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28   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

become a winged beauty caressing the clover and lilacs, and slanting down the sunbeams on gilded vans. Before the next step is taken the caterpillar makes himself fast by a loop of web to a leaf, or leafstalk, or twig, and becomes by another change a chrysalis — a hard shell with a blunt end for the head, outlines of cases under which the wings will grow, and all of a dull old-gold color, with the tail end fastened by web to the leaf or twig, looking like an Indian pappoose on its mother's back. It has now to run the risks of hungry birds for many months till the next spring. More than that, there are small flies all fitted with hollow drills, to make holes in this chrysalis, and through these drills shoot their eggs into what promised to become a butterfly, and under the new arrangement will only furnish food for another insect. Such are Nature's ways, and, begin where we will to investigate her, she presently leads us into worlds of wonders, where the wisest of mortals is a stranger.

One might conclude that the object of Nature was to create a beautiful butterfly to enjoy itself playing hide-and-seek among the flowers, sipping their sweets and bathing iii the sunshine. One might think that these crawling caterpillars are only steps to this beautiful and delightful end.


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