Stirring Up A Hornets’ Nest
We had been in position for 30 minutes, firing our BB guns at the hornets’ nest.
It wasn’t just any hornets’ nest – it was the mother of all hornets’ nests! Our BBs seemed to have no effect. We shifted our strategy to the base where it hung in the tree but we were just too far. Granted, it was a safe position when calculating how far the hornets were seen buzzing around the nest. However, we needed to get closer since our target went from a huge gray mass to the base where it clung to the tree branch.
Some of us dressed in green camouflage, others in white tee shirts, blue jeans and ball caps. We low crawled through the waist-high, light brown brush of the open field and found a new position much closer.
It was close enough to put the sling-shot into action with more accuracy.
“Wow! Nice shot!” was the consensus as the hole was visible and the flurry of hornets thickened.
Twenty minutes later, several holes torn into the nest, we realized this could take all day to bring it down. We needed a bolder plan.
“Manny, run up closer and throw this at it.”
“Screw you!” was the reply.
“C’mon, man,” the peer pressure poured on until Manny, the youngest of our group, went home.
Down a man, we re-examined the pecking order.
“Don’t look at me, you go,” Jacob said to Kyle.
“Heck no,” said Kyle.
“Wussies!” I yelled as I sprinted in an arch pattern at the nest with a chunk of shale and whipped it like I was skipping a rock. It missed.
“Crap, I think I got stung,” I said when my adrenaline level came back down as I returned to our position.
Like a dam giving way, the throbbing-stinging pain spread across my left hand. I tucked it into my gut, bending over.
“Who’s the wussie now,” said Eddie.
Jacob and Kyle laughed.
Meanwhile, I had spotted what looked to be a section of telephone pole on my loop back. We low crawled to it. Weird as it was, indeed, a small cut section of a telephone pole lay in the brush. It was the perfect size to get two of us on each side and have room to spare. Plus, it was light enough to …
“Ahh, this’ll be awesome!”
“Did you fall and crack your head or something,” they replied.
But when I really wanted to be persuasive, I could usually bring my friends around to doing the most stupid of stunts.
So there we were, rushing at a mega hornets’ nest with what can only be described as a battering ram. We hit it solid, launching it straight into the ground where all hell broke loose.
We scattered, running for our lives, running for our homes – more to the point, our moms – screaming bloody murder the entire way.
At first, I was okay, running through the field. I laughed heartily seeing Jacob fall, get up and cry his eyes out he was getting stung so badly. Just when I thought I might have escaped unscathed, it felt like I was sprayed by tiny, potent bullets from a machine gun. From my fingers waving frantically in the air, across my outstretched arms to my head, neck and shoulders, even down my back, butt and legs, I went from thinking this prank was hysterical to being hysterical.
I stumbled through my back gate, crying like there was no tomorrow.
By Rocco Satullo, author of a memoir and novel