To the Editor:
During breakfast one morning, a late intruder landed next to my plate – a wasp! It was probably seeking a warmer place for the coming winter.
I attempted to banish it with my fly swatter, but only crippled it. It fell to the floor and lay there, fluttering its wings, writhing in pain. After turning to get a tissue to finish the task and clean it up, I could not find it.
I felt badly, as I knew it was hurting and it had done me no harm. I feared I had angered it and it might find me later, seeking revenge. Aren’t we all a bit like that most of the time – fearful of impending danger?
Driving alone at night, stopped at a traffic signal, a pedestrian may approach, minding his own business. We sense danger, nonetheless, when no threatening movement has been made. Our first thought could be to lock all the car doors, fearing the worst.
Someone once said to me, “Worrying is a fast getaway on a rocking horse.”
Back to the wasp – it did not emerge again, so I was unable to put it out of its misery. Thinking it was one of God’s creations, I could not bear the thought of it suffering because of my bumbling effort to annihilate it.
And yet, all the while during my sorrow over its sad plight came the thought, “If there is any justice, they should all end up somewhere so we humans could flail our arms at them for all of eternity and annoy them like they did us on earth at picnics or while sunbathing. Let’s see how they like it.”
That night, as I tried to sleep, I uneasily thought it may rise up in the night, find me and interrupt my slumber. Who says worrying doesn’t help? Most of the things we worry about never happen.
And so I slept.
I found it, dead, the next morning, not far from where I had last seen it. Several old sayings about fretting about things that may or may not happen came to mind.
It ain’t no use putting up your umbrella till it rains, by Alice Hegan Rice.
It’s true we live in troubled times, but it is folly to rake leaves before they fall from the trees.
Good maxims for all of us to remember.