Readers Cast

HI - (fiction)

Neil M. Travis - May 09, 2011

“Hi, I’m a caddis larva. Pardon me if I can’t talk right now but I just hatched out of this gelatinous egg mass that my mother placed under this rock just a few days ago. The water is really racing through here and I have to get myself attach to something or I’m going to be washed away.”

“Welcome back. I feel a bit more secure now that I’ve been able to make a nice little case out of some pieces of plant that I gathered under the rocks. By the way I don’t believe that we were formally introduced. I’m a caddis larva, Brachycentrus occidentalis to be exact. I belong to a big family of caddisflies called Grannoms. I even have relatives in Europe. Around here we are called Mother’s Day Caddis. I’m not certain what that means. Exactly what is Mother’s Day?”

“I am living just below a heavy riffle in the Yellowstone River in Montana. I live in a square case that I constructed myself from small pieces of plants and some small pieces of stick. I have attached myself to a rock with some silk and when I’m ready to move I can drift downstream by releasing some of the silk until I find another place to live. Pardon me while I get something to eat.”

“There are certainly lots of us here but there are lots of tasty algae growing on these rocks. I understand that it makes the rocks really slippery but it provides good food for me and my brothers and sisters. Occasionally a fish comes poking around in the rocks and I just pull myself back inside my case and wait until they leave. When I move from one place to another on my silk line I normally do it when it’s dark so that I can avoid those fish. I understand that they will eat me if they get a chance.”

“Hey, it’s been a long time since I saw you last. Yep, I’ve grown up and so far I have been able to avoid being eaten by those fish. It was a good summer and I feel a bit strange, like I need to take a nap. I think I will just seal myself in my case and take a good long nap.”

“Wow that was some nap. Somehow I feel different. Yikes, I don’t even look like I did when I fell asleep. Metamorphosis is a remarkable process. Now I have wings and long legs all wrapped up in this silk sleeping bag. I want out of here!”

“Now I’m out of my silk cocoon I’ve got to swim upward toward the light. The current is sure strong and there are lots of others just like me swimming up toward the light. Where did they come from?”

“Look out; I almost got eaten by that fish!”

“Well, I made it to the light and I’m floating along on the surface of the water. Whoa, what was that? I think it’s those fish so I better see if these wings really work.”

“They work, and I’m flying. The air is sure crowded and I have to watch out or I will collide with someone. I think I’ll head for those objects along the edge of the stream. It looks like that’s where everyone is headed.”

“Well it’s been a hectic few days here in the bushes. I got lucky with a few of the ladies and I think I will fly out and see if I can find another one.”

As he attempted to fly out of the bushes a gust of wind flipped him over and he hit the water with a small splat. ----- Splash, and he was gone. A small rainbow slipped back behind a rock and swallowed another small caddis fly.

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