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From The suns babies by Edith Howes.
Start of Story
Age Rating 2 to 4.
On the top of the pool floated a dainty raft of mosquito eggs, glued
together by their careful mother to keep them from sinking. In a day
or two tiny wrigglers came out of the eggs, and began to dart about in
every direction to find their food.
They were the queerest little water-babies! Their bodies were long and
jointed, and from every jointed bit little bundles of swimming hairs
stuck out on both sides. They had feelers on their heads, and they
breathed through their tails--of all strange places! When they wanted
a fresh supply of air they stood head downwards in the water, with
tails stuck up to breathe.
How those babies did wriggle about, to be sure! They seemed never to
be still for a moment. They would take in air, then sink to the bottom
of the pool and draw in tinier creatures than themselves with their
mouth hairs, then, having made their meal, wriggle up again to the top.
And every movement was so wonderfully quick! It had to be so, indeed,
for young dragon-flies and water-spiders and many other enemies were
always waiting to swallow them if the chance came.
After a few days the wrigglers changed their shapes in the strangest
ways. Funny round shields grew over their heads, and two little tubes
grew up from the top of each shield. These tubes stood above the water
when the babies were at the top, and now the tail curled round, and was
not used for breathing any more, for the babies breathed through the
two little tubes.
Under the shield the babies were busily making their wings and growing
into mother and father mosquitoes. But though they were so busy, they
did not rest; they moved about almost as much as ever, but now their
heads were so heavy that they tumbled and bobbed up and down instead of
wriggling. So everybody in the pond called them tumblers.
Now came their last days in the pond. One by one they pushed
themselves out of their old skins, and stood on top of them to dry
their wings. Then they left their old home, flying off to the nearest
bushes for their first rest, and from there seeking out their food.
"We want only juices," said the father mosquitoes; "juices of fruit or
sweet green things."
But the mother mosquitoes said: "We want blood. Nothing but blood.
Where is it? Where is it?"
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