Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

“And oranges, cactuses, crystals and mud?” #wasps

The title of this post is a quote from “A Passage to India” where a questioner is asking a missionary who can be included in the Kingdom of God. These last four suggestions are flippant additions to the argument which has worked it way through all types of humans, animals and insects, including wasps.

Wasps are symbolic in the rest of the novel, therefore of inclusion.

Having put you off with my literary introduction… to my tale.

It was 6.30am and I got up, as I do, to make my porridge. Porridge eaten, I went back up stairs, and could hear a very loud buzzing sound, exactly as if a neighbour was cutting their grass.

I thought to myself, what on earth can that be? It is still dark outside. It is January. The ground is frozen and covered with snow. Why would anyone be hedge trimming at this hour?

Then I saw it.

A huge wasp.



It was flying between the open attic hatch and a pair of very bright bulbs. While , hoping against hope that I wouldn’t induce a migraine by having looked at the lightbulb directly, I retreated to my bedroom to plan my attack.

In my guise as a stealth ninja, wielding a plastic folder, I stepped back out into the blinding light of the hallway.


No wasp.

Of course. It was January. There would be no wasps. Was I hallucinating?

After a moment of self doubt and a self rebuke, assuming that hallucinating was a result of watching too much [H]ouse, where hallucinating is the norm, I was, in some sense relieved when the wasp emerged from behind a painting and resumed its shuttle between light bulbs.

My ninja moves were less successful than I hoped. Quite a lot of thudding, yelping and flapping of the folder.

Eventually, the wasp made the wrong decision and landed on the carpet and I mashed it mercilessly to a buzzy pulp with my folder, scooped it up and flushed it down the toilet.


And then, I was catapulted back to “A Passage to India” where I am found wanting, in comparison to the very inclusive Mrs Moore:

“Going to hang her cloak, she found the tip of the peg was occupied by a small wasp. … There he clung, asleep, while jackals in the plain bayed their desires and mingled with the percussion of drums. “Pretty dear,” said Mrs Moore to the wasp. He did not wake, but her voice floated out, to swell the night’s uneasiness”

The morning I was having was certainly marked with uneasiness. Was I about to have a whole nest’s worth of company making a wasp line out of the attic in revenge?

I sought advice from facebook and did a little internet research and was soon given reason to relax.

The collective wisdom of the internet seems to be that the wasp would have been a lone queen. Hiding in the attic for the winter, she had become confused when our uncharacteristically high heating coincided with a wee thaw, thus pushing the temperature into an ape of an early spring. This combined with the bright lights near the attic catch meant that the queen went forth to multiply, only to be met with the folder ninja.

So she will never build her nest.

For which I feel a bit bad and also very happy.

As for oranges, cactuses, crystals and mud?

Very welcome.


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6 thoughts on ““And oranges, cactuses, crystals and mud?” #wasps

  1. I think you to be very brave; if I had been there I would have served as your back up ninja. 🙂

  2. A similar thing happened to me last year – with a GARGANTUAN wasp. My ninja skills were similar, but I employed some insect killer spray in addition to weilding a rolled up magazine, so perhaps I am not quite on the same level as you! I didn’t do the research, so am interested to learn that it might have been a queen. I’m pleased to think that I have done society a bit of a service by dispatching her and preventing a whole lot more wasps appearing. 🙂

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