Anonyme « Masons of the world », New York, The Little American, vol. II, n° 8, 5 février 1864, p. 58.
Cold weather though it is, we must go into the water to look for our next mason. You will find him in any pond in a chalk region, and on the pebbly bottom of many a little brook alsewhere, snugly hid away in his house. Sometimes his house is made of sand and stone. It is larger round than a pipe-stem, though by no means as long, and on the outside looks rough enough, as if he had mixed all his materials together- round stones and sharp stones and sand- and then rolled them into a round tube. But this is about as different as possible from his way of working. To be sure the outside is rough, and the stones seem to stick out in all directions, but within it is beautifully finished. The Inside of this tube house is a round gallery, as large as a crow-quill, and with as even a surface as the wall of your room. Not the point of a stone is felt, not a grain of sand lifts itself above the other grains ; the gallery is absolutely round and smooth from rnd to end. And even on the outside of the house, though the upper part is all jagged and pointed with sharp stones, yet if you turn it overand look at the under surface which rests on the ground, you will find that quite smooth and flat. For this is a moveable house- the caddis-worm drags it about with him wherever the goes, and if the under surface were rough it would be very hard work. When his place of abode in a swift running stream, the caddis-worm adds one or two quite large pebbles to his wall for ballast ; that his house may be steady and not swept away by the current. Or if by chance the house be too heave, then he fastens a straw or a morsel of light wood to each side to make it more buoyant. The mortar he uses is firm and excellent, as well as cheap ; for it is a kind of silk which he spins himself, and which hardens in the water and becomes a sort of insoluble gum.
Another of the caddis-worms is not content with such common materials as sand and stone, but chooses the little fresh water shells that lie around him,- snails and mussels and such like,- mortaring them together into a very odd-looking house indeed. No matter though the shells be inhabited by their little live owners- the caddis-worm cares nothing for that, but binds them into his wall with the utmost unconcern ; and then dragthem about with him from place to place You can imagine what sort of a life the poor snails and mussels lead after this.
He is a queer little fellow, this caddis-worm. The most part of his body is softand without fet nicely protected and stowed away in the gallery of shell or stone ; but his head and shoulders are hard like a beetle, and just under his shoulders he has six legs. Laying fast hold of his house with two little hooks and the end of his tail (lest by chance he should get too far from home) the caddis-worms walks his head and legs out of the front door, and then marches about on the bed of the brook, picking up food and seing the world. They say (those peole who have seen him build) that as soon as he has finished a bit of his tube-house he puts his tail in there for safe keeping thrusting the rest of himself out to get materials ; and then patiently turning the little shell or pebble he has chosen over and over, until he can fit it smoothly to his inner wall. Just take half a dozen tiny pebbles and try to place them together so as to make an even surface, and you will learn something about the caddis-worm’s patience and skill. I should not wonder if you threw away all the pebbles in despair, instead of laying aside (as he does) every now and then one.