The mummy of an Egyptian woman who died in 800 B.C. has just had an operation. The mummy is that of Shepenmut who was once a singer in the Temple of Thebes. As there were strange marks on the X-ray plates taken of the mummy, doctors have been trying to find out whether the woman died of a rare disease. The only way to do this was to operate. The operation, which lasted for over four hours, proved to be very difficult because of the hard resin which covered the skin. The doctors removed a section of the mummy and sent it to a laboratory. They also found something which the X-ray plates did not show: a small wax figure of the god Duamutef. This god which has the head of a cow was normally placed inside a mummy. The doctors have not yet decided how the woman died. They feared that the mummy would fall to pieces when they cut it open, but fortunately this has not happened. The mummy successfully survived the operation.
The idea never appealed to me very much, but one day, after a heavy shower, I happened to be walking in my garden when I noticed a huge number of snails taking a stroll on some of my prize plants. Acting on a sudden impulse, I collected several dozen, put them in a paper bag, and took them to Robert. Robert was delighted to see me and equally pleased with my little gift. I left the bag in the hall and Robert and I went into the living-room where we talked for a couple of hours. I had forgotten all about the snails when Robert suddenly said that I must stay to dinner. Snails would, of course, be the main dish. I did not fancy the idea and I reluctantly followed Robert out of the room. To our dismay, we saw that there were snails everywhere: they had escaped from the paper bag and had taken complete possession of the hall! I have never been able to look at a snail since then.
appeal to sb.
happen to do sth.
take a stroll
taken possession of