I very hesitantly unlocked the door. Pushed it open. Took a deep breath. Stepped outside. And looked up.
I mean you no harm, I told the wasps.
And I left the house.
For the last few months I’ve lived side by side with a nest of wasps. They’ve done their thing, I’ve done mine and it’s been okay. I sit in my garden, they gently buzz, I’ve learned not to be scared of them.
But for some reason they moved to my front door. And built a new nest right above it. And there weren’t just a few wasps, there were about a hundred.
I disturbed them each time I went in and out. I was scared. They were probably scared too.
I got advice.
Wear a thick jacket so you don’t get stung. Take a broom, set it on fire, hold it up and smoke them out.
I was never going to do that. Mostly because I was really scared I would set the entire neighbourhood on fire, but also because I didn’t want to smoke them out.
I didn’t want to kill them.
I called Gus. Professional wasp remover. I told him there was some urgency, like me never getting back into my house; he promised to come at lunchtime.
I went off to work (drink coffee, eat cake) and came home in time to let Gus in.
There was no sign of him.
But there was a bloodbath.
Hundreds of dead wasps littered the porch.
The wasp guy came before I got home. And without asking, without talking to me, he wiped them out.
BOOM BANG WITH I’M GUESSING A HUGE EXTINGUISHER POISON CHEMICAL THING.
I had to step over them to reach my door. And it was very bloody horrible.
I mean you no harm, I’d said.
And then I’d had them obliterated.
I had thought, like with bees, people relocated wasps. Clearly not.
I feel terrible.
The world we live in is fragile. It’s a big mess and we need to take a whole lot more care of it.
I didn’t take care of the wasps.
Gus didn’t either, and I am very sorry I called him.
I still don’t know what the alternative was. Maybe there wasn’t one.
But now I have another crisis. There’s a lizard in my bathtub. It must’ve come in through the window. It’s enormous and it’s beautiful and it’s many sparkling colours.
I really want to have a bath and I don’t know how to get it out.
I do not want to share my bath with a lizard.
But there’s no way I’m calling Gus…