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OAK APPLES.   35

 

and keeping them in a box till they come out. Now there are very many species of gall-flies, but each kind has its own tree, or shrub, or plant in which the eggs are placed. Here, then, we have in this oak gall a most curious and interesting object. It turns out to be an inhabited house provided with food for tiny help-less creatures, that, so far as we can see, serve no useful purpose, and have no great enjoyment of existence. But the fact is that here is a well-devised plan in their interest. The mother, a small four-winged fly, is provided with an egg-depositor and drill combined, most delicate and ingeniously contrived and constructed for its purpose. This tool would be of no value without intelligence to use it, and therefore we have in this mere mote, the faculty to distinguish an oak-tree from others, and the skill to get the drill in place and make a proper use of it when there. Shall we go further and say that she knows the eggs she never saw will produce grubs that must have food and shelter ? If she does know that, then is she endowed with some higher faculty than we are ; if she does not, then she is a machine, acting because she must and not because she wills. If we flinch about accepting that view, we are at once driven to the same thing with the oak-tree that becomes


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