The still, muddy water glistened with oil. There were no signs of any
life as Prabhu stood by the side of the narrow canal and squinted hard,
anxiously searching the depths of the murky pool. But the slick surface
made it hard for him to see anything beneath the surface.
Fear crossed the eight-year-old’s face. If he couldn’t find what he was
looking for, there would be no meal tonight.
Prabhu and the Prawns [Illustration by Anup Singh] Prabhu is a shrimp seed collector....
Everywhere in Nature the small, weak and apparently helpless manage to survive by parasitism — sponging off hosts who may in their turn protect and help these hangers-on. Worms, ticks, fleas and various kinds of bacteria are common examples. But there are more spectacular cases among fish and other sea creatures.
On riverbeds, a species of fresh water clam tosses her young at passing fish to attach themselves with hooks. The host carries them about, nourishing them until they are adult enough to let go, settle as the bottom, and start another lifecycle....
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