Footpath in April lies the Mole
Too Long; Didn't ReadBeside the footpath in April lies the Mole, disembowelled by the peasant's spade; at the foot of the hedge the pitiless urchin has stoned to death the Lizard, who was about to don his green, pearl-embellished costume. The passer-by has thought it a meritorious deed to crush beneath his heel the chance-met Adder; and a gust of wind has thrown a tiny unfledged bird from its nest. What will become of these little bodies and so many other pitiful remnants of life? They will not long offend our sense of sight and smell. The sanitary officers of the fields are legion.
An eager freebooter, ready for any task, the Ant is the first to come hastening and begin, particle by particle, to dissect the corpse. Soon the odour attracts the Fly, the genitrix of the odious maggot. At the same time, the flattened Silpha,1 the glistening, slow-trotting Cellar-beetle, the Dermestes,2 powdered with snow upon the abdomen, and the slender Staphylinus,3 all, whence coming no one knows, hurry hither in squads, with never-wearied zeal, investigating, probing and draining the infection.