The little cube

Anonyme, « The Caddis-Worm », The Lads of the Village, A Magazine of Universal Recreation, Londres, William Watkins, 1 août 1874, p. 47.

When the streams are low through the summer droughts, many curious insects may be seen in the water, which would escape the eyes when the runnels are swollen with the rains of winter and spring. Some of theses form curious habitations of stones, skells, hollow seeds, straw even mud and small particles of wood, which they cement together, forming a vaulted roof, or penthouse, over the heads ; and with their buildings on their backs they move about in the little world for which Nature has adpted them, accomplish the ends for which they were created, and then die. Amongst these stands foremost the caddisworms, which compose the little cube- like cells they inhabit, out of stones, with all kinds of irregular angles, and such as would baffle the skill of any human architect to fasten together. Yet all this is done by the little caddis-worm. The smooth side of every stone is placed in the interior, and the whole mass secured together by a cement which the water has not power to dissolve. Even the portion of the body of the worm which is exposed, is hard and firm, while that part which the cell covers is soft :for so has Nature defended this curious insect. To an unpractised eye the whole of this wonderfulstructure would present only the appearance of a piece of reed or straw, which the water had discoloured, while the naturalist would find in it the little insect and the perfect habitation formed of many loose particle as I have described ; and which is so smooth and casy at the bottom that the tiny architect can move about with the little house upon its back with case.