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About The Wasp

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A majorily think nnklmlly of the wasp. Tbcy cannot forget its sting. The prejadioe is not an admirable one, i as sonie prejudiees are; race prejudice, : for instance, which is the niaking ol nations. But not this one against wasps. For it is rcally only a protest against a vigorous personality, against the assertion of individual power. In the human species there are wasps - strong-ilighted raen, wbom most fear, and niany, out of our weakness, hate, for their robustness of mina and their intellectual aggressivencss. Such do not work in wax, nor store honey. Yet the workmanship of bees, as compared witu that of wasps, is tlie workmanship of blind mutes imitatino; a pattern by touch of fingers as comparecí with that of nncripplud and independent intellect. The life history of the wasp, too, is far ruoiu worthy of self tlian the hive folk. Sting? Of course they do, if necesslty anses, and often, gruteful to Providcncis for the weapon, they inake the necessity for themselves. Ouglit they to keep their talents wrapped in napkins? No one likes bees better tlian I do. I have kept hives. But, aftcr all, they are not the cattle and poultry of the insects? They are the shcep, while the wasps are the wild deer. The one represents routine, the other oue protests against routine. What poetiy is there in the livcs of bees as corn pared with that of wasps? - in tho tame citizenship of the artificial hive, the machinemade honey comb, as compared with the romance of tho woodland cotubmaker? lioth b.'O and wasp need honoy; but the latter, when he luis not the leisure (or the will) to g:vther it for itsolf, goes after the formcr. "What, ho, there!" it cries. "Yon tnmibling fellow, in your jerkin of wooly brown, stand and deliver!"- and the bee does. A pirate of tho air? a highwayman of skyey roads and hoaths? No, no; not at all. This is the way of courageous genius, that knows how to take the bricks whieh the diligent moohanical student has been piling ur into regular heaps in his brick-yard, and to build beautiful houses with them. Left alone, they would have buen piles of bricks, and nothing more, forever and a day. But a better man comes along and bravely possesses himself of them. "You can go and rummage for more," he says to the toiler aniony; the clay; that is your life-work- to make brioks. Mine is to bu ld with the bricka whieh you make." Of course, the bee buzzos and says: "You musn't; you really ought not. I want the honey myslel to lili a cell with." The wasp replcs: "Deliver, or you are a dead bee." Or suppose they argue more calmly: "What are you doinir?" demande th wasp, ' Going home with my honeybag," replies the othcr. "What for?" 'To fill a cell with." "Wel), whal then? When the cell is filled what shall you do?" "Shut it up and begin another," is the reply. "And then?" "Fill that up, loo, and begin another." Imagine the generous furyof th-j wasp! "Oh, thou inutton-headed 11 . ! And is that the end of life - to fill colls with honey and eat none? To sweat all the summer through and have no harvost of your toií? O thou grossone! Thou honey-grubber! Thou ruiser of honeybags! Perpetually iilling for olhers to void - and without the wit to see that thou art the sport of spendMirifts. Out of this! Give up your honey, or, odd zooks! this rapier at the end of rnc shall rid the world of a numskulï vaviet" But, like the sturdy good citizen that he is, the bee often refuses to surrender, and then woe to tam, th poor honest fellow in his fustian coat. For my gentleman whips oi'.t his bodkin, and thtirc is an end of the boe. In short, there is a great deal to say about the wasp, and in its iavor. lts soldierly ways, so "smart" and alert - the lancer in the field, a gladiator at need. When they go abroad it is with m litary motions- scouliug, skirmishing, foraging, fighting. And the nest is a citadel. There is no "bumbüng" variety of the waop, no "bumble" wasp. They make very little fuss about what they do. Yet sometimes, when they go bj-, there is slung past your car a sound like a rille-bullet; not like the bees of "a full content," but an eager racing voice that has an objective point before it Thus they keep life froni getting stagnant. Many insects would go to sleep altogether if it were not for the wasps, who are forever reconnoitering other people's premises. Just as nature keeps a hawk hung up in the air to ttach the groundlings that 'life is not all beer and skittles," so she always has a wasp on hand to repress the idea of perpetual gayety atuong insects. It is the falcon of the dlpterous folk. So, too, when it is not at work, there is a delightful idleness about tho wasp; a thorough completo vacaney which is enough to send a honey-bee mad to soe. But for niyself I hold perpetual labor in abominotion, and believe my haircd


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Ann Arbor Democrat