Wow! I have tons of animal stories going on in my ten stupid things’ list. Were my brain cells on vacation when I was a kid? (No, they are not still on vacation - so keep your snide remarks to yourself.)
Attached to the south side of my parents’ house was the porch. It was a ramshackle piece of foyer that provided access into the attached greenhouse while providing storage space for the second refrigerator. Yes, we had two refrigerators and a chest freezer in the house. We lived on a farm with livestock and not one vegan lived there - so what would you expect?
I called the porch a ramshackle piece because the doorframe had a large hole that allowed a person to see outside while sitting inside. (Yes, I know there is an invention called a window. This was not one.) In this aperture lurked a winged menace living in-between the siding and the wall.
Ugh. You cannot imagine the loathing I had for this insect. I believe it was justified. These winged ones loved to congregate around hay for the livestock. They had stung me too many times whenever I was in the hayloft untying bales.
Well, a nest of them lived in the doorframe space. At my young age, I was not above getting a small stick and poking it into that hole in hope to annoy them enough so they would vacate the residence. And it did not matter how often you spritzed bug spray on them. Because they were back behind the siding, you could never kill all of them off or reach the queen (or is that only with bees who have a queen?) Since my father kept the purse strings tight when it came to home improvement, the wasps had free rein to make their abode on a yearly basis.
So every day I would scavenge the hedgerow for a suitable stick, sit on the ragged indoor/outdoor carpet, and poke at the wasps. Dumb. Dumb. DUMB. When a sentry would come out to see who was causing the commotion, I would scramble into the kitchen and peer through the screen snickering as the wasp would scout the area for the vandal. Once the guard was satisfied that the area was secured and returned to his hidey-hole, I ventured back out and jammed my stick right back into the hole.
Did I mention this was dumb to do? Yeah. Really dumb.
You know what happened next. I know what happened next. The wasp was thrilled over what happened next. I poked and poked, aggravating the nest occupants. But when I tried go through my escape, I rammed my head against the closed and locked kitchen door. My mother was doing some cleaning on the counter. She did not want to get hit in the back with a swinging doorknob if someone suddenly came inside the house.
My safety route blocked, I crawled backward toward the greenhouse as the wasp neared the reckless vandal. I went through the door for freedom. Sort of.
Did I mention that the porch floor was a good three feet off the ground from the greenhouse floor? Yeah, it was.
Did I mention there were two tall cement steps leading down into the greenhouse? Yeah, they were made of cement, which is a very hard substance.
Did you remember that I wrote about crawling backward through the entryway? Yeah, I was not watching where I was going.
My gym teacher in elementary school would have been proud of my tumbling technique down those steps. I laid stretched on my aching backside while glad I had not broken my fool neck. Then I watched the wasp fly inside, land on my leg, and punch his stinger down into my skin.
I must be a glutton for punishment.