• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The tree frogs
 Pistil the peace-maker
 The spider mother
 My Lady Chrysanthemum; or, The...
 The "vapourer" moth (Orgyia...
 The wedding of the Fly Ophrys (Ophrys...
 The impertinent Earwig and the...
 The weevils and the wasp
 The voracious dragon-fly and the...
 Thomisa Citrina, the robber-mo...
 The green caterpillar
 Hymen, the worker ant
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Spiderland
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086688/00001
 Material Information
Title: Spiderland
Physical Description: x, 166 p., 9 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Thomas, Rose Haig
Chiswick Press ( Printer )
C. Whittingham and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Chiswick Press ; Charles Whittingham and Co.
Publication Date: 1898
 Subjects
Subject: Spiders -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Insects -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1898   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Rose Haig Thomas.
General Note: "Printed for the author at the Chiswick Press"--t.p.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086688
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238488
notis - ALH9002
oclc - 15312309

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    Dedication
        Page vii
    Table of Contents
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    The tree frogs
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Pistil the peace-maker
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The spider mother
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    My Lady Chrysanthemum; or, The boastful Ox-eye
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    The "vapourer" moth (Orgyia Antiqua)
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 60a
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The wedding of the Fly Ophrys (Ophrys Muscifera)
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    The impertinent Earwig and the garrulous green fly
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 84a
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The weevils and the wasp
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    The voracious dragon-fly and the modest may-fly
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Thomisa Citrina, the robber-mother
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
    The green caterpillar
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Hymen, the worker ant
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
    Back Cover
        Page 167
        Page 168
    Spine
        Page 169
Full Text



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SPIDERLAND.









SPIDERLAND





BY

ROSE HAIG THOMAS
AUTHOR OF "PAN," A COLLECTION OF LYRICAL POEMS














LONDON
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR
AT THE CHISWICK PRESS
1898
[All rights reserved]










































































CHISWICK PRESS:- CHARLFS WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.





















Medication.

To my Son, whose wondering child-eyes
first taught me to look deeper into the work-
ing of Nature, and to all the Children I
know and shall never know, I dedicate these
simple tales.

ROSE HAIG THOMAS.















CONTENTS.
PAGE
THE TREE FROGS . .. .. I
PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER . .. 15
THE SPIDER MOTHER . . .25
MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM; OR, THE BOASTFUL
OX-EYE . . . 43
THE "VAPOURER" MOTH (Orgyia Antiqga) 57
THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS (O/prys Musci-
fera) . . 63
THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG AND THE GARRULOUS
GREEN FLY ..... . 75
THE WEEVILS AND THE WASP. . 89
THE VORACIOUS DRAGON-FLY AND THE MODEST
MAY-FLY ........... 103
THOMISA CITRINA, THE ROBBER-MOTHER 119
THE GREEN CATERPILLAR . . 131
HYMEN, THE WORKER ANT . ..145



















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
DELICIOUS DIVES . 7
"FLIES," CROAKED GREEDY .. ... 8
GREEDY SUGGESTED THE OLD TANK . .. 10
POKED UP THROUGH THE FLOATING WEED 12
A SWEET PEA . . .face 17
EYES .. .... ..... 27
INITIAL . . . 28
SIT AND THINK AND THINK . . 30
MR. THERIDION WAS REDDISH BROWN .. 31-
SIT TALKING TO HER IN SPIDER LANGUAGE 32
LIKE A REAL LITTLE BALLOON . 33
HANGING UP IN HER LARDER . .34
ADVANCING NEARER WITH EACH STAMP .. 35
" TOLD ME ABOUT THE THREE COCOONS" 36
THAT SHRIVELLED-UP AND MOTIONLESS OBJECT 41
SNAPPED OFF AT THE MIDDLE HUNG THE OX-EYE face 45
THE FLY OPHRYS . . .. 65
THAT PIECE OF PINK CLOVER . .. 68
PASSING FOR DEAD. .. .. . 77
A RACE TO PERPETUATE HIS HARDY ENDURANCE face 77
VENTURING TO ENTER A BEAUTIFUL BLOOM 82
"YOU NEEDN'T SNAP YOUR NIPPERS AT ME" 83








X LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PAGE
"NO, YOU SHALL NOT CREEP INTO THIS LOVELY
ROSE" . .. . 85
R .I.P. . . . 87
THE DRAGON-FLY STILL RESTED ON THE REED face 105
A. TONGUE LIKE A SCOOP . . .105
RECOGNIZED THE GOGGLE EYES OF HIS FAMILY III
ASKED IF SHE TOOK HIM FOR A HORSE ... 134
HUNCHING HIS BACK VERY HIGH . .. 135
WENT ON EATING CABBAGE .. . 137
OPENING AND SHUTTING MY WINGS . .. 138
HOVERING OVER ANOTHER BEAUTY LIKE MYSELF 139
APPETITE WANED . ......... 139
HE MURMURED DROWSILY ... 140
SPIN HIS HERMIT CELL .. . 140
HER HOME LAY UNDER A HEAP OF PINE NEEDLES 147
THE QUEEN'S CHILDREN'. ... . 151
CARRIED THE PUPE . .. 153
EACH BENT ON DRAGGING THE TREASURE . 155
CHALLENGES TO MORTAL COMBAT WERE SQUIRTED 163
ROLLED OVER DEAD . 165


COLOURED PLATES.

FANNY AND GREEDY . . face I
LARVA OF ORGYIA ANTIQUA, THE "VAPOURER"
MOTH ......... face 59
ORGYIA ANTIQUA, "VAPOURER" MOTH, FEMALE face 61
WE CHANGED TO A TENDER GREEN, WHICH IS THE
FAMILY COLOUR". . face 84
THOMISA CITRINA . . face I21



































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THE TREE FROGS.

















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THE TREE FROGS.


A DITCH with water in it, and mud at the
bottom. There lay in the mud two frogs'
eggs, tiny round balls of clear white jelly, within
each a small green speck, which grew every
day bigger and bigger till its form was visible,
just a tail curled round a head; one day these
uncurled and came out, two round fat blobs,
heads and stomachs all in one, decorated with
beautiful feathery gills, and thin waving tails
with which they wriggled and waggled in the
mud. These lively little fellows sucked in all
kinds of invisible swimmers for food: put a
drop of ditchwater under the microscope, you
will soon see what a number of curious dishes
tadpoles can have for a dinner. They sucked
up such a quantity that in a short while two
hind legs sprouted, and their heads began to
grow away from their stomachs. Then front
legs appeared, the gills were gone, in their
place lungs have grown inside, which is more






THE TREE FROGS.


convenient for a life on shore, and less apt to
catch in things; but these baby froggies must
now breathe the air, so they crawl out of the
ditch. Still, until their tails, which are now
considerably shorter, disappear altogether, it
would not do to leave the water: a tail is an
awkward possession when the owner wants to
hop. It gets trodden on, too. Oh! it may be
a useful thing to swim with, when you haven't
any legs, but who ever saw a grown-up frog
with a tail ? Ridiculous! So every time persons
passed the froggies would scuttle back into the
muddy ditch to hide themselves, until one day,
high presto the tails were gone-and together
they leaped into the wide world free frogs All
these strange changes happen every spring to
millions of young frogs. We, like the frogs,
must take a leap, over Time, and begin our
story three years later.
"Heigh ho!" said the tree frog (it is a
favourite exclamation amongst all frogs, since
the days of Anthony Rowley of wooing fame); a
drop of warm rain had splashed on his nose, and
waked him up from his winter sleep. He had
lain unconscious, snugly tucked into a crevice be-






THE TREE FROGS. 5

tween two stones since November, deeply slum-
bering, and this was March; his nose projected
slightly from the crevice, a kind of thermometer
to warn him of the first advent of spring. A
second rain-drop fell upon the cold little snout.
Heigh ho !" he gaped again, "that was cer-
tainly warm," and he stretched out a leg; the air
was mild, the sun shining, the shower cloud had
passed on northwards : it was really spring, so
out he climbed to take a sun bath the first thing
after his long lie abed. Had you been there you
would never have guessed him to be a green
tree frog, for he was nearly black and quite dull
looking, instead of green and glistening.
Froggie was perfectly aware that he vras not
looking his best, so he chose out a bunch of
tender green leaves and sat on them in the sun
for two or three hours, to get back his summer
colour. His skin had the power of slowly
changing to the colour of whatever he rested
on, and as green is the dress of the earth in
summer, green was his coat also, bright emerald
green, like a leaf with the sun shining through
it; though, if he happened to squat for some
time on the bark of a tree or the brown earth,






THE TREE FROGS.


his skin would change and assume a hue very
similar to the bark or the earth. These pre-
cautions were necessary, as his movements were
not quick enough for him to avoid an enemy.
While Froggie sat on the bunch of leaves
thinking (he did a great deal of thinking) some-
thing cold and clammy dropped on to his back,
disturbing his meditations. Calmly raising one
hind leg into the air, he slipped the burden off
on to the grass, where it sprawled for a minute
or so, then righted itself, and apologized like a
well-bred frog, for such it was. Pray excuse
me, I was just coming out of my hole to look at
the weather; I was a bit cramped and missed
my footing. Isn't the sun delightfully hot! it is
really spring-time." Then, fixing her beautiful
golden brown eyes on the frog sunning himself,
she exclaimed, "Why, surely it is, no, yes, it
is my old friend Greedy!" He turned his head
very slowly round towards her, and after five
minutes' staring, his bright orange throat swelling
larger and larger, like a great soap bubble, he
croaked out doubtfully, "Fanny?" He was a
frog of few words.
Fanny" and Greedy is the best translation






THE TREE FROGS.


-that could be made of their names from the frog
language, which of course has a different sound
from ours, making the spelling very difficult.
The actual names were more like this,
" kkrrraaackkkcrrarrcckkkrrrrkk," but as the
word is not easy to pronounce, the English
translation is substituted.


DELICIOUS DIVES.






THE TREE FROGS.


Of course," answered she; don't you re-
member last summer the splendid climbs we had
together, high up in the tallest trees, catching
flies in the daytime, and at night the delicious
dives deep down in the water-tank, rising from
time to time to sing in a chorus with the other
frogs on the surface. On the hop, day and
night, no wonder we were so sleepy when
autumn came."
Greedy made room for Fanny on his leaves,
and they sat there side by side, growing wider
awake and greener every minute, till at length
there was so little difference in colour between
leaves and frogs, anyone passing would never
have noticed the two. Fanny was very chatty,
and told Greedy all her
v dreams through the winter,
/ :-' what she couldn't remember
I- she invented; he thought
,f them extremely interesting,
but perhaps you might not,
so I won't repeat them.
1 .7 7 Presently a fly buzzed past.
"FLIES," CROAKED "Flies," croaked Greedy,
GREEDY. hoarse with emotion; "come






THE TREE FROGS.


on, Fanny," and away they hopped to feed,
a little clumsy at catching the first few, being
out of practice. Fanny admired Greedy's large
mouth immensely: he could snap up a fat
old bumble bee, then close his lips up tight,
gulping the morsel down with protruding eyes,
instead of sitting gaping, like a post office slit,
for some minutes afterwards, as most frogs do
with such a mouthful; his stomach was sting
proof. But Fanny, if accidentally she caught a
bumble bee, would put it out again at once,
turning her pink tongue out after it several times
with every expression of the deepest disgust.
Greedy admired Fanny's agility, and her slim
figure and cheerfulness. They both had curious
shaped toes, which enabled them to cling to the
steepest rocks and the trunks of trees without
falling. The toes had no nails, were round and
flat like a sixpence, and when pressed against
anything the middle could be drawn up, leaving
the edge touching, so that no air could get into
the hollow; thus they held on, just as a tumbler
does to your face, if you press it over your
mouth and breathe all the air out of it down
into your lungs. I know you have often done






THE TREE FROGS.


that, and got a fright when it would not come
off.
Evening fell before the two frogs were tired
of catching flies; even then Fanny had to
persuade Greedy that the powder on moths was
indigestible, for he was beginning again on
those, and would have kept up the game through
the night. How hot leaping makes one,"
said Fanny. The feeling must have been a long
way inside of her, for she was cold and clammy
to touch. How delicious to take a plunge
into the deep cool water," she continued, which
showed it was the truth that she certainly felt















GREEDY SUGGESTED THE OLD TANK.






THE TREE FROGS.


warm somewhere within. Greedy suggested.
the old tank at the bottom of the terraced
garden; they made their way thither; even had
they forgotten the road it had been a simple
matter to find it, for the sound of familiar voices
led them. Hark! the singing has begun,"
cried the delighted Fanny, leaping lightly and
fast, wild to join the chorus.
They reached the edge of the old tank; tufts
of maiden-hair grew between the stones and
hung over the water, which, where one could
see it, was dark and deep, but the surface was
covered with a carpet of emerald slime, a kind of
floating plant that grows rapidly on all stagnant
water. For a minute a dead silence reigned, the
tank seemed empty, but the sharp brown eyes
of Greedy and Fanny saw it was not so. Stick-
ing up through the green slime were a dozen or
more heads of precisely the same emerald colour,
only a practised eye could detect them. Sud-
denly one croaked, then others joined in,
swelling their orange throats nigh to bursting.
All over the tank rose the drum-cracking chorus;
they were singing, as Fanny called it; she and
Greedy did not hesitate a moment longer on the






THE TREE FROGS.


brink. Flop, flop, two little splashes, two dark
holes in the green carpet side by side, both had
plunged to the bottom of the cool, deep pool.
Shortly afterwards two more green noses were
poked up through the floating weed. All















POKED UP THROUGH THE FLOATING WEED.
through the night sounds of wild revelry rose
from the tank, which ceased only with the dawn.
It was a week later, the sun had set; crawling
along the edge of the tank on hands and knees,
in the twilight, were two figures, one holding a
long-handled shrimp net. A faint whisper from
the one, "Where ?" a soft, low answer from






THE TREE FROGS.


the other, There," while a finger pointed out
a green head on the surface; then a sudden dip
of the net. What is that wriggling in it, covered
with slime ? It is the agile Fanny! Oh! how
she struggled and kicked !-quite uselessly, she
was tied into the corner of a handkerchief, while
her captors lay still and silent, waiting, but not
for long. Her faithful friend Greedy rose to
the surface, loudly croaking for his lost Fanny.
Down came the shrimp net and missed him;
it only knocked his nose; he dived promptly,
but grief was greater than fear, five minutes
later he rose again, chanting a requiem over his
lost love in the music of which he was master.
Out flashed the net a second time, swept'him
up, and he soon found Fanny in the handker-
chief. It is not quite certain, but it is shrewdly
suspected, that, rather than this, he would have
preferred mourning for her in the tank. He
did not tell her so, which is to his credit; we
must not blame him, for who of us is complete
master of his thoughts ?
Together the tree frogs journeyed in a pickle
jar to England, where they passed the summer
in a fern case. Mostly silent by day, at night







14 THE TREE FROGS.

they would talk of old times; some one listening
to their conversation took notes, and translated
their long croaks.
So now you know how this tale came to be
written.



















PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.

































































A SWEET PEA.













PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


Dear children, before I begin, run into the
garden and gather each a sweet pea to hold in
your hands while I read you this little tale; if
you cannot find sweet feas bring the white flower
of the vegetable ea. Ah / I see you have found
sweet peas, how delicious they are! sit close round
me here in the shade, that I may smell them as I
read."

IT was a summer night in an old cottage
garden, the air was filled with a delicious
scent from the honeysuckle in the hedge, much
stronger now than it had been in the daylight.
Some people imagine flowers do not feel
or think, but those who love them understand
their ways better, certain it is the honeysuckle
knows a thing or two, and throws out extra
scent at night when the moths come out, because
these insects alone have tongues long enough to
c






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


reach its nectar. On this night there were
scores of moths fluttering about the creeper,
each slender proboscis unrolled and thrust far
down the tubes of the long trumpet blossoms.
The fat old bees' tongues were much too short,
besides the bees were all asleep having worked
hard in the daytime, and so the cunning honey-
suckle waited till its friends the moths were
awake, and then scattered broadcast the scented
invitations to the feast.
For it reflected, If I don't have visitors I
shall have no fine scarlet berries in the autumn,
and I shall feel so dowdy beside this stuck-up
haughty old thorn hedge, which I can see
already will be very dressy this year. I myself
prefer graceful form to brilliant colour, but one
must be in the fashion."
Alongside the garden path stood a row of
sweet peas; under the hot sun during the day
the whole garden had been perfumed by them.
It was about their blossoms the hive bees, the
bumble bees, and other wild bees had been
busy gathering sweet stuff to make honey with.
Now one scarcely perceived any scent, the sweet
peas were sleeping through the dewy night.






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


Stay though, they are not all asleep, for some-
body stooping over them heard in one pink
blossom the tinkle of tiny voices, and listened
to hear what the matter could be. It was the
stamens all talking at once, nine golden heads in
a row all wagging together, and the tenth above
nodding approval. The bodies of these nine
little brothers were soldered together and grew
in the shape of a trough, or dish, in which lay
a pool of sweet syrup. The other brother grew
by himself, like a lid to the dish, and sheltered
the trough from showers. He went by the
name of Number Ten. This is what the listener
heard:
"Did you ever hear of such conceit ?" chorused
the nine noisily. These wing petals say they
are the most important of us all because they
are like a butterfly, and our family, Papilionaceae,
derives its name from the resemblance."
Oh there is no end to the vanity of petals,"
said Number Ten; why the top petal has just
been telling me he is the only useful member of
our community, because he is the flag that
shows the bees our flowers. This way to the
nectar, eh !" mockingly continued Number Ten,






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


" lazy fellow! why he can't even secrete nectar,
which in many flowers is the duty of petals:
ours leave even that to us."
Here the languishing tones of the standard
petal made themselves heard. He always spoke
of himself in the plural tense, saying he was a
Royal Standard, but the others knew the real
reason, which was, that though he looked like
one petal, he was really two welded together.
We are beautiful, in that lies our utility.
The work of reproduction belongs to commoner
clay. Ours is that perfect spiritual life which
exists on an intense appreciation of its own
loveliness. Make us ugly and we die."
He became faint and drooping at the bare
idea; the wing petals fanned him gently till he
revived, apologizing thus as he raised himself:
" It was the hot sun to day which affected us,
we felt quite faded and knocked up at sun-down,
all our crispness was gone."
The sun was very hot to-day," exclaimed
the nine stamens at once, they always spoke in
a chorus; it gave us such splitting headaches."
The listener saw that this was actually true,
for each little hammer head was really split






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


open and dusted with gold powder from in-
side.
What I say is this," continued Number Ten,
he was apt to grow argumentative, "why have
we got to do everything, make nectar and pollen
too, while those idle petals only spread them-
selves out in order to look beautiful, forgetting
that their ancestors were stamens once long ago;
if we chose to shirk our duty we could be petals
too." He was suddenly interrupted by his nine
brothers shaking with laughter.
"Ha! ha! ha! listen to this, the keel petal
says he is useful as well as beautiful, because
he is the boat which holds us and Pistil."
The keel petal grew white with anger at their
derision, his colour did not return even when
the wing petals, his greatest, fastest friends, took
up the cudgels in his defence, declaring that it
was quite true, and adding spitefully that some
persons' heads were so light they held nothing
but dust. The dispute was waxing warm when
suddenly the green calyx snarled out between
her five teeth:
Now then, I should like to know who it is
holds all the family together ? Why, without






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER.


me you are undone; the first little breeze,
high! presto! off fly four petals and ten
stamens to Jericho !"
A silence fell on the wranglers; then the
listener heard a soft, low voice, it was the Pistil
speaking, she had not hitherto joined in the
dispute raging round her. She lay within the
hollow trough formed by her brother stamens,
her head raised a little above theirs.
We all help one another," she said; that is
the way in which the best work is done. You
flag and wing petals attract by your beauty and
scent the visits of the bees, and they, on alight-
ing, step on the wings which press down the
boat petal in which we are hidden. As the bee
sips the nectar in your trough, my brothers, he
powders my sticky head with pollen brushed
from another pea blossom, while you, my merry
men, dust him again with yours. Then each
little pollen grain pours its fluid down my throat
into my body, and causes my seeds to grow
and swell. There is not one of you I could
spare, brothers," continued Peace-making Pistil;
"it is very kind of you all to surround and
guard your little sister, I shall tell my peas when






PISTIL THE PEACE-MAKER. 23

they have grown ripe to bear just such perfect
flowers as this blossom of which we each form
part."
When she ceased the gallant little stamens
pressed closer round gentle Pistil, the petals in
their turn clasped the stamens tighter and more
tenderly, while the calyx pinched its bravest to
keep them all together. The family was once
more in harmony.
Deep silence and heavy dew lay over every-
thing, then came the sound of a footstep stealing
softly down the garden path. The listener
was gone.



















THE SPIDER MOTHER.












THE SPIDER MOTHER.


Children, have you ever counted how many
legs a spider has ? Look at this one, you see
there are eight, all spiders have the same number.
Now, bring me a fly or a beetle or a grasshopper
or a butterfly, you will only find six legs on any
one of these. Thus you may at once recognize
a spider from a true insect; another '7';',.:\i
is that the spider's body iz of two pieces and the
insect's of three. What a number of different
varieties of spiders there are; count how many
sorts you see the next time you are out for a
walk; and what a number of eyes they have:
some eight, some six, some four, a few only two.
You can find out a spider's family name by the
number of its eyes and by the pattern in which they
are set. Ti' little gray lady about whom I shall
tell you had eight; looking at
her head thra't:t.: a magnifying / &
glass I knew what she was .
when I saw the eyes set thus."






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


S\ geranium plants
S \in a conserva-
tory was stretched
an untidy tangle
SC of silken threads,
here lived one
summer a fat little gray spider. One might
wonder how she could climb so well on these
slender threads, but I may tell you her tarsi
(she called her toes by that name) were
each armed with two hooks which helped her
to hold on. She had spun this web herself






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


from the silk inside her body, which she drew
out of the six spinners at the end of her ab-
domen and twisted into firm strands with her
legs. This little spider was very quiet in her
habits and very fond of her home, which she
seldom left before she married and never after-
wards ; for amongst her species it is the lady who
builds the home and invites a husband to live
with her. The family name of this fat little lady
was Theridion, it was not she who told me so,
but a clever French gentleman called Monsieur
Simon who lives in Paris, and has written
volumes and volumes about spiders.
In her gossiping maiden days Mrs. Theridion
used to say she was descended from a Greek
goddess, who wove beautiful tissues, but this
was only a legend. I think she knew better
than to believe herself of immortal descent just
because she and all her relatives had the same
name as the goddess Arachne. The fact is
her species existed before history was written,-
and the Greeks, admiring the spiders' industry,
named a goddess after them. But you might
shout all this as loud as you pleased, Mrs.
Theridion would never understand your lan-







THE SPIDER MOTHER.


guage, and would only get agitated at the vibra-
tion of the voice in her web, thinking there was
an insect caught somewhere, out of the range
of her eight eyes.








* J"





SIT AND THINK AND THINK.
There is no doubt she used to sit and think
and think in that tangled web of hers, till her
thoughts were in as great a confusion as her
web was. She was of an artistic temperament,
and followed no set lines in making her snare,
she only cared for free weaving and hated
geometrical spinning.
I would as soon live in a wheel," she would
remark to her neighbour, Miss Epeira, whose






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


ideas were different, and whose web was a
pattern of neatness and regular set design.
Each eye that looked on Mrs. Theridion's snare
could read a different meaning in the misty
tangle of threads, diagonal, perpendicular and
horizontal, crossing and inter-crossing at all
angles, full of suggestion, pattern melting into
pattern, all delightfully uncertain, and incomplete
as a morning dream. What a maze! Only the
Clever weaver
--.- ---'/.i could find her
way about
Without de-
stroying the
threads. Cer-
tainly no fly
/-- -- who ventured in ever
S i found the right road out
again.
S Mr. Theridion was red-
S/' dish brown, and very
much smaller than his
MR. THERIDION WAS gray wife. After their
REDDISH BROWN. wedding he used to sit
talking to her in spider language, which we






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


SIT TALKING TO HER IN SPIDER LANGUAGE.


cannot understand unless we have studied spiders
for a very long time. He was most attentive
at first, but later he was away a great deal, often
visiting neighbours and sitting gossiping for
hours on their webs. His wife could see him
from where she sat, and would often watch
him, for having eight eyes in her head it was
not easy for him to avoid the focus of all of
them, however much he tried. He fell out of
favour at last with his vagrant ways, as you
shall presently hear.
Mrs. Theridion one day spun some bluish-
gray silk in the form of a little balloon, laid a
hundred and fifty eggs in it, closed up the end






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


LIKE A REAL LITTLE BALLOON.


with more silk and suspended it in her web in
an upright position, as though the threads just
kept it from floating into the air like a real
balloon. This was her first cocoon, of which
she was pardonably proud; moreover, the hard
work gave her a tremendous appetite, and the
first fly which buzzed into her snare was sucked
till but a speck remained. Still she was hungry.
Two flies came blundering in together. It was
interesting to see her bind first their wings, then
their legs, to render them motionless, then hang
D






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


one in her larder while she fed on the other.
Now comes the worst side of the spider mother's
character: let us whisper it, "she was a cannibal."
Three of her sisters who ventured in on visits,




/' -






HANGING UP IN HER LARDER.
after she began making cocoons and laying eggs
in them, never returned to their homes, and
were afterwards seen by a neighbour hanging
up in her larder, while she was observed to suck
their juices with as much calm enjoyment as if
they had been merely blue bottles It is shock-
ing to have to relate this, but it is perfectly
true. Before long there were three cocoons in
her web, one of which, the last she had made,
was full of shiny hard white eggs, another was
filled with young spiders, quite colourless, and







THE SPIDER MOTHER.


showing as yet no movement or sign of life; the
third, which was the first made, was crammed
with little living spiders of a pinkish hue. They
had torn a small hole in the top of their silken
nursery, through which they ran in and out,
hanging in clusters about it.








ADVANCING NEARER WITH EACH STAM.P.
Matters were thus when one day little Mr.
Theridion looked in to see how they were all
getting on. Hardly had he set foot upon the
first thread of his wife's web than she knew it,
and rushing down from her post near the
precious cocoons, stamped several times warn-
ingly at him with her front pair of legs, advancing
nearer with each stamp, till, as he didn't go
away, she suddenly pounced on him and boxed
him violently. Terrified for his life, he made
off as fast as possible, leaping and tumbling from






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


leaf to leaf, trembling in every one of his eight
legs, till he got to a safe distance from his angry
wife.
Never," he sobbed passionately, never
shall I try to be domesticated again; she de-
serves to be deserted: it is very hard to be
treated so cruelly." Eight tears welled up in
his eight eyes and rolled off on to a fern, so that


"TOLD ME ABOUT THE THREE COCOONS."






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


someone coming into the conservatory thought
the gardener had been watering the plants.
Presently his passion cooled, he felt ashamed
and hoped that none of his four hundred and
fifty children had seen the quarrel. Some of
them were too young to notice, he thought, and
the others were too busy playing about; but it
was a humiliating position for a father.
It is certainly some time since I was last at
home," he reflected, in fact it was an acquaint-
ance who told me about the three cocoons, and
pointed them out to me from her web; perhaps,
after all, Mrs. Theridion had a little right to
feel annoyed that I had not been near her for
so long: I will go and make it up with her."
So back he climbed, humbly, to the edge of her
web and began his explanations. But she did
not even deign to listen to a word, simply
stamped at him, and then made such a warlike
charge that he dropped off and took to his tarsi.
Possibly a glance at his big wife's larder had
something to do with that hasty retreat. Arrived
at a place of safety he heaved a deep sigh, and
went away to take up his old wandering life and
wild ways.







THE SPIDER MOTHER.


There is no doubt that Mrs. Theridion was a
very careful mother, she never left her family,
and protected them from all enemies; but my
opinion is that she liked them best when they
were eggs, before they came out of the cocoons.
In those days she became extremely agitated if
an attempt was made to touch them, but her
affection certainly waned when her children
came out and could drop on their own threads.
She gave them no food, and, as far as one could
perceive, no advice; she passed the hours silently
day after day, near the full cocoons, now and
again weaving a new one, and laying more eggs,
or adding a fresh lot of tangles to her web,
which stood in need of repairs often, after the
combats she engaged in with the different
insects caught in it.
An earwig which got snared one day
threatened the whole fabric with destruction, so
clumsy were his struggles to 'be free, but she
tackled him, won the battle, and sucked him
dry in a day. Meanwhile her young spun them-
selves a little maze and hung about their web in
festoons, and scrambled among the threads
within an inch or two of hers, but she never






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


offered them a suck at any of her captives;
perhaps she knew their tender little mouths
could not bite her coarse food.
Time passed on, whether Mr. Theridion was
tiring of his gay life I know not, but one day he
recalled with a sudden pang of reproach his
deserted wife. It may have been also that he
felt feeble and remembered that home was the
heaven of the sick, anyhow he turned his erring
steps towards the familiar web, and mounted
slowly through the fatal maze. He trod it
without snapping a thread. So gently did he
advance that his spouse, who was musing above
her sixth cocoon, did not rouse herself from her
reverie till he stood close to her. Then she
turned, and, with fire flashing from her eight
eyes, demanded the reason for this intrusion,
emphasizing her words with a passionate stamp.
True to the instincts of her sex, she never
waited his reply, but fell in a fury upon her
husband. She fastened her fangs in him,
poisoned and bound him, and without more ado
ate him up. What a terrible sight it was!
Little wonder that the next day some of the
largest amongst the young spiders chose out







THE SPIDER MOTHER.


their smallest brethren, killed them, and sucked
them dry in imitation of their mother.
She sat there and said nothing; it may be
she understood that for some to grow big others
must be sacrificed. It may be that the sight was
painful to her; for she was a devoted mother:
it is possible that she longed to interfere, but
dare not for fear all should perish of hunger.
This massacre went on for days, till, at last,
of a hundred and fifty tiny spiders there remained
but five. These had changed their skins several
times and were grown quite big; they left home,
doubtless feeling a little nervous of their fierce
little mother, and span webs of their own not
far off. Meanwhile their empty, crumpled silk
nursery hung amongst the others which the spider
mother still silently guarded. Was she silent
because she was sorry, or had Mr. Theridion
disagreed with her? I like to think that regret
had some share in her broodings. Certainly she
ate less and seldom moved.
Long afterwards, late in the autumn, some
one came to look at her. The six cocoons still
hung in the web, but they were empty, all her
children had deserted her. And the plump gray






THE SPIDER MOTHER.


spider mother, where was she? Could that
shrivelled-up motionless object below the co-
coons be she whom we knew so well? Yes,
old Time had done his work, she would never

r) ):


THAT SHRIVELLED-UP AND MOTIONLESS OBJECT.
move again. When the gardener came to take
away the geraniums and put chrysanthemums
in their place, she fell and mixed with the dust.




















MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;

OR,

THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.



























~'H'


SNAPPED OFF AT THE MIDDLE HUNG THE OX-EYE.














MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;
OR,
THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.

Children, I am going to tell you about a
chrysanthemum, a sort that grows wild in
England, not the giant ones like huge sea ane-
mones over which people held a jubilee a little
while since. I don't care much to see flowers
cultivated to such extremes. I am told these frize
blooms have so many florets that they positively
require a coiffeur, like a lady of fashion, and he
dresses their heads most carefully with ivory
curling tongs, an ivory tail comb, and a camels'
hair brush. I believe you had rather nurse used
a soft camels' hair brush on your head instead of
dabbing it so hard with that bristly one, eh? Tell
her next time she brushes your hair to dress it
with the same tenderness bestowed by the gardener
on his finest show chrysanthemum. The tale is






MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;


called-' MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM; OR, THE
BOASTFUL OX-EYE.'

ABROAD hay meadow in early June, knee
deep in tall grasses and buttercups, on the
outer edge of it, here and there, blazed a scarlet
poppy. Not far from the hedge-row a bunch of
ox-eyed daisies grew amongst the tall grasses,
their heads held high ; one ox-eye was fully open,
and about her was a certain haughtiness of de-
meanour-very different from the humble ex-
pression of her little dwarf cousins who dotted the
neighboring pasture where the cattle browsed.
There was a gap in the hedge where the old
Scotch fir grew, and through it one could see
the cheerful round faces of the little daisies
turned up to the sky. The tall grasses bent
before the soft breeze.
Don't," said the Ox-eye, reprovingly; your
glumes tickle me."
Bend yourself then," whispered the grasses.
I won't," answered the Ox-eye; I am not
so weak as to be swayed by every breath of air,"
which was true, for she was far too stiff. The
buttercups were more good-natured, and bent






OR, THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.


with the grasses; there was a great deal of
bowing and scraping in their vicinity and no
complaints. The grasses were really glad of the
breeze; they had just been wondering how they
should manage to set seeds in time for the hay-
making if the still weather continued. The
pollen hung thick on their stamens, ready to be
blown off into the air, there to float till it fell on
the funny feathery stigmas that waved above.
Now quite a little dust arose. Grasses take
rather a pride in arranging these matters, as the
Scotch fir and other big trees do, independent
of insects or aught but the wind, growing the
same sort of smooth dry pollen, a kind that
carries well through the air. The ox-eyed daisy
was staring through the gap in the hedge at her
humble cousins, she was the eldest of her family,
being the only full-blown daisy on the plant, all
her sisters, still wrapped up in their involucres,
were in various bud stages. Therefore she
took the lead on all occasions, and would give
the others her notions of the world (which to her,
as to some of us, meant her own immediate sur-
roundings), and of matters in general, in a dicta-
torial, elder sister's, not-to-be-contradicted tone.






MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;


Our little cousins over there don't keep
themselves so white as they should do," she
remarked in a loud voice; some of them have
disgracefully pink edges: with the heavy dews
we have had lately I really think they might
have managed to keep themselves a pure white."
The Ox-eye's bud sisters hung their heads,
ashamed of these rude remarks, which could
certainly be heard in the adjoining pasture;
they could not convey reproof in any other way,
not being old-that is, open enough to speak up.
But the old Scotch fir resented the insult to his
little crimson-tipped favourites, and rustled his
needles in high dudgeon, and a few expressions
such as Impudent huzzy," Horse-gowan,"
and the like, reached the hayfield from over-
head.
Ox-eye pretended not to hear, but she changed
the conversation all the same in a hurry, she
was rather afraid of receiving a fir cone on her
head, there were a few left on the tree from
last year.
Shall I tell you what I am like ?" said she
condescendingly to her sisters; "as your eyes
are shut you can't see, so I will describe myself.






OR, THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.


Imagine a crowded bed of flowers, five hundred
yellow florets in the centre, each a perfect flower
in itself, with perianth, stamens, and pistil, and
even a calyx. Surrounding these are twenty-
five white beauties having pistils but no stamens,
called ray florets, forming a white fringe, all so
closely set that each touches each. My white
ray florets are really perfect in texture and
purity, if you could only see the whole effect, it
is of surpassing loveliness. You must not think
this is only my opinion, for the bees, the butter-
flies, the flies, and even the beetles, are con-
stantly whispering the most flattering things to
me, when they come for a sip of nectar, or a
dust of pollen. In the matter of nectar they
say I am about the most generous flower they
visit, each yellow floret being simply brimming.
And I must say they help themselves freely,
but so also do I to the pollen on their legs
whenever I get a chance, and have any stigmas
pushed up ready to receive it. You will see I
shall set every seed; I know how to go to work.
Push up the pollen first off the stamens ready to
be carried away by the insects; later on up
rises the pistil to receive a dust of pollen off a
E






50 MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;


distant ox-eye from a bee. Oh! few would
suspect the tricks and traps of flowers and
their cunning ways. We trade in pollen with
other ox-eyes and make the bees and flies our
parcel post. Yes, we are a regular mutual aid
association."
There was a right-of-way through the meadow,
Ox-eye had seen the postman pass across it, and
had caught scraps of conversation from other
people as they walked along, from the parson,
the doctor, and the sexton, which accounts for
her being rather "grown up" in her talk, and
sometimes making observations too deep for
ordinary flower-intelligence to fathom.
Do keep your glumes out of my eye, that is
the second time I have had to complain of them."
Ox-eye snapped out this last remark at the
grasses, which only waved and shook the more.
"It is the wind, we cannot help it," they
whispered.
Keep your dust to yourself," she continued,
pettishly, my own ray florets will be smothered
with the nasty stuff. How untidy you are,
scattering your pollen like that! So wasteful,
too," she added.







OR, THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.


We have plenty," answered the lively grasses,
their spikelets shaking with breezy laughter.
"We can spare you more, gentle Ox-eye.
Here!" With that they shook a shower over
her into the air, but most of it floated away.
Don't call me by that vulgar name; pray
recollect in future my true title is 'My Lady
Chrysanthemum,' she replied with the utmost
hauteur.
The grasses positively rippled with laughter
at this and bobbed about her, singing solto voce:
Oh mow me flat and strike me dumb /
A Japanese chrysanthemum
In English hayfield deigns to grow,
Ha-ha, ha-ha / Ho-ho, ho-ho! "
The Ox-eye scorned to answer another word,
with much dignity she slowly turned her back
on the teasing grasses, and spread her face to
the sun; he was moving round and she always
liked to keep her eye on him. A sudden idea
struck her:
Why, sisters," said she, I am the image of
the sun, bright yellow middle, rays and all! We
must be related, and if he be the king of the
sky I am the queen of the meadow."






MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM ;


Stop, stop," the words came murmuring up
the meadow, from grass to grass, as each gave
the other the message. "Another lady down
here claims that title !"
"Who aspires to usurp my throne?" de-
manded Ox-eye in frozen tones, stiffening
visibly.
"Meadow Sweet," whispered the grasses.
(You who have listened on a breezy summer
day know that grasses can only whisper or
murmur. The ox-eyed daisies always stop talk-
ing when they hear children coming, for fear of
being picked, that is why you don't know the
sound of the daisies' voices.)
Can't you see her ?" the feathery grasses
asked. There, down near the hedge at the
bottom."
I can smell her," rudely replied the Ox-eye.
(Amongst flowers it is not considered polite to
refer to a neighbour's scent, the best-bred
blossoms never do so.) Strong odours are so
vulgar," she continued, with a sniff. Com-
paratively scentless herself, she was intolerant
of scent in others; it was a charm with which
she could not compete, for if she possessed any






OR, THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.


odour at all it was of a disagreeble rank nature.
She differed widely in this respect from her little
cousin, the turf daisy, who has a deliciously
dainty little scent of her own, which she will
breathe on you when held close under the nose
to have her stalk slit for a daisy chain; though
she has not the power of throwing her scent to
a distance as some flowers can, such as the
violet and the hyacinth.
Meadow Sweet is the queen," the grasses
whispered all over the meadow, till the air was
filled with the sound. The bees and flies buzzed
the same words, while the butterflies as they
flitted overhead unrolled long tongues at Ox-eye,
till the humiliated flower urged no longer her
claim to royalty. Indeed, for some little time
her attention had been distracted by a strange
uncomfortable feeling about her waist, that is
about half-way up her stalk, which was bare
with scarcely a leaf on it, so that by bending her
head she could easily ascertain what was causing
the disturbance, but her proud nature forbade.
She preferred to ask one of her sisters, who was
just unfolding the first florets of her white screw,
showing the gold eye peeping. Ox-eye appealed







MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM;


to her, begging that she would glance down and
explain the reason of these strange sensations.
The opening bud obeyed and mumbled some-
thing. Speak out clearly," cried the anxious
Ox-eye; I can't hear."
"A slug," blurted out the other, shuddering,
as another white floret flew open.
The Ox-eye shrieked hysterically. Take it
off! take it off! I shall be undermined; oh do
take it off." Nobody stirred, the slug continued
to gnaw. It is very hard to be cut down in
my prime, think of the loss to the field."
Dead silence amongst the grasses, the wind
had died away. She appealed imploringly to
the sun, but he slipped behind a cloud. The
situation was desperate; suddenly out flew a
blackbird from the hedge, chattering and scold-
ing, and making such a fuss because his wife
had sent him out to find dinners for their nest-
lings; dropping on to the ground close to the
Ox-eye he hopped up at the slug, seized it, and
flew back to the hedge.
Saved !" with what a sigh of relief Ox-eye
uttered the word; she was still standing, but her
stalk was eaten half through, with difficulty she






OR, THE BOASTFUL OX-EYE.


Sept up her dignity and her head. Her temper
was not improved by this trouble, she fretted
and complained to all around, and requested the
Scotch fir to restrain his resinous odour for it
made her faint. (It might have been an acci-
dent, but almost immediately a cone dropped
within an inch of her head.) She told her sisters
sharply not to be so pushing, one of them was
nearly up to her level; and she was more than
usually snappish to the easy-going grasses.
If only the wind and rain would keep off, she
thought, she could maintain her position, but
presently the lull ceased, the cloud burst, and
on came the tempest. When the heavy shower
had passed over, snapped off at the middle hung
the Ox-eye, head downward, on her broken
stalk.
Up the meadow wandered a murmur till it
reached the nearest grasses: Meadow Sweet
says you may be queen if you like, she only
cares to be named Sweet." But the honour
came too late, a crown won't stay on a head that
is upside down; fallen from her pedestal of
ambition and pride hung my Lady Chrysan-
themum, limp and dejected. As the sun was






56 MY LADY CHRYSANTHEMUM.

setting the kind little daisies in the pasture
beheld through the gap in the hedge their tall
cousin's mishap, and closed their eyes on the
pitiful sight. It is thought they must have
wept in their sleep, for when their eyes opened
next morning in each stood a crystal drop.




















THE "VAPOURER" MOTH.

(Orgyia Antiqua.)














































"Larva of Orgyla Antiqua, the Vapourer Moth."














THE "VAPOURER" MOTH.
(Orgyia Antigua.)

A BEAUTIFUL caterpillar was stretched
on a fading rose bloom, enjoying the hot
sun on her perfumed bed. No vulgar desires
of appetite marred the languor of this perfect
repose, all was couleur de rose, odeur de rose.
Never again shall the verb 'to eat' be con-
jugated; here, here to end one's days in a long
odorous dream of forgetfulness; presently, in
case of a shower, to wrap oneself softly up in
two or three pink petals and look on the world
through their rosy light."
Thus mused the furred beauty. Pleasure is
an eternal day that knows no morrow. Perhaps
each minute of this drowsy rest was to the
caterpillar as a lifetime to us, so we cannot
measure the length, or breadth, or depth of it,
nor feel pity when nature urges the necessity







THE VAPOURER" MOTH.


for labour. Can the spinning of that white silk
shroud among scented petals be so called ?
Inside this delicate nest what need now for
the many-coloured furry coat, which hitherto
was a protection and a defence ? A little split
and it is cast, and neatly folded up at the foot of
the bed; through the white silk muslin gleams
the nervous, naked, creamy skin. As we gaze
it darkens, and before long is black and motion-
less; and so through the long night of change.
What is this funny, fat, furry little brown body?
It has just come out of that silk muslin bed
which the caterpillar spun a month ago. Is it a
moth? If so someone must have clipped the
poor thing's wings off, or have they never grown ?
Madam, go back to your nest, I am afraid you
have come out before you were ready, for your
legs also seem far too short and too close to
your head to balance such a heavy, fat body,
and to drag it about. There! just as I spoke
she was nearly over, how clumsy and awkward
her movements are! Can those ridiculous little
dots of things on her back which she is con-
stantly lifting be meant for wings? Does the
desire to fly exist while the means are wanting ?































" Black and motionless."


" Is It a Moth ?"


5, .


3,


"Meant for wings?"


"I will leave you,"






THE VAPOURER" MOTH.


Poor little moth, why did you leave your muslin
home ? better, like most of your sisters, to stay
for ever there, and lay your eggs within it;
better never to visit the world of air into which
you long to rise, yet cannot! Nature has played
an ugly trick on you, bereft of the means of
flight, she has left you muscles to move the
rudiments of those wings that are not, and the
ambition to soar. Can so dull a changeling
really be that brilliant red-spotted caterpillar,
with lines of gold and tufts of silken hair, which
lay, steeped in perfumed luxury, on the fading
scented rose a month ago? Ah, well! we will
not reproach you, no doubt you have some end
to serve. Here is a merry brown moth winging
it airily in the sunshine, light as vapour, he has
vanished. Over there is something like a dead
leaf on that rose stem; no, it is alive, and is
away dancing into the air again, up and down,
light as before. Strange! he seems to know
this humble little dull brown body, and flutters
to her more than once; one might almost think
he admired her. It is said there are none so
plain but that somewhere in the world will be
found someone to think them even perfect.







THE VAPOURER" MOTH.


Though this brown fellow flies in the daytime
he is a moth, this I know because his antennae
taper off to a point, instead of being club-shaped
at the ends like those of the butterflies. And now
that I look close at this wingless little lady, I see
that, though quite unlike his, yet her antenna
also taper. She has forgotten her desire to fly
into the blue sky, for here is someone who has
come down to tell her all about it, and has
whispered that it is far sweeter here amongst
the fallen roses, therefore she rests content.
Well, Madam, I wish there were more people
in this world like you, in spite of your homely
looks and awkward gait; we cannot all soar,
and it is useless to waste precious time over
vain endeavours and regrets. Better to learn,
as you have, to shape our desires to our cir-
cumstances.
Now I see you are going to be busy laying
eggs, so I will leave you. Next year I am
afraid there will be too many "Vapourer"
caterpillars on this rose tree.



















THE WEDDING OF THE FLY

OPHRYS.

(Ophrys Muscifera.)






THE WEDDING OF THE FLY


OPHRYS.
(Op/rys Muscifera.)


SHE grew just on the edge
of a fine beechwood at the
top of a long sloping chalk down.
There, summer after summer,
the Fly Ophrys spread her quiet
beauty to the sun, but no notice
was taken of her by a single in-
sect of the thousands that buzzed
and hummed and trumpeted over
the sunny dry down, with one
exception, when a small
slimy snail crawled over
her and gnawed pieces out
of two or three of her
blooms. That season she
positively rejoiced when
fading

came,
somor-
tified --
w a s THE FLY OPHRYS.







66 THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.

she over her worm-eaten appearance. On the
sloping down grew dozens of different flowers,
thyme, gentian, cowslips, clover, were amongst
the many in bloom this fine May morning, and
these in bygone summers had often sharpened
their wit on the lonely condition of the Fly
Ophrys, asking how many seeds she intended
setting, and if her capsules split from the top, or
the sides, or how; teasing the poor Ophrys, who
could not tell, for she had never had one. Every
autumn she retired for the winter into her root,
seedless and childless (for the seeds are the
children of the plant) to dream hopefully of next
year.
To-day the Ophrys could see from her top-
most blossom how the whole flowery slope was
alive with insects humming in and out of the
flowers, but none ever came to her, and she felt
hurt, sad, and neglected. In vain, from day to
day, she hung out pleadingly her dark purple
tongues, not a bee buzzed within a foot of her.
The clever little Fly Ophrys had arranged a
neat little trap for the first insect which should
alight on one of her tongues, and thrust in his
head to hunt for nectar; loudly his friends would







THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.


laugh when he flew back to them, for, when he
drew out his head, two little yellow horns would
be fixed on his forehead making him look like
a fierce old billy-goat. Or it might be he would
only have one, like the unicorn which fights for
the crown. On an arch exactly over the root
of the tongue stood two sentry boxes; within
each was a yellow horn standing up, ready to
jump out the moment anything touched the
spring at the bottom. Let an insect's head be
thrust in, and out would fly the gummy, sticky
discs or feet, cement themselves to it, and
behold him decorated! Slowly then the yellow
horns would bend down, till at the next bloom
the insect settled on, they, entering first, would
rub off their golden pollen on to the sticky stigma
inside : thus would the Ophrys accomplish her
design, and set her capsules. If no insect came
to touch their springs the two pollen horns re-
mained for ever imprisoned. If the insect flew
straight home after the first visit there would
be a fine laugh at his odd appearance, till, in a
rage, he would tear off the horns with his front
legs.
Our poor little Ophrys kept up heart in spite







68 THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.

of her solitude, and at last she heard a little
hum close by. It was a visitor announcing
Himself! She, looking at
him, thought for a brief in-
stant it was one of her own
\ blooms on the wing.
-- She counted care-
fully. No, all four
were there; but the
resemblance was nearly per-
-- fect. And he was really
coming to her Poor little soli-
Stary plant, she had often
dreamt of an insect alight-
f ing, attracted by her
false nectaries, ex-
pecting food, and
Sfor such a chance


THAT PIECE OF PINK CLOVER.






THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.


had laid her innocent trap; for, if he only took
the trouble to bite through the nectaries, the
juice was very sweet. But of course it was not
ready flowing, as in the clover for instance; ah !
that piece of pink clover, over there in the grass,
would no longer be able to jeer at her, and call
her unattractive and peculiar. Though no beauty
herself, the pink clover had heaps of visitors.
She generally lured them through their stomachs,
as she was simply overflowing with sweet syrup;
but she put all her popularity down to her per-
sonal charms, as the rich are apt to do.
The Fly Ophrys once hinted it was only cup-
board love which brought the bees to the clover,
causing her to redden deeply with annoyance.
She had a clumsy-looking head, and nothing
irritated her more than to be mistaken, as she
constantly was, for one of the Compositae, or
daisy tribe, whose family scent she cordially
despised.
Can't everyone see," she would say, by the
shape of my florets, that I am one of the elegant
family Papilionacese ?" Then she would loudly
claim cousinship with a purple vetch, as it
trailed down the slope.






70 THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.

The hum drew nearer and nearer; thrice
happy Ophrys! Here was a slender winged
creature who from pure admiration, not greed,
had come to call. She received her visitor with
much dignity, scarcely inclining her head as he
settled on her lowest bloom, clasping the purple
tongue with his delicate legs.
All he whispered to her was a secret; not
even the clover, who grew nearest and was
listening with all her florets, could hear a single
word, and she became quite envious because of
the long stay the visitor was making.
He is a very thin fly," she remarked, scoffingly,
to a bed of thyme near; he won't grow fatter
by stopping there. She has no nectar." The
thyme laughed till she was blue in the face at
the clover's undisguised jealousy. In doing
so she breathed out such a strong perfume
that in a minute several bees and flies were
humming over her. A cheery little plant was
the thyme.
You see," continued the clover, she has no
scent either. What can the attraction be ? He
looks very like herself. How sly of her to
imitate him so exactly. Of course he was







THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.


flattered. I thank the mild breezes of spring
my nature has not these wiles. Though some
of my family, the pea for instance, take pride in
a fancied resemblance to butterflies, I myself
heartily despise such stratagems. But I will
admit, however pleasant I make myself, no one
ever stays so long with me. A sip from two or
three florets, and then off without so much as a
compliment on my nectar, or a 'thank you.' "
This with a toss of her pink head. Nobody
listened to her; the flowers and insects were too
busy interchanging politenesses to pay attention
to the clover's grumblings.
The fly still clung to the Ophrys, and, the
wings being closed, the resemblance to the bloom
above him was now complete. At last all the
flowers on the slope began talking of the pro-
longed visit, wondering whether, for once, the Fly
Ophrys would set some seed, and discussing
amongst themselves as to what shape her cap-
sules would be. The gossip flew from perianth
to perianth as the flowers disputed the fly's
species; one said he was not of the fly but of
the bee family, a Hymenopteron; others, better
informed, pointed out that he had only two






THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS.


wings, whereas a bee has four, therefore he was
one of the Diptera. The fact was, Professor
Teasel sometimes gave lectures on entomology;
his commanding position on a very tall stalk,
four or five feet high, permitted his voice to
reach all over the slope. Thus, though his
lectures were usually given late in the summer
and continued through the autumn, the tones
of his voice were so penetrating as to arrive at
the roots of those flowers that had done bloom-
ing. In this manner the flowers had learnt to
recognize and classify their visitors, a know-
ledge which interested and amused them in wet
weather when there were none.
On this lovely day, just before twelve o'clock,
if you listened attentively, you might hear a
perfect buzz of conversation all over the sunny
down. Can you distinguish what the fly is
murmuring to the Ophrys ? Lie on the grass
and listen to his little droning trumpet.
Beautiful fly, are you a flower? Lovely
flower, are you a fly? I had thought you one,
only that you are so still and will not mount into
the air with me; but since you cannot fly I will
become a flower and settle here for ever, to live






THE WEDDING OF THE FLY OPHRYS. 73

with you. Speak, does it content you to have
me always ?"
The Ophrys swayed with emotion. Yes,
yes," she whispered; "but first you must be-
come a flower-king, I will crown you." As she
spoke the two discs touched his forehead and
were cemented firmly to it. Behold he bore
two golden flower horns! Then he laid his head
in the heart of the Fly Ophrys, and their union
was complete. The sun became very powerful.
The hush of midday stole over the slope;
through the stillness, from a distant coppice,
rang a soft delicate peal from the fragrant
hyacinth haunt within.




















THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG
AND THE

GARRULOUS GREEN FLY.







I


lo


ORF


7


A RACE TO PERPETUATE HIS HARDY ENDURANCE.


i~ic~


p~


~p-.














THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG
AND THE
GARRULOUS GREEN FLY.

O NCE there was an Earwig which lived in a
beautiful rose garden; he had inherited
all the worst traits of his family, and was of an
extremely prying nature. Nothing was sacred
from his nose, the smaller the hole or crevice
the more likely was he to poke his head in and
wriggle his body after it. As for his constitu-
tion nothing seemed to injure that; the more he
was flattened out with dead weights the better
pleased he was, and he looked on drowning as
a pleasant sleep. This characteristic he had in-
herited from an ancestor who once -
passed a whole summer in a bath-
towel, being daily shaken into the
bath, passing for dead, then, after it PASSING FOR
was emptied, he would crawl back DEAD.






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


to the Turkish towel and resume his reflections.
Once a fortnight he went to the wash in the
towel, which to his hermit nature was a trial;
but he always returned to the familiar towel-
horse unchanged by this vicissitude, his hard
skin polished and shiny, his pincers in battle
order. Of course his last day came, and he
went, like everybody else, but not before he had
left a race to perpetuate his hardy endurance.
The special descendant of his of whom I
speak would often boast of his famous ancestor
to his distant cousins the grasshoppers, when
they were wont to vaunt themselves, and show
off their agility; for I must tell you this Im-
pertinent Earwig did not lack envy amongst his
bad qualities. He would tell them also about
his great grandfather, who had lain half an hour
under water in a finger-bowl on the dining-
table; for he kept high company, and he had
been making a night of it with some friends.
To all appearance he was as dead as last year's
leaves when one of his companions picked him
up and held him to the candle-flame; in a few
seconds resurrection took place, he wriggled
violently, and on being set down on the table-






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


cloth started off at a run as active as ever.
Thus would the Earwig ramble on about his
ancestors, often not observing that his listeners
had hopped off, not being very interested in
these family records, perhaps also having heard
the tales before. Now Mr. Earwig had two
wings, though few knew it; he was rather
ashamed of them perhaps for they were kept
packed in minute folds under two hard covers
on his back; and if ever he used them it was
always at night, when no one could see how he
unfolded them, nor, when he alighted, how he
tucked them back again, though it was sus-
pected that he managed this delicate matter
with the aid of his flexible abdomen and pincers.
One dark night the windows of the house which
stood in the rose garden where he lived shone
with a rosy light, and he could see they were
open. Suddenly the two hard shields on his
back sprang upright, and from underneath ex-
panded two fine gauze wings, so light it seemed
impossible they could lift such a long cumber-
some body, but they did, and poised on them
the Earwig flew in to the rosy light. He alighted
on a table, and on perceiving there was company,






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


instantly folded his wings out of sight, then,
with that familiarity which was his great failing,
he immediately ran onto a white silk gown,
actually disporting himself on a lady's knees, for
a minute or so unperceived. Presently he was
pointed out to her, and she uttered piercing
shrieks till someone seized him between a
savage finger and thumb, so he described the
action afterwards, and, administering a severe
pinch to his abdomen, flung him out of the
window back into the garden, onto the hard
gravel path. Mr. Earwig made off, with a fine
stomach-ache and a firm resolve to leave society
alone for the future. After all, he reflected, a
rose petal is more beautiful than the finest satin
gown. Out on the path sat a fat toad, eating
woodlice, and grinning from ear to ear at our
Earwig's discomfiture.
Gaping rustic !" muttered the Earwig, then
hurried into a crevice before the toad could snap
him up for his impertinence. Here he smoothed
down his shiny suit over his disturbed interior,
and remained for some time absorbed in bitter
reflections. Certainly he felt ill, that was a
painful nip, who knew, it might be the death of






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


him, others of his race had ended in that way.
A gloom settled over his spirits, and had cousin
Cricket chirped to him just then Mr. Earwig
would scarcely have made the usual pert reply,
which was to run at him with his tail curled up,
snapping his nippers. Presently, however, he
took a more cheerful view of things; he dis-
covered a dead ant in the crevice and commenced
to feast, forgetting his griefs. When an earwig
can get meat he won't eat vegetables, as our
friend was wont to remark with truth. Profiting
by his recent lesson, Mr. Earwig was less pry-
ing and interfering; for awhile matters went
smoothly, he had one or two narrow escapes in
the strawberry border from being trampled
into the soil, but he mostly kept to his duties,
eating beetle-grubs, etc., seldom venturing into
the fruit. But a spell of dry weather brought a
scarcity of animal food, and one day he made a
raid on a rose tree, and, climbing to the end of
a branch, was venturing to enter a beautiful
bloom, when a voice from the petals forbade
him to commit such a sacrilege.
"Who are you?" quoth the Earwig, as he
raised his nippers threateningly.
G






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


VENTURING TO ENTER A BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.
One of the Imperial Guard, stationed here
to defend the Empress of Flowers," replied the
voice. The Earwig looked about, and pre-
sently perceived a small bronze object on the
edge of a pink satin petal.
"What are you ?" he asked contemptuously.
"A green fly," answered the sentinel. "Aphis
is my Latin name. The gardener calls me 'that
dratted blight,' but he is ill-tempered. The
ants love the juices I leave about, and often
stroke me to persuade me to give them more.
Oh! I am very popular with everyone but the







THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


gardener, who, as I say, is a surly fellow. When
I think of his syringe and the soap and water,
prrr the shivers run down my back."
Not much of a name 'Aphis,' but quite
enough for such an atom as you," replied the
Earwig. "Allow me to introduce myself," he
added, with tremendous unction and much
mouthing; Mr. Forficular Auricularea." The
Aphis attempted to repeat the name but his
mouth was not large enough, and, after stam-
mering Forky, Forky," once or twice he de-
sisted, saying it gave him a pain in his mandibles.
Uncertain if this were truth or satire, Mr.
Earwig raised his abdomen threateningly.


YOU NEEDN'T SNAP YOUR NIPPERS AT ME.






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


"Well, you needn't snap your nippers at me.
I have two horns on my tail, too," said the
Aphis.
But you can't move them," sneered the Ear-
wig. Call yourself a green fly, indeed, why
you are brown, a light brown; look in that
dewdrop."
The green fly did so, and was shocked to
perceive the change in his appearance, his soft,
verdant coat was now a shiny bronze brown.
" I don't understand it," he sighed; "I have
never been this colour before. I was pink once
when we all lived on that lovely tea-rose shoot,
ah! but as we moved off to the lower leaves we
changed to a tender green, which is the family
colour. I believe that dewdrop is dirty, and
can't reflect a clean image. After all, light
brown satin is as fine a texture as green velvet,
makes as good a coat, and is less common wear
amongst our people." Here the Earwig made
a movement towards the rose.
No, you shall not creep into this lovely rose,
I am here to guard her, and I will; though for
some reason I am a little stiff at turning myself
now. I, who have partaken of her hospitality,












































"We changed to a tender green which Is the family colour."






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


"NO, YOU SHALL NOT CREEP INTO THIS LOVELY ROSE."
and eaten of her leaves, will shed my last drop
of juice in her defence! Besides, this pink rose
may become a crimson hip, and the seed may
spring up and give food to my great, great
grand-children; in our family we always look far
ahead." Here the Aphis became diffuse, as
many excellent persons will when launched into
family history. He mumbled and rambled on,
rather to himself than to the Earwig, seeming
quite absorbed in his subject.
Mr. Earwig seized the occasion, slipped






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


between the rose petals, and soon was snug.
The Aphis awoke to the fact that an enemy
had passed his guard, he tried to move, but
a strange helplessness possessed him, he could
only think. Presently he could not even do
that, there was a curious stir in his inside,
shortly after a tiny hole was punctured in his
back, and from within emerged a miniature
black fly with four gauzy wings; for a few
seconds it paused, raising them once or twice,
then, stretching them wide, flew away, leaving
the Aphis dead, an empty bronze case stuck to
the edge of the rose petal. Mr. Earwig, no
longer hearing the voice, ran out to peep, and
seeing the Aphis still and stiff, laughed and
chuckled, Ha, ha! a fine sentinel!" then
wriggled back into the recesses of the rose,
meaning to feed on her heart at his leisure.
But the dead Aphis stuck to his post.
Now this rose garden had several attendants
constantly watching and working in it; the
bronze object on the rose petal attracted the
attention of one of these.
See," she remarked to her companion, "one
of the Hymenoptera, a Braconid, has laid an egg






THE IMPERTINENT EARWIG.


in this aphis, the larva has fed and developed
inside of him. Look through this glass at that
tiny hole in his back, the imago or perfect fly
emerged there." At this moment the prying
Earwig poked out his inquisitive head. I
declare a horrid earwig has dared to lie in this
-beautiful bloom! Out you come !" And, suiting
the action to the word, the attendant shook out
Mr. Earwig on to the ground and stamped on
him.








]i. .T .




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