Friday, April 24, 2009

Wendy Vs. The Hornet

One of the first things hubby had to do when we moved in was to get rid of the hornets that had nested in the eaves above the front porch. Not exactly an easy trick, considering that the overhang stretches the length of the house but the second floor balcony doesn't. Nonetheless, my hands-on man got the job done in good fashion.

Or so I thought.

Last night the kids and I were hanging out in my room getting ready to wind down and call it a night when my teenager suddenly scrambled backwards on my bed in fright.
"What's the matter?"
"I just saw the biggest bug I've ever seen in my life!"
"Where?"
"Right there."
"Where??"
"Right there!"

I scanned the area she indicated but still didn't see anything, when my pre-teen suddenly leapt backwards, too.
"Oh my gosh, that IS the biggest bug I've ever seen in my life!"
"Where?"
"Right there!"

And finally I spotted it. Perched pretty as you please on top of a plastic bag that was sticking out of an unpacked box was THE biggest hornet I've ever seen in MY life. I kid you not, it was easily four or five inches long and as big around as my index finger. EWWWW!!!!!!

Now, I've seen the damage a hornet can do. I witnessed my sister fall victim to hornet stings when we were kids and it's not something I ever want any of my children to experience. If they hadn't been in the room, I probably would've lost it, but since they were I knew I had to stay cool for their sakes. Calmly, I directed one big girl to take the babies out of the room and the other to scoot downstairs quick and grab me a plastic bag.

And then, it was gut-check time.

See, I knew that if I went after it with my shoe, I was going to have a very painful night. It just wouldn't have worked. So, the only thing I could think to do was to try bagging it, taking it outside and beating the living daylights out of it.

Warily, I edged my way towards the hideous creature. Sure, I was about seventy-five times bigger than it, but 1) I was scared and it wasn't, 2) I understood the concept of how much pain it could give me and it didn't, and 3) it could fly and I can't. I knew I had one shot to get it, but what would be the best approach? If I come from behind, the overhead light is casting my shadow over it...would it be able to tell something was approaching? If I come from the front or the side, I'm in its line of vision...would it zoom upwards at the first flinch from me? Do hornets even have much line of vision?

And that's when I realized...I was overthinking it. Was I going to stand there paralyzed for the next twenty minutes because I was afraid that a stupid hornet would spring backwards like a kung fu master sensing danger from behind the moment I went to make a move for it? I don't think so.

So, I stepped in and bagged it. I took it downstairs, went out on the front porch and beat the living daylights out of it. Then I peeked in the bag to make sure it was dead. Then I beat it some more.

Before we moved here, I used to worry that I don't have what it takes to be a farmer's wife. Patient as he is, my dear husband would listen as I confided my fears of failing, only to reassure me that it would all be a learning process and he had no doubts that I could handle it. This morning when I told him about my showdown with the mutant, and thoroughly impressed him with the fact that I bagged a live hornet, he smiled and said, "Sweetheart, you're gonna do just fine."

I'm starting to think so, too.

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