Ruth Cooper Whitney, Six Feet, Saint Louis, Webster Publishing Company, 1939, p. 172-174.
Cabins in the pond
If you look in the pond on a bright sunny day,
You may see a wee cabin come swimming your way:
A cabin of sticks, or of gravel and sand,
Glued with silk, and merrily manned
By a caddis-worm captain who live Inside,
Who know when to peep and knows when to hide.
It’s hide ! says he when a trout comes nigh:
It’s peep ! says he when the trout has passed by;
It’s hide ! says he when a fisherman comes:
(A man’s hand could crunch his wee cabin to crumble!)
Oh, a wise little chap is the caddis-worm captain,
Who know when to tuck his six legs in his cabin.
I know of nothing more pleasant than a summer’s day at the pond, with a couple of nice fat sandwiches in one’s pocket and a water net at hand. A bamboo fishing pole tied to a long-handled saucepan that has been punched with nail holes makes a fine dip net for collecting water beetles, giant water bugs, and log-cabin caddis worms. Look down into the pond this very minute! There are some inch-long bundles of sticks swimming around a water plant! Get your dip net into action at once.
There! You have landed one of the bundles of sticks. Look at it through your hand magnifying glass; it is the home of the log-cabin caddis worm. The soft-bodied, six-legged little dweller within is hiding in its silk-lined room of sticks just as it hides down in the pond when a fish or a hungry water beetle swims by.
« I can food the trout and the diving beetle into believing I am nothing more than a bundle of crisscross sticks », thinks the frightened caddis worm; « I do hope I am not about to be found out by this great two-legged creatures! »
When you are through examining the log cabin, drip it carefully into the pond and watch its owner poke its little head and its six legs out and swim away. Or take it home with you and keep it in a glass bowl as if it were a goldfish. Instead of feeding the little creature prepared fish food, however, you must feed it on water plants from the pond.
There are different kinds of caddis worms. Some of them build their swimming homes out of sand and gravel, or bits of shell, or even weeds glued together with silk which comes from silk glands near the caddis worms’ mouths. There is a fisherman caddis worm that spins a silken net and spreads it between rocks in a swift-flowing stream.