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THE STAG BEETLE.
measures two and a half inches in length. The Stag beetle lays its eggs in the bark of trees, and when the eggs are hatched, the grub bores away into the heart of the wood, and makes the inside of the tree where it bores like sawdust. Great damage is sometimes done in this way to fine trees. The grub does not become a full grown stag beetle until it has been boring away in its woody home for five or six years. It then makes a nest for itself in the earth, and rolls over and over in it to make it hollow.
The beetle when full-grown lives on the sap of twigs and leaves, and its fine branching horns are used to pierce the leaves and scratch the twigs that the sap may flow out.
Do not be frightened at these creatures. They have no sting, like the bee and wasp, and will only bite when they are very much teased. They all have wings, which are shut up when the insect crawls on the ground. The wings of the stag beetle in this picture may be seen under the hard shell or case which covers them up. Perhaps the beetle has just alighted on the ground after a long flight, and so has not had time to cover up the net-like wings with the hard shell or case.
It is an old saying that men are sometimes “
THE STAG BEETLE.
blind as a beetle." But however blind some men may be when they will not see, there are no beetles that are blind. Some of them have very large eyes, and can see a long way off. The reason why beetles sometimes fly against us both in the day and in the night when we are out in the fields or gardens, is, that the wind blows them along so fast that they cannot stop themselves. The beetle is much more alarmed when it hits against our cheek than we are. Do not, then, be angry with the poor insect when it next dashes against your face.
Look how full of knobs or jagged edges the legs of this beetle are.
So are the legs of all beetles. These edges are joints, and are as useful to the beetle as the joints on our fingers are to us. There is also a hooked joint at the end of each leg, almost like the claw of a bird.
All these useful things are proofs of the wisdom and goodness of our Father above who made, not only great elephants and great whales, but little things to creep about on the earth. He is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His work. Even beetles show that God cares for them. The Psalmist says, “ The works of the Lord are great; sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."
“NO ONE WILL SEE ME.”
“ NO ONE WILL SEE ME.”
“No one will see me," said little John Day,
And he was at home all alone;
Which of course he ought not to have done.
There stood in the cupboard, so sweet and so nice,
And apples so rare and so fine;
“ This apple at least shall be mine."
John paused, and put back the nice apple so red,
When she left all these things in his care; “And no one will see me,” said John, “is not true, For I've heard that God sees us in all that we do,
And is with us wherever we are."
Well done, John! your mother and father obey;
Even when they are absent from you;
Who witnesses all that you do.
THE MUSK-RAT IN THE CANAL.
THE MUSK RAT IN THE CANAL, The musk rat had his home in the great canal. He might travel a hundred miles either way, and find the same still waters. He lived in a wild place, far from any house or town, and nothing troubled him except the boats when they came along, day and night. But as he came out of his hole only in the night, and as the path for the horses that drew the boats was on the other side of the canal, and as every boat had a light at her bow, which he could see afar off, the boats did not trouble him much. He swam in the canal, or crept down its bank, and went to the fields for food, and was as well off as aný musk rat could wish. But, like other folks who have enough, he began to grow lazy.
* Now,” said he, as he perched upon the bank of the canal one pleasant night, now this canal was surely built for us musk rats. But what a shame to make the banks so high and so steep! How I have to tug my grass and clover up this high bank, and how it puts me out of breath and makes me pant! Those stupid things called men do, to be sure, use the canal to move their boats on, but it's quite plain that it was made for us noble and wise musk rats ! Now, I have a thought come into my head—à very
THE MUSK RAT IN THE CANAL.
wise thought! Instead of creeping up and down this high bank, I will dig a hole through it, down at the bottom, and then I can run in and out just when I please. Won't that be worth while ? Who but a musk rat would ever have thought of that?”
Plunge ! and down he goes, and begins to dig. All night and all the next day he toiled, when he opened a little hole through the bank. The water followed him, which in vain he tried to kick back with his feet. Dig, dig, a little more! There, pop he goes through! and rush, rush comes the water, tearing, ripping, foaming after him. It whirls, and surges, and rushes, and sweeps the poor musk rat away, jams him between two rails of the fence, where he lies dead ! Rush, rush! the bank gives away, the water all runs out, and hundreds of boats are left in the mud at the bottom of the canal. All in a few hours !
Now for some of the results. The wise, lazy, and vain rat lost his life. Then there was a loss of
property because of the delay in repairing the breach, a loss of some hundreds of pounds,
There were hundreds of barrels of apples and fruit lost by decay. There were ships at the wharves waiting for the flour, mills waiting for the grain, carpenters waiting for the wood, soldiers waiting for the horses, and