This is a short story about the digestive system.
Hope you enjoy!
A Guided Tour of the
Written and Illustrated
By Lindsey Madsen
Hi! I’m Sam, the Kellog’s Frosted Mini-Wheat! I’m chock full of fiber, and I’m about to get eaten! Here we go!
Into the mouth, otherwise known as the oral cavity. I’ve heard stories about it. It grinds down food using mechanical digestion (the teeth) and chemical digestion (the enzymes- chemicals that break down foods). But those enzymes don’t look so tough. Not when I have fiber. Those teeth on the other hand! Look out!
Wow! That was a narrow escape! Now I’m in the esopha-what-you-ma-callet. The esophagus. It connects the stomach to the mouth. And here come the muscles to push me down. And the stomach. Those muscles are really churning me around. I think I’m getting stomach-sick. You see, the stomach churns up food using its muscles and strong chemicals called pepsin and hydrochloric acid. Oh, no! Here comes a pepsin now! Swim for your life!
Into the small intestine. The small intestine absorbs nutrients into the bloodstream. Wait… where am I? Maybe I’ll ask that guy over there.
“Where am I?”
“In the gallbladder. I think you took a wrong turn. The gallbladder only stores bile produced in the liver. Where do you come from?”
“The small intestine. And you?”
“The liver. I’m a bile chemical and I break down fats.”
“And where is the liver?”
“Up there. It’s the largest and heaviest organ in the digestive system. But you don’t want to go there. Let’s see, try the pancreas. That way.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Call me Bob.” “Well, thank you Bob. I’d better be going.”
The pancreas… huh… doesn’t look like where I’m supposed to go… I’ll ask somebody.
“Hey you, over there!”
“What? What do you want? You are in the pancreas. The most glorious of all organs. The pancreas makes enzymes and ships them off through that hole to the small intestine.”
“The small intestine, thanks.”
Wow! That was eventful. It’s so nice to be back in the small intestine. Hey, I wonder what those finger-like things are. They look like a wall of fingers around the intestine. Look at that sign.
“Villi (finger-like things) absorb nutrients.”
And another sign…
“Beware of villi. Accidents have been known to occur. The small intestine is not responsible for any nutrients taken by any given villus.”
Okay… and there goes my nutrient snack. And look… the end!
Well, I’m glad to be out of the small intestine. No villi to look out for. Onto the large intestine. The large intestine absorbs water into the bloodstream. How very boring. Dull, gray.
And the rectum. Wow, it’s crowded. I’m being compressed! I guess that is the rectum’s job, to compress food into a solid form. And here’s the loud-speaker.
“The next trip will be leaving in 10 minutes.”
Better be going. Here’s my ticket. Now, where’s a vacant seat? Aha… found one.
“Please fasten your seatbelts. We’re about to go through the anus, a muscular opening that eliminates wastes.”
Well, see you later. I’ve got places to go and people to see. Bye!
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