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5. “But what do the flies eat'?” asked Willie. “Do they eat other little insects, not so big as the flies' ?" 6. “No. The common house-fly, and some oth
er kinds, have no mouths for eatingonly a little tube through which they suck up their food, after first moistening it. Thus they eat sugar, after dissoly. ing it with their saliva.
7. “But, although the flies are sometimes very troublesome, they are useful in more ways than one. trid meats and rotten vegetables are found, there the flies swarm in immense numbers in the warm days of summer, and by feeding on these sub
stances they do much to remove the causes of disease."
8. Just then Minnie came in from the garden with a bowl of currants which she had picked for tea. Taking up a stem of the currants on which was a little red-coated and turtle - shaped insect,
Willie remarkeds that he had seen a great many of them before, but he did not know their names.
9. “This'," said Uncle John,“is a kind of beetle', called a lady-bird'. And it comes just in the right time to teach us another lesson about the usefulness of insects.”
10. “But, Uncle John', are these little bugs good for any thing'? Do they do any good' ?" asked Willie.
11. “I don't like to hear them called bugs," said Uncle John. “The lady-birds do not belong to the race of bugs', but to a much more respectable family. They are beetles', and are to be classed with the beetles' and the weevils', although these latter, I confess, sometimes do a great deal of damage.
12. “But what are the lady-birds good for'?" asked Willie. “That's what puzzles me.
Don't they eat the currants', and other kinds of fruit', and the squash vines', and the pumpkin vines', where I have seen so many of them' ?"
13. “Not at all, not at all," said Uncle John. “Both the lady-birds, and the little grubs which produce them, feed wholly on the plant-lice which destroy so many of our garden plants and vines. And if the gardener would keep an army of these lady-birds', the garden would be all the better for it. They are also a very simple and sure remedy against the plant-lice which are sometimes so de. structive to the plants in green-houses.”
14. “This is all new to me!," said Minnie; “ and the next time these little lady-birds get on my
hands' or dress', I shall not think them so very ugly after all'. I do think their colored wingssome red, and some yellow—are really beautiful.”
15. “Are there many other insects that are as useful as the lady-birds, and the flies' ?” asked Willie.
16. “What do you think of the bees, that make the honey you like so well\?" asked Uncle John.
17. “Yes, Willie'," said Minnie,“ we are to have some honey for tea. I think the bee is much more useful than the lady-bird.”
18. “And I remember,” said Willie,“ that in the third chapter of Matthew, which we had for our Bible lesson last Sunday, it is said of John the Baptist, ‘his meat was locusts and wild honey.' But is the locust, as well as the honey, really good food, Uncle John' ?''
19. “I suppose the locust mentioned in Matthew was a kind of grasshopper," said Uncle John, " which is still found in immense numbers in some Eastern countries, and is used there as a common article of food."
20. “Are there any other useful insects' ?" asked Willie.
“ What do you think of the silk-worm, which makes all the silk that is used in silk dresses, and shawls, and gloves, and many other articles'? Is the silk-worm of any use' ?"
21. “But is the silk-worm an insect' ” asked Willie. “I did not know that worms were called insects."
22. “The silk-worm," said Uncle John, “is a
caterpillar', which, after spinning its silk', and winding itself
in a little mass of it, called a cocoon', comes out a butterfly, or moth."
23. “I suppose just like the common caterpillar which you told us about,” said Willie.
“But is all the silk in Silk-worm, Cocoon, Moth, and Moth’s Eggs. the world made by such little worms' ???
24. “Yes, all of it. But how many elegant ladies do you suppose ever reflected that their most costly and most beautiful articles of dress are furnished by a mere worm— by a common caterpil. lar!!”
25. “But are there many other useful insects' ?” asked Willie.
“I suppose all insects have their uses,” said Uncle John," and that our heavenly Father made all of them for wise purposes. But where do you suppose we get the red, and crimson, and scarlet col. ors, for coloring many of our silk and cotton goods'?"
26. “I'm sure I don't know!,” said Willie. But Minnie said that Aunt Mary bought some coch'-ineal' at the drug-store, a few days ago, to color a shawl; but what the coch'-i-neal was made of, she did not know!
27. “The coch'-i-nēal",” said Uncle John,“which
was long thought to be the seeds of a plant, is a very small red insect, that is obtained in great numbers in Mexico', and in some of the warm countries of South America. It is found feeding on the cactus plant. If you should moisten some of the dry coch'-i-nēal in vinegar', you might perhaps see the ringlets of the insect's body, and also its little feet.
28. “But here I can show you a picture of the cactus plant on which the coch'-i-néal feeds, and also a picture of two of the insects, although both are here made much larger than they are in nature. The male insect is seen on the left, and the female on the right.
It is the female insect-uglylooking as it is here—which is so much prized"
for the beauty of its color.”
29. “How strangel?" said Lucy. “I wonder how many people know that coch'-i-nēal is only a dried insect'! Poor little creatures! I wonder how many of you it would take to weigh a pound !”
a RE-FLECT'-ING, thinking; considering. h Dam'-AGE, injury. + THRIVE, grow fat.
REM'-E-DY, cure. • OR’-DI-NA-RY, usual; customary.
RE-FLECT'-ED, considered. SA-LI'-VA, spittle.
k FUR'-NISHED), supplied. • Pu'-TRID, decaying; rotten.
I Pronounced kötch'-in-cēl. i IM-MENSE', very great.
PRIZED, valued. & RE-MARK'ED, said.
[LESSON LXV. explains some of the uses of insects. What is said of spiders; of caterpillars, grasshoppers, fies, etc.
How Alies eat sugar. One of the important uses of fies. What is said of the lady-birds—what they eat, etc. Bees and locusts. The silk-worm. Cochineal.]