One of my favorite books is Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane. A key feature of the novel is that the the protagonist is the world’s only living dragonsbane, i.e. someone who has slain a dragon. The dragons of Hambly’s Winterlands are not something you can kill easily either, meladdo, I tell you that.
I am way more afraid of small winged things than dragons. Mainly because a dragon would just eat you whereas a wasp will sting the shit out of you. Plus, the wee bastards are too small to aim at, and they are quick. It makes me feel very outmaneuvered and I don’t like that one tiny bit.
When buzzing things are outdoors I live and let live. I don’t kill insects if they aren’t in my territory, because I get no thrill from ending even the smallest life. Moreover, if you leave them alone they are going to leave you alone, so it is a win/win.
Yesterday, when I opened my back door to let the dogs back in, a hornet flew right past my nose and into my house.
I freaked right the fokk out. There was a small critter capable of inflicting pain on me and Baby Spock in my house. I tried opening the door wide and, armed with a flyswatter and a pure heart, I tried to shoo it back out. No dice. Instead it flew up to the skylight and began to crawl around, like a black and yellow menace. I considered fleeing my house and taking Spock to the mall. Instead, I called Sweet Babou.
Me: There is a goshdarn poopy-head (or words to that effect) hornet in the house!
Sweet Babou: I‘m sorry love but I am more than an hour away. What can I do besides make soothing noises at my batshit wife (or words to that effect)?
Me: Good point. I’ve got to go because the dratted thing is on the move.
The hornet, unable to get out, was agitated. Then it made the mistake of it’s brief life – flew way too close Spock in a threatening matter.
It was on.
I told Spock to go somewhere safe while Mommy fought the bug. Spock, either from native brilliance or a past life memory as a warrior or a combination of both, immediately wedged herself into the best defensive position in the house: a spot between the wall and the buffet, where she was protected on three sides and yet could see everything. I took a moment to be impressed before completing my hornet-slaying quest.
I had to think. I was terrified of getting too damn close to the buzzing monster. The flyswatter was only a foot or so long. I couldn’t squirt poison in the house so anti-wasp spray was not an option. What could I use to stun the hornet from a safe distance? Then it came to me – the simple green cleaner in a handy-dandy spray bottle! I had used it before to incapacitate spiders, and it had a fairly long range if you adjusted the squirt nozzle.
Reader, I did it.
I totally spritzed the hornet until it fell on the floor, disoriented and covered in cleanser. Then I beat it to death with the flyswatter. I refuse to confirm or deny that I might have said, “Die! Take that you foul fiend!” It was a glorious victory.
I am thinking about putting “hornetsbane” on my business cards, y’all.