All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things bright and beautiful
The Lord God made them all.
So goes the traditional hymn I recall being belted out on the church organ so many times during my childhood. It was normally reserved for harvest time when each pew would be adorned with fresh farm produce; fruit, vegetables, all manner of breads. The aroma mingled with that of the various garlands of flowers so lovingly arranged by the ladies of the church.
God teaches us to love all of his creations.
Except wasps that is!
I hate wasps! The evil, nasty black and yellow beasties which are currently laying siege to our house. It’s the time of year where they seem to be everywhere. You open a window the tiniest crack and they are queuing up to enter, squadrons of them easterly awaiting to ruin your morning by buzzing around the kitchen looking for a fight. Their sole purpose in life appears to be to sting you. And that hurts.
A wasp stung me on the stomach a couple of years ago when I dared to disturb it when removing chairs from a storeroom in the village hall. And, flip me, but it hurt. The common remedy in these parts for a wasp sting is to rub vinegar on the afflicted area. This works to a degree but leaves you stinking like a fish supper for the remainder of the day, a social leper to be avoided at all costs. There is nothing good to say about a wasps.
Just look at bees. Yes, they sting as well, but they don’t have anywhere near the malicious intent of their vicious cousins. They also serve a useful purpose in the cycle of life, making honey and pollinating flowers. They work hard, have an incredibly ordered social structure and are ruled by a queen who effortlessly runs the whole show from her cosy hive. Yet, everyone talks about killer bees and wasps never get a mention. Why the bad press?
While conducting painstaking research for this post….er…Wikipedia….all my initial thoughts regarding bees were confirmed. I typed ‘wasp’ into the search engine with low expectations. The highlight of my relationship with the creature was when my sister sat on one as a child. Her screams could be heard several miles away. It is now the stuff of family legend and never fails to amuse me. I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing this with you all.
But, wait, what’s this? Wasps also cross pollinate plants and flowers? And without wasps predatory instincts, our planet would be awash with all kinds of creepy crawlies laying waste to our crops? Some countries even farm wasps to police this ravenous insect population. They are the state troopers of the microscopic world. Without wasps the earth could be wracked with pestilence, famine and war.
My gob was well and truly smacked at this news, my flabber more ghasted than ever before. Wasps are friends of mankind, a tiny but vital link in the ecological chain. We need them as much as we need cows and fish and every other creature that walks, swims or flies the earth. They say God works in mysterious ways and if that’s certainly the case when it comes to these stripey, flying psychopaths.
It’s hard, I know, but we need to see the good in everyone, even those who make us roll our eyes and mutter under our breaths. Who are we do judge? Who am I to? If I can get it so wrong about the humble wasp then what’s to say I’ve got it hopelessly awry about my annoying neighbour or crazy work colleague. We can still love one another even if we don’t particularly like one another.
Now let’s hope President Trump never gets stung by a wasp live on air. Although it would be funny….