Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The wasp in the room

There is nothing nice about wasps. As larvae, they are unspeakably horrible. As adults, their sole purpose for existence is to hurt you.

I was once lying on the grass of my front garden, thoroughly enjoying the summer day, on my blankie with a pitcher of iced tea, a book and my little radio. It was the perfect day.

Lying there, I happened to see a little green caterpillar in the grass, so I just watched it, peacefully chomping its little grass stalk. As I was wondering what kind of butterfly this little fellow would turn into, along came a creature that looked like it had flown straight out of the demonically twisted imagination of HR Giger. I recognised it from my bug books as some kind of ichneumon wasp. And it recognised my little caterpillar friend as exactly what it was looking for.

It was over for the caterpillar in an instant. The horror hovering overhead just reached out its ovipositor and, *ting!*... The caterpillar, not knowing what had just hit it, just flinched a little and continued chomping its leaf. But I knew exactly what had just happened.

Nope, there really is nothing at all to like about wasps.

Someone asked me a while ago why I have become so obsessive about the news, particularly the Church politics news. I think the answer is that I watch Church politics for the same reason one watches a wasp when it has flown into the room. Once you've become aware of its presence, you don't want to take your eyes of it for a second.


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