Posted by: martinworster | March 2, 2010


As a rule I try not to kill any animals. I don’t know why, it doesn’t feel right to kill something that was living. Hence my vegetarianism. I soon put my values aside one Sunday on the beach as an angry wasp decided to land on Tristan’s chin and sting him.

It was a lovely sunny day and Tristan and Oliver had spent the best part of two hours running around the shoreline getting wet as they pushed their Tonka trucks around the sand. It was low tide so there were plentiful glistening tide pools for them to splash in. All in all it was an idyllic day.

We walked back to the bike and trailer for the ride home along the Santa Ana River that backs onto our property. As we walked up the jetty a passing couple commented that there was a ‘bug’ on Tristan’s chin. I thought nothing of it. But then I looked again and saw it was an angry wasp, all squirming and red tempered. I knew what was coming next. I tried to lunge over to Tristan and swipe it off – but it was too late. The nasty insect had planted it’s sting. 

Tristan screamed. And screamed. Tears rolled down his cheek. I felt helpless. There’s not much you can do. I started to worry that he might be allergic to stings and then remembered he’d stepped on a bee a few summers ago. I held him close. What are the odds on this massive wide stretch of open beach that this wasp would find Tristan’s tiny chin to land on? I felt sorry for Tristan. 

Then I got Tristan’s attention and pointed to the wasp which was still squirming in death throes on the sand. I jumped on it and splatted it. It split in two and it’s wings came off. It was mullered. Tristan took pleasure in this. A cathartic revenge act. I swallowed my principles and was glad Tristan felt marginally better as we cycled home from the scene of the murder.


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