Peter —  October 3, 2009

Yesterday I took the children for a nature walk.  They really enjoyed this last week, the weather was good, so we decided to do another.  It also gives Melanie an hour to herself at the end of a long week of homeschooling.  So I took the children to a place where I often go to work in my car.  We began by deciding that a quiet walk would allow us to see and hear more than a typical noisy walk!  They were amazingly quiet, until the end.

First of all we saw two deer about twenty yards away.  That was impressive.  Then we walked along the beautiful woodland path, enjoy the sights and sounds, not least the sun streaming through the trees.  Mariah exclaimed in a loud whisper, “This is the best nature walk ever!”  Two minutes later she exclaimed, “This is the worst nature walk ever!”  Why the change? As we were walking down a slope toward a slightly better worn trail, Aliyah started crying in a panicky sort of way.  I rushed back to her.  “There’s a bee in my hair!”  She cried.  I couldn’t see anything, but she kept crying and thrashing around.  I held her still and started searching.  Then right before my eyes emerged a head, then a body.  It was honestly at least 1.5 inches long and very yellow.  The wing span was huge too.  We later identified it from web pictures as almost certainly a European Hornet.  What a beast!

Unfortunately in its concern at finding an exit from this strange plant, it stung Aliyah on the head above her ear.  Thankfully I don’t think it discharged as much venom as it could have (apparently they bite too).  Obviously Aliyah was in pain and crying, so we headed back to the car.  Back in her seat, with tears on her cheek but not crying quite as much, Aliyah showed one of her top qualities – “I’m glad it stung me and not Mariah.”  She has no idea how deep those words sank into my heart.  A deeply Christ-like quality in a girl of six.  Made me want to give Aliyah another hug.  Made me want to worship Christ!

Thankfully painkillers have done the job and Aliyah was fine a few hours later.  Thankfully the sting of sin was taken and we can be “fine” for eternity.

[Editorial note – It could have been a queen wasp rather than a hornet . . . they look similar.  The length was at least 1.5 inches.  Ah well, ouch either way!]