the blood it is offering to its guest.
Having had a decent fill, the leech relaxes amidst long stalks of bright green grass glowing in the mid-day sun. It contemplates any further prospects of blood-sucking sessions this day. Memories of its hosts in the past six months of its life flash through all of its 34 brains. No extraordinary instance has ever disrupted the daily and drab routine of searching for hosts and quietly, stealthily clinging to them, and then without a word falling off of them in some time.
Suddenly a locomotive sensation catches the leech’s attention, and a large and heavy creature lets its furry buttocks descend to the wet soil with a thud. The bear calmly chews on the meaty part of a fish bone and our slithery protagonist accompanies him, sucking on its brown, furry thigh. Two or more such placid animals are turned into unaware hosts until the leech has nearly reached its daily fill.
It slowly climbs up the rough bark of a tree and prepares to doze off for the day, when a peculiar creature with five limbs appears very close to it. It immediately rushes forward and sinks its sucker teeth in one limb. There is rarely any fur and the fleshy and bony limbs begin drumming on the tree bark. Our friend draws up blood through its long proboscis, without suspecting anything out of place. Then the strangest of phenomena bewilders it, as a pair of human fingernails gently detach its teeth from the soft furless skin, and flick it off. It falls in an ocean of its fellow leeches all scrambling on top of one another in utter confusion. It stares up at the large four limbed creature carrying them all in a glass container and grapples at some possible meaning of the turn its life suddenly took.
P.S. – Do not panic if you find a land leech clinging to any part of your body. It is painless, as an anesthetic is released by the leech. Using salt may help, but it is usually not advised as the leech vomits back the blood, which can lead to infection. You can pull up its teeth using your finger nails and flick it off, or wait for 20 minutes or so until it falls off on its own accord. Some leeches are medicinal, and are collected for treating several injuries.