Olive Thorne Miller, Little Folks in Feathers and Fur, and Others in Neither, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1880, p. 172-173
A queer little fellow
Isn’t it a queer little fellow who knows everything as soon as he’s born, and builds a house for himself before he’s one day old ? Everything about hi mis curious. To begin whith, he live at the bottom of a pond or river. At first he was nothing but a tiny atom of a gren egg, stuck to the stem of some weeds under the water. After a while the egg burst open, out crawled Mr Worm, and proceeded at once to look for building materials. You see, except his head and neck, which are protected by a hard covering, he is a soft little worm , and he wouldn’t live long in the same pond with fish, and bugs, and spiders, who have nothing to do but to eat, and are always hungrt, unless he had a safe home.
So, of course, he goes, the first thing to building. There are several branches of the family, and they all built droll little houses, though they’re not all alike. One of them hunts up two dead leaves, and glus them together in such a way as to leave a nice cozy home between them. It’s perfectly safe ; for who would suspect an old dead leaf of being anybody’s house ?
Another of the family builds of stems of grass, cut off and fastened together side by side, till they look like a bundle of straw. A third member of this interesting family wants a more elegant house ; so he takes tiny atoms of shells, often with the owner inside, glues them together, and lives in a shell house. Others use grains of sand and tiny stones. In fact, there seems no end to the different things these industrious little fellowsfind to build of.
No sooner is the house done, than Mr. Worm moves in. He don’t have to waitfor painters and furniture-men,-happy fellow ! He just goes in and fastens himself there by means of a pair of hooks he has at the end of his tail, and then he’s ready to live. The next thing is something to eat. So he starts off, taking his house with him, to hunt up some bits of green stuff, or some atom of a worm smaller than he is.
But strange things happen to this bit of a worm at the bottom of the pond. His life is full of wonderful adventures. If he was bigger, he’d be the wonder of the world.