Stránka:tales 1921.djvu/99

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of the Beauty-crawlers, there came out bunches of sharp stickers like porcupine quills, only they were worse than porcupine quills for each of the c tickers was poisoned at the tip, so that no creature could touch the Beauty-crawlers without being stung.

The birds and beasts let them alone now, or suffer a terrible punishment from the poison spears. You children, too, must beware of them; touch them not, they will give you festering wounds. There is only one creature now that the Beauty-crawlers truly fear; that is the Long-stinger Wasp. He does indeed take toll of their race, but that is the price they still must pay for their beauty. Did they not drink of the double goblet?

TALE 29

The Great Splendid Silk-Moth or Samia Cecropia

When I was a very small boy, I saw my father bring in from the orchard a ragged looking thing like parchment wrapped up with some tangled hair; it was really the bundle-baby of this Moth. He kept it all winter, and when the spring came, I saw for the first time the great miracle of the insect world — the rag bundle was split open, and out came this glorious creature with wings of red and brown velvet, embroidered with silver and spots that looked like precious stones. It seemed the rarest thing in the world, but I have foimd out since, that it is one of our common moths, and any of you can get one, if you take the trouble.

Now listen, and you shall hear of what happened long ago to a green crawler who was bom to be a splendid Silk-Moth, but who spoiled it all by a bad temper.

It had been a very cold, wet summer, and one day, when ..text continues