When I was little I used to run to our local park on rainy days and save earthworms from their inevitable (and possibly very unpleasant) death. I was determined to help as many as I could.
The wriggly pink earthworms were not cute and although fairly useful they were never at the heart of any Save the World and Its Species campaigns.
Recently I got reminded of all that when a friend mentioned a new Polish campaign aimed at saving wasps. Yepp, apparently they are on a slippery path to extinction.
I am not a fan of wasps and frankly a bit allergic to ‘wasp venom’ but…. once upon a time, when I was wee, my friend and I adopted a wasp.
We volunteered in our primary school shop (in those times children were meant to be useful members of the society), mainly because we could roam outside …I mean shop for stock…during school hours.
One autumn afternoon we found a wasp on a windowsill in our shop. It was barely alive so we scraped icing off a batch of doughnuts and fed it every day for a couple of months.
Maybe it was the sugar. Maybe it was a superwasp but our adopted insect was docile and immortal.
When spring arrived we opened the window and it was gone. It was our first lesson in parenting and the art of letting go.
The moral of this story? None really apart from this random thought…
Cute bears are not the only species in need of saving. What about the ugly, the hairless, the slimy, the bad, the toothless, the parasitic sort…? They all must have a purpose in the ecosystem…I guess…although I still need to find out the exact purpose of wasps.
And I hope that Peanut and his children, grandchildren and grandgrandchildren can experience all wonders of nature.
So here is my homage to the tame wasp of my childhood.
It’s a Waspish World
Would the world be different without wasps? Imagine
waking up one day and they are gone.
Would bees celebrate? Would it make any difference?
Would you enjoy a picnic in the park just a little bit more?
No yellow and black stripes to watch out for and no more
venomous crimes in loud headlines:
Vicious Stabbing by Frantic Wasp. Victim’s Tongue Ballooned andGot Squashed!
Wasps are not cute. Or useful. We can’t milk them.
But if you bother to look closer – they have brittle wings.
There they are - with all their waspiness
So would it matter if all wasps were gone?
Would you still get up, go to work and savour your Friday curry? And imagine, one sunny day,
a scone and a pot of jam and familiar buzzing sound
and a thought that stings you in the neck:
Was it a wasp? Having seen any for a while.
Then your life would fly by as usual.
And so would the rest of us.