Little Six Legs by Sheila Buchanan Buell-Chapter 3 Dragonfly

Busy Finds a Cousin in the Pond

       The children follow Busy down to the pond.  They just had to take three steps and they were there.  But it took Little Busy Black Ant quite a while to crawl over all the sticks and leaves that were in her path.  At last, she got to the pond.  Busy looked down by the water.  What could that animal be crawling out of the water?  It crawled on six legs.  How ugly it looked!  Busy Black Ant was afraid.

       “I am a nymph, but I do not hurt ants.  I am a dragonfly nymph,” said the animal.

       “Where did you come from?” asked Busy.

       “I hatched out of an egg my mother laid in the water.  I was living in the mud at the bottom of the pond.  I am not going to live there anymore.  I am going to be a grown dragonfly,” answered the nymph.

       “How can an ugly insect like you turn into a pretty dragonfly?” laughed Busy Black Ant.

       “Just watch me!  You will soon see,” answered the nymph. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, up a cattail he hurried.  Then he was very still in the warm sun.  All of a sudden, snap! Crack! Crack! Went the skin down the middle of the nymph’s back.  Out came a wet looking animal.

       Soon it was dry.  Busy could now see that it was a very pretty dragonfly.  Busy saw too that it had six legs so she knew the dragonfly was her cousin.

       “See how I get to be a grown-up dragonfly! Now I will fly over the pond and eat mosquitoes and flies and lay more eggs in the water to hatch into dragonfly nymphs,” said the dragonfly.

       “That was very weird”, said Cathleen.  “We got a big surprise seeing that ugly nymph turn into a beautiful dragonfly.  I did not know that some insects live in the water when they are babies.

       “I wonder how an egg laid by the dragonfly hatches into a nymph,” said Marjorie.

       “When a chicken hatches out of an egg it breaks the eggshell and comes out.  I think that is the way that the dragonfly nymph comes out of the egg too.  It grows and grows in the egg and when it gets too big to stay in the egg it hatches out,” said Bruce.

       “Yes”, said Cathleen, “I think all eggs hatch out like that.”

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