I had to think long and hard about a response to this prompt from F.C. Here’s her exact words:
Have a crazy story to tell? Whether it be about a situation you experienced, a stranger (or animal) you’ve encountered, please share!
The reason I was wracking my brain about this is I don’t think I have a lot of stories or situations in my life that qualify as “crazy.” Sure, I could tell on here some true tales or amazing facts that may sound tall to others, but I’m not sure if they would fit what F.C. is inquiring about (perhaps I can share some of them in a future post or posts).
But then I noticed a key word upon re-reading FC’s prompt: “Animal.” And that’s when my memory bank started rattling around and brought up a “crazy” situation involving… well, it doesn’t involve animals exactly but rather insects. Or wasps to be precise.
It happened a couple of days after I turned 15 years old. It was a sunny summer morning and I had to cut our family’s lawn. Since we lived out in the country, our house had a pretty big yard (I can’t remember how big it was, suffice it to say it was much, much smaller than the Ponderosa), so cutting the yard could take up a notable portion of the day with a push mower.
Since it was predicted to be a pretty warm day, I took Mom’s strong advice and started cutting the lawn after breakfast. It was, I recall, just after 10AM and I was cutting around the northwest corner of our front yard. I passed over what looked like a minor divot or hole in the lawn when suddenly… I felt a sharp piercing sensation around my left ankle.
Yeah, that pain felt like a needle stabbing me through my sock and into my ankle. I figured what caused the pain was some sort of a sting form a bee or whatever, so I stopped the mower right there and hobbled into the house to check out my ankle. Yeah, there was a pretty red-looking sting spot for sure. I applied some rubbing alcohol or whatever to reduce the sting and the pain, then headed back out to resume mowing the lawn. Now, I mentioned that divot in the lawn in the above paragraph, and I originally didn’t think too much about it. But when I restarted the mower, and passed around the divot again, when… well, I got a second sting, in that same left ankle area where I got that first sting.
Things got real serious the second time around, as the new pain was real, real nasty and even more sharp. Oh, and my ankle started to swell up real bad, matching the thickness of my calf muscle. Since it was clear that just a soothing balm wouldn’t cut it this time around, I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon sitting in my stepfather’s recliner, foot rest propped up and ice on my ankle. It was a makeshift life of Riley: Kicking back, relaxing, watching the Olympics on the TV (I think track and field events were being shown). Oh, yeah, I should tell what did sting me: We figured there must have been a bees nest or a wasp colony somewhere in that corner of the yard. We didn’t realize it was there, and I started to figure that it may have been inside that divot I was passing over with the mower.
About 2 or 3 days passed, and since big lawns don’t cut themselves, I had to get back to mowing ours again. I ventured around that same northwest corner of our yard where I got stung, only this time I didn’t pass over that divot. I did skirt around it, however (just under a foot away). Well, guess what? A wasp stung me again. In that same left ankle.
Luckily, lest that large, maroon font sway you into thinking I was in agony… well, it did hurt again, though not as bad as the first two times around. Yeah, I did have to ice down my ankle a little bit, and my sister had to finish what was left of the lawncutting.
In subsequent weeks when the lawn needed cutting (and it tended to grow pretty fast on us), we… rather, I made it a point to avoid that corner of the lawn like the plague, even if that little thicket of grass looked weird compared to the rest of the yard. And, yeah, there was indeed a wasp colony deep inside that divot. We waited patiently until our uncle, who lived next door to us, got around to taking his gasoline can and a match to burn that wasp nest out of existence. Yay! No more wasps to worry about.
To this day, I still get a kick out of that story about getting stung 3 times in the same ankle in the span of a few days. Strangely enough, the rest of my family has a vague recollection about this true tale. But there was something I keep wondering about: Why is it that those wasps decided to feast on my left ankle those three times? Was it tasty to them or something?