The Waterbabies: Chapter 4.
Tom went up and up until there was nowhere left to go but down. He had reached the mountain top - so Tom went down. At first he went down three hundred feet of steep heather, mixed up with loose brown grit stone, as rough as a file; which was not pleasant to his poor little heels, as he came bump stump down the steep.
Then he went down three hundred feet of limestone terraces, one below the other, as straight as if a carpenter had ruled them with his ruler and then cut them out with his chisel. There was no heath there but: first, a little grass slope, covered with the prettiest flowers, and all sorts of sweet herbs.
Then bump down a two foot step of limestone. Then another bit of grass and flowers for fifty yards as steep as a house roof. Then another step of stone ten feet high and here he had to stop himself, and crawl along the edge to find a crack. At last he got to the bottom and went to the bank of the brook and lay down on the grass, and looked into the clear limestone water, with every pebble at the bottom bright and clean, while the silver trout dashed about in fright at the sight of his black face; and he dipped his hand in and found it so cool cool cool; and he said "I will be a fish; I will swim in the water; I must be clean, I must be clean." So he pulled off his clothes, in such haste that he tore some of them, such ragged old things, and he put his poor hot sore feet into the water; and then his legs; and the farther he went in.
Ah now comes the most wonderful part of this wonderful story. Tom when he woke, for of course he woke, found himself swimming about in a stream, being about four inches long and having round his neck a set of gills just like those of a suckling eft, which he mistook for a lace frill, till he pulled at them, found he hurt himself, and made up his mind that they were part of himself and best left alone.
In fact he had turned into a water baby. But there are no such things as water babies. There are land babies then why not a water baby?