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By Dan Beard

Bait, Live and Dead

All modern naturalists will tell you how long, long ago an adventurous marine worm, little by little, accustomed himself to living out of water, until at length he was able to sustain life on land, so long as there was moisture enough to keep his body moist. His descendants throve in their new home, and multiplied and spread all over the face of the earth, and to-day they may be called land animals, although they still breathe as a leech does, and are still dependent upon water in the form of moisture to support life. In a dry atmosphere and dry earth they die.

All day long these busy worms eat their way through the earth, and grow fat on the food on which they live. With no eyes, they know light from darkness; without noses, they can smell out food buried in the earth; without ears, they bear the approach of an enemy, and every ring and invisible bristle on their slimy bodies is keenly sensitive to the slightest touch.

After a rain in June how the robins laugh to see the angle-worms enjoying the wet grass of the lawns! But, if Mr. Robin expects to catch many, he must be prepared for work, for at the sound of the bird's light foot-fall the angle-worm quickly disappears in his hole. Often the Robin secures a piece of the retreating tail, but that is a matter of little importance to the worm, for there are plenty of tails where that came from, and lie grows himself another.

If you take an earthworm, in your hand and smooth him with your fingers from his tail to his head, you will distinctly feel the invisible bristles, four pair of which grow at each ring of his body. Now, it you stroke the worm from his head to his tail, no resistance will be felt; he is a slippery as an eel. The reason for this is that the bristles point backward, and thus enable him to crawl. For they keep his tail fixed while he is stretching his head forward, and then he holds on with hooked bristles on the forward end of his body while putting his tail up. By repeating this operation the worm manages to crawl on the surface or below ground.







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Bogerts ] Crawfish ] Crickets ] Eels ] Frogs ] Grasshopers ] Grubs ] Katydids ] Lamprey Eels ] Live Minnows ] Mirror Bait ] Miscellaneous ] Skittering ] Squirming Stuff ] Worm Work ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.