Kicking the Hornet’s Nest

Let me tell you what happened this weekend at my house.

No, not the part where I threw out my wrist from child wrangling. The other part.

But first, you have to know something about my husband. More specifically, you have to know that he is an engineer. And you need to know that he is a sweet, patient, soft-spoken man with a live-and-let-live attitude. For instance! I rant and rave against the neighborhood cats who constantly use our yard as a litter box… but he is the one who shovels, without complaint, the poop out of the yard so that the kids can play.

So, he is a very patient man!

Anyway, on Saturday, he tries to do one big project that usually involves heavy machinery. This week, he decided to chip the woodpile in our yard that had gotten pretty unwieldy. So, I heard him chipping up wood for a while.

Suddenly, the chipper stopped.

Then, he came inside, looking murderous and very much unlike his cool, collected usual self.

“Some bees stung me.”

“Bees?” I asked, confused. The bees are pretty friendly around here, so I was confused.

“Yellow jackets,” he clarified. “I found their nest in the woodpile.”

“Oh…” I wasn’t sure what to say. “How many bit you?”

“Two.” He showed me the bite mark on his chest and I winced. “The other one’s on my leg.”

“Would you like me to put something on it?”

“No. I just wanted to tell you.”

And then he went back outside.

There was a long period of quiet, so finally I went outside with the kids — hesitantly at first, because of the fear of yellow jackets. But, the threat seemed over, especially since my husband was sipping a beer and looking at… a strange contraption that he obviously just rigged up.

Let me tell you about this contraption.

It was basically a modified shop vac. The hose was attached to the steel rake by nylon rope and the mouth of the hose was positioned near the remains of the wood pile, which has almost been completely chipped. Then the shop vac. Because of the tilt of the sunlight, you could see inside of it. And inside, I saw the shadow of sloshing water… along with the silhouette of a yellow jacket that appeared just briefly.

“Um… how is everything?” I asked, holding the baby close as the older children rushed off to their trikes.

“Good.” He took another sip of beer and pointed to his contraption. “It’s oddly satisfying to watch them get sucked up.”

At that moment, I saw a yellow jacket hovering near the remains of the wood pile. As it got closer to the vacuum hose, it whooshed up into the hose and disappeared.

“It’s right near their nest, so if they try to come out, they get sucked up,” he explained.

“And they can’t escape, so when they get tired, they fall in the water?”

“Yep.” He takes another sip of beer.

I looked again at this contraption with wonder. “So, instead of going to the store buying pesticide, like a normal person, you created this machine?” I said, incredulously.


I laughed. “You’re such an engineer! Remind me not to get on your bad side.”

And so we sat in the shade, watching yellow jackets get sucked in, which was, as he had said, oddly satisfying to watch.

Well! That might be the end of the story, but this is a religious blog full of beautiful religious artwork, so of course we have to tie it back to God! Or, maybe God ties it back to Him… either way! At bedtime, we usually read the daily scriptures of daily mass. Because, while my husband and I don’t really want to take our little ones to daily mass, we do like a good dose of scripture… even if most days, our little ones are playing very loudly through scripture.

The scripture of the day?

504 Gateway Time-out


A beautiful scripture for most days! In fact, there are many sacred images of the Christ child holding a bird for this very reason… like this one I featured a while back.

But that day? My husband read that and groaned. “Of course. God can count every yellow jacket that I’ve killed.”

So, like a good wife, I was ready with a quick response:

“Don’t worry,” I reassured him. “Even Jesus cursed a fig tree when it angered Him.”

The Accursed Fig Tree, by James Tissot, c. 1886-94. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States. Via
The Accursed Fig Tree, by James Tissot, c. 1886-94. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.

Anyway, the hornet’s nest has been demolished using absolutely no pesticides, my toddlers can play in the backyard without being attacked, and life is good!

…how are you?

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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