Gertrude P. Dyer, Elsie’s adventures in the insect land, Ill. C. O. Murray, Londres, Marcus Ward, 1882, p. 196-200.
« Not all », was the reply ; « though that is the custom with many of us. But, do you know, some flies live Under water, and are called Cadis-worms, the Caterpillars of which employ pieces of reed cut into lengths-or grass, wood, &c., carefully joined and cemented together- and in these little boats they reside »
« Oh, howdelightful to live in a boat ! What happy insects they must be-nothing to do but to sail upon the fresh, cool waters »
« You mistake me. Their boats lie at the bottom of the rivers or streams, and they have also plenty to do, and hard work too. How would you like to be obliged to build your own house before you could even have a roof to shelter you ? » asked the Moth.
« I am afraid I should have to sleep Under a hedge like the gipsies, » returned Elsie, with a rueful shake of her curly head. « Reggie says he should enjoy becoming a second Robinson Crusoe ; I should not. »
« Ah, my connexions are more clever than even your much-vaunted Robinson Crusoe (not that I am proud », parenthetically remarked her friend), « for they do not build their houses alike, and have only their own feet with which to work. One called Phryganea fluviacornis (Elsie held her breath at the tremendously long name, hoping she should not be asked to repeat it) « collects tiny fresh-water shells and minute particles of shell-like substances. These he glues together, and with the same silky texture with which he fastens the exterior of his dwelling, he lines the Inside apartments of his tube-shaped house . »
« What a clever little fellow ! » cried the child.
« Yes, and that is not all, » pursued the insect, « for as he grows in size, so has he to increase the proportions of his residence. »
« How very inconvenient to be constantly altering the premises, » mused the little girl.
« But » (and the Moth paused)-« I don’t like to speak ill of any one , » she resumed hesitatingly, « more especially of my own relatives. However, it must be confessed this connexion of mine is not » (another pause, and what sounded uncommonly like a cough od apology or entreaty- such a cough as chairmen at public meeting emit when they rise with an address beginning « Ladies and gentlemen-haw-haw, »&c.).
« Go on, please, ma’am, » urged Elsie.
« Well, this distant relation, I grieve to say, is not exactly honest, for if he sees any shell he likes he seizes on it, if it is empty, no matter to whom it may belong. Or if the owner is at home, he still takes possession of it without asking permission and builds upon the top of it heedless of all remonstrance.
« How dishonest ! » she exclaimed.
« Yes, I agree with you ; it is dishonest, » was the response ; » but with insects as with some of your kind might is right. Then there is another member of the Caddis family- Phryganea rombira »
« How fond she is of her long family names, » muttered the child.
« He may be regarded as a Carpenter-Caddis, since he joins sticks, fragments of bark, and strong splinters of wood, forming thus a Liliputian fagot ; inded the term fagot-worm is frequently applied to him. »
« I shall always call them so, instead of that terrible Phry- something, » she said.
« Another builds his house with the thorny spikes of the river grass sticking out all over the exterior of his résidence, so that the fish- who would eat him, house and all, if they could-dare not attempt it, or they would be choked by the spikes. »
« Capital, capital ! » cried the little girl, clapping her hands gleefully ; « but what are you other relation and friends like, »
« My dear child they are really too numerous to particularise. »
« Another long word ! How learned they all appear to be in this strange world ! »
« But, if you like, » the Moth pursued, not having overheard the whispered remark just uttered, « I will tell you what is done after the house is all ready ; and the owner has taken possession. »
« Oh do, please ! » cried Elsie.
« When about to pass from the larva to the pupa state, the worm proceeds to construct a silk lattice-work over the mouth of its tube-shaped home, which exludes all intruders, but admis a free influx of water.