The Barnacle

Annie E.Ridley, « Under the waves or, the hermit-crab »,  In society, Londres, Sampson low, 1865, p. 83.

« I have heard, » observed the Barnacle, «  of a Worm living in fresh water, who, from the description, would seem to resemble you in some degree. He makes precisely the same kinds of tubes of small stones, or bits of shells, or sand, and sometimes he even uses the shells of very small fresh-water Mussels and Snails, even when these are still occupied by their owners ; whose permission he never asks, but coolly makes them his prisoners, dragging them about wherever hem may choose to go. »

« Has he tentacles like mine ? » asked the Terebella.

« I believe not, » answered the Barnacle. « I think he has feet like the Crabs but without claws, and these he puts out of the front of the tube, which is held firmy on with two hooks behind. »

« I never heart of a Worm with feet,’ said the Terebella.

« But the oddest part of his history is the changes he makes, which being as great as those I have made myself, interested me in him at first, » continued the Barnacle.

« After a while he gets tired of his tube, so he fastens it securely in one place, shuts up both ends, and in this retirement makes himself an entirely new dress. When he has nearly finished this work he leaves the tube and swims to a dry place, where he spreads out his new wings, and goes up away into the air, bidding the water farewell for ever. » *

« Well, that is strange, » said the Terebella. « But I don’t think he can be a relation of mine : I never heard of any of my familly doing  anything so silly as to leave a good tube when they had once made, it, or to leave the water and sand for the air. I never would do that. »

*The Larvae of the Caddis-flies, know as Caddis-worms.