I recently wrote about my war with the yellow jackets. After they attacked me for daring to blow leaves near their underground lair, I counterattacked. Unsuccessfully and painfully. But several days later, armed with advice from my fellow bloggers, Trudy and I committed full-scale waspicide.
We waited till dark when the entrance was unattended, then sprayed a big dose of bug killer in the hole and dropped a heavy cement paver on top of it. We completed the assault by building a rim of dirt around the newly-installed headstone.
I had mixed emotions. I knew it was necessary, but it also seemed a bit macabre. “Maybe we should say a few last words,” I suggested. My wife punched me in the arm and told me I was too soft-hearted (I suspect she meant “soft-headed”).
The next day, the Great Tomb of the Wasps was haunted by two lone yellow jackets. They’d apparently been on reconnaissance during Waspmageddon, and were the only survivors. They looked so forlorn wandering around the sepulcher. After another two days, I firmly but gently put them out of their (or my?) misery with the sole of my shoe.
Then I said a prayer. Go ahead, laugh. I may indeed be a soft-headed sentimentalist. But I can’t help feeling an innate sense of respect for all Creation, even the so-called “pests”? Could it be some indwelling sense that “all creatures great and small” have a greater role to play in The Grand Scheme than we understand?
Anyway, like a Cheyenne warrior thanking the spirit of the buffalo he’s just slain (too over-the-top?), I spoke words of gratitude and remorse. I long for the day that “the wolf shall lie down with the lamb” and the yellow jackets shall live peaceably with the humans. Or, well, not “with,” but preferably…
In different parts of Paradise.