Arian Knops


3 min.
April 7, 2021

Meteorologists claim there are two definitions for Spring.  There is meteorological Spring which consists of March, April and May and then there is conventional Spring.  The second one has served humanity and the planet well before someone created the word meteorology and decided to mess with nature.  But there are too many educated idiots on Earth that like to mess with everything.  So me, an undereducated idiot, have taken it upon myself to create a new method of determining Spring.

For me, the first day of Spring is the day I see my first wasp.  That happened on the Ides of March this year.  There was still snow on the ground, no robins had shown up at my house and my wife decided to do to that wasp exactly what Brutus and his friends did to Julius Caesar.  She assassinated it.  She isn’t into all that blood and gore stuff, so she finished off the interloper with a fly swatter.

When I was a small child it always seemed to me that people older than me knew just about everything.  Perhaps that is the reason they had gotten old in the first place.  Really old people didn’t seem to worry much about problems that were here today, gone tomorrow.  Two of my grandparents died well before I was born, and one had kicked off just after I arrived.  Maybe I was his replacement.  My one biological grandmother who was left, lived miles away and I didn’t see her very often.  Enter Glammy.

Glammy lived two doors down from us.  This was a considerable distance to someone who was still trying to master the art of walking.  Glammy had a gigantic garden.  Her home was tiny and only one floor.

The three things she had in common with my grandmother were: she was short, she seemed to be grumpy most of the time, and her house smelled like Lysol.  She had a one slice toaster and cooked her summer meals on a hotplate.  The big wood fired range was what she cooked on in the winter.  

Glammy’s garden not only overflowed with vegetables, but fruits such as apples, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries that grown in abundance.  Glammy also kept a beehive for honey.  The woman would often treat any children who came by with either fruit or a teaspoon of honey.

It seems to me that there are too many other creatures, mainly worm and bugs, living in a garden to make gardening enjoyable.  I’d like to think that God allowed some genius to invent grocery stores so nimrods like me and my father, would be able to survive.

Bugs seemed to be the source of ruin for Glammy’s idea of a perfect garden.  For a, sometimes sweet, old gal she had a mean streak when it came to nuisance bugs.  She fed any pesky bugs she killed to the birds.  She would disable flies by pulling off their wings and tossing the flightless flies onto the bird feeder.  Worms were cut in half and deposited on the same feeder.

But Glammy loved her garden and her bees.  At times wasps that tried passing themselves off as bees quickly suffered the cruelest fate.  She had a neat trick to accomplish the task.  As a wasp flew around, she would quickly cup her hands around the creature, squish it between her palms, do a little twist of the hands and presto, zingo, there was more lunch for the birds.  

 One summer day my eldest brother thought he’d mastered Glammy’s method of squishing wasps between her palms.  He got the cupping of hands around the wasp right but that was about it.  He said in an excited voice, “I got one, I got one!”  Well, the wasp, now suddenly in darkness and sensing gentle hands surrounding it did what wasps do. It fought back. The sound of an angry wasp emanated from my brother’s clasped hands. It was something like “ZZZAZZZ!” which was interrupted by a wail from my brother’s well-developed vocal cords. 

That sound was close to someone stepping on a cat in the dark. I made a mental note to be leery of copying my brother. There were copious amounts of tears being shed and Glammy was able to pull the stinger from his palm.  She put honey on the sting mark to take away the pain and told him not to lick it off.  He didn’t listen to that advice and had polished off the applied honey before we made it home.

This article was orginally reported by
Arian Knops

Arian is a short story contributor to the Sentinel & Rural News. Arian has written two full-length thrillers which have received critical and popular acclaim. Arian lives in Bruce, WI, with his charming wife, Arlene.