I'll sneak it up on you, that's what I'll do. That's my cunning plan, anyway.
|Paper wasp nest. Mt Larcom in background.|
My angelic little face and sturdy arm sustained several bursts of fire. "Fire" is a good word for it when you're three and a half and the subject of what I felt was an unprovoked attack by wasps, because that's what a paper-wasp sting feels like. A hot needle,(3) the omnishambles made worse by my frantic attempt to leap away, with barbed wire all around. There were portions of my anatomy I could well have lost on that day, thanks to
(a) the normal practice for little boys in the Queensland tropics to travel commando while
(b) straddling barbed wire while under acute wasp attackand my life might have changed forever. Not to mention my daughters' lives, if indeed they had ever been born.
My mother used to say that Granny, who I thought rather stern, regarded me as an angel who could do no wrong. This, as other stories corroborate, was totally unwarranted, and would sometimes drive Mum near-crazy, because Granny would refuse to let Mum discipline me when she considered that whatever had happened was Mum's fault and not mine. It was pretty near always Mum's fault.
I confess I always tended to Granny's point of view on such matters, but I had no shame. Granny was fairly tyrannical in our household.
She passed away when I was a bit over three and a half, on St Valentine's Day 1951. I missed her, especially when I needed support in a case of alleged mischief on my part.
|How big each wasp looked to me. Don't laugh. You weren't there.|