Folks of my age would remember the ubiquitous wooden “Meat Safes” where we kept our foodstuff, and also pots, pans, bowls and dishes. While these stood on solid ground they had the proverbial “feet of clay” as ants could easily climb up and somehow help themselves to the food.
So to counter this “ant-surgency” threat, the four legs were usually shod with Moat Bowls made of real clay (glazed and fired). The moats were filled halfway with water. These formed effective barriers which the pesky 6-legged fellas found it hard to bridge or breach.
These clay moat bowls are a rarity now, being replaced by molded plastic ones in the later years. The moat concept however lives on — those who have pets at home know what I mean.