Antonia Byatt, Sugar and Other Stories, New York, Charles Scribner’s, 1987.
There was something essentially girlish – not skittish, or sullen, or liquid, but unmarked, about this face and body, which were also those of a neat, elderly woman. The story was allegorical.
It was about a caddis-grub which scuttled about on the floor of a pond, making itself a makeshift tube-house of bits of gravel , twigs and weed to cover its vulnerable and ugly little grub body. Its movements were awkward and painful, its world dank and dimly lit. One day it was seized with an urge to climb which it could not ignore. Painfully it drew its squashy length out of its abandoned house and made its way, bursting and anguished, up a tall bulrush.