A very eccentric manner

Anonyme, « Books in the Running Brooks », The Illustrated Magazine, Londres, Rogerson & Tuxford, 1861, p. 27.

I pinched off a little lump of wet mossy stuff from the side of the stone trough which was fed by a large pond beyond, and in it, amongst other things, I found, on my return home, that I had secured two fine caddis-worms in full life in activity. This was a real find to mee. I had often wished to watch these curious creatures, the larvae of one of the species of Ephemera, of which I have been speaking ; and how I had a good opportunity of observing the structure of their abodes, and watching their curious movements and ways. The cases which they inhabited were formed of little bits of stick, or the bark of weed cut, and in nearly equal lengths, longitudinally, and arranged side by side, each piece being carefully adjusted, and cemented to that next it. The interstices seem filled, or rather covered, with minute bits of sand, shell, debris, &., that had been gathered from the bottom of the water which my vase contained; for when I fist had them, there were no stony or shelly particles attached to the case- nothing but strips of weedy substance. The cases were about three-quarters of an inch long, perhaps rather more, and about the tenth of an inch in diameter. When any movement disturbed the water and frightened the inhabitants, these cases lay still on the stalk of weed or other place where the noise had surprised them, and might by an unaccustomed eye have been taken for bits of dead stick. When, however, stillness had quieted their nerves, a curious little oblong head would protrude itself from the orifice of the case ; and if nothing occured to alarm it, this was followed by a long-shaped brown body, not in the least like that of a worm, though commonly called so, but rather resembling that of a fly; and this body, mounted on six jointed legs, just like those of a fly, only shorter, would begin to bustle about, jerking its curious case as it moved, in a very eccentric manner, and hastening from leaf to leaf with considerable rapidity. The least movement however, it instantly draws in its head, and again lies perdu and still, as if dead. Its stiff case as it rounded a corner, or turned itself from the upper to the under surface of a leaf, stuck out from it, just as one may have seen a fagot of wood stick out from the back of a stooping man, as he entered a door-way. I should before have stated that in each of my specimens the little builder had placed a piece of wood larger than the rest, so as to project over its door-way- possibly as a protection to the tender part where the head and body joined.