Joseph’s coat

Jack-in-the Pulpit, « A water-worm that builds a house », St. Nicholas for Girls and Boys, vol. VII, New York,  Scribner & Co., 1880, p. 515.

« There is a curious little fellow called a caddis-worm, » says D. C. B., «  and he lives in the water and builds hos own house. The pictures shows him in the bottle of water swimming among plants. The piece of paper leaning against the glass gives near its top a side view of him, without his house : below there is a front view of this dwelling, and next, a back view of the little chap with the bumps and hooks that dove tail securely in his home. At the corner of the paper is a plan showing how  he builds, – crossing the straws and splinters near their ends, and binding them together with a fine silk, which he spins from himself.

jack-in-the-pulpit-1880« In the circle you see him floating along in the house, which is very light and gives him no trouble. This is lucky for him, because, if he were to be long without his covering, some hungry fish would surely cat him up. But the house looks too prickly to be confortable swalowed.

« In time, the caddis-worm comes to anchor, closes up his front door with a strong silken net, and becomes a pupa with hooked jaws. These jaws bite through the net, and the pupa gayly swims away. By and by, it rises to the top of the water, where its stiff skin breaks open and forms a kind of boat, and in the boat appears a slender little fly with beautiful wings. One of these flies is shown on the table-cloth in the pictures, near the foot of the bottle.

« I once had a caddis-worm in my aquarium, and gently took away his house. Then I gave him some tiny bright hued straws. At the close of that same day, when I looked at him, I found that the busy little fellow had built himself a new house with the tinted straws, and it was as gay and bright as Joseph’s coat of many colors »

Now, my hearers who has seen a live caddis-worm ? Look sharply for one in future, and, when found, let your Jack hear about it.