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Some Crawling Leaves

Some Crawling Leaves image
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When Australia was lirst iliscovcrod by the English, as niany strango stories woro told about the wonderful things to bc found there as we used to hear in the early days of California. Among other things it was said that the leaves of a certain tree had a habit of descending from their proper place and walking along the ground. A party of English sailors had left their ship to roam along the coast and 'see whatthey could seo." They wero resting under a tree. lying on their backs probably, and naturally gazing upward, wheu a sudden breeze shook down a mimber of leave.s, whieh turned somersaults in the air, aftcr the manner of leaves generally, :vnd then fioated to the ground. The sailors were surprised at this shower, because it was not the fall of the year, but midsummer, and these falling leaves looked fresh and green. It was sirange to see leaves deserting the tree without any sort of reason; but this was nothing to what followed. After a short rest these able-bodied leaves began crawling along on tho ground toward the trunk ot the tree from which tliey came, and the amazed ailors started up in terror. They probnbly knew from experienco that peole who came in contact with the ground nay also expect to come in contact with various crawling insects, but walking eaves were somethiner altogether out of the common way; and they took to heir heels at once, and lost no linie in gettiug on board the vessel. The land was certainly bewitched, and one of the men said, in relating their adventure, ,hat he expectedevery minute to sec the trees step out and dance a regular jig. Fortunately this singular phenomenon has been fully explained by later ;ravelers who were not too much frightened to stop and examine the matter. It was discovered that these queer leaves are really insects that live upon the trees, and are of the same color as the foliage. They havevery thin.flatbodies, and their wings are like largo leaves. Wlien anything disturbs them like a breeze, for instance- they fold their iegs away under their bodies, and Uien the leaf-liko shapo, with stem and all, is complet. Not only are they of a bright groen in summer, like the foliage of the trees at that timo, but they actually chango when the leaves do to the dull browu produced by frost. Auother peculiarity of these leaf-inseets is that, although they have a generous supply of wings, they seldom use them, but when they have been shaken to the groiind, after lyiug there for a few minutes as if they were really leaves, they crawl toward the tree, and ascend the trunk without seeming to know that thoy havo tho power of getting back to their quarters in a much quicker and easier way.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News