This is a story from when I was three. It is accurate according to my memory which may not be accurate at all.
It was a bright sunny day. My sisters and I and two of our friends were playing house in my back yard. I had to get the “food” which was leaves from our May Day tree. Against the fence ran a bench. I stood upon it, leaned against the fence for balance and reached up to pluck the leaves.
An angry swarm of wasps came rushing out from the other side of the fence. Apparently they didn’t like having their nest disturbed. I panicked, screamed swung my arms wildly.
“Stay calm,” my nanny Gail yelled as she came rushing out of the house. “Don’t swat them, it will only aggravate them.”
My arms couldn’t stay still, but my feet couldn’t move. Gail picked me up off the bench and rushed me into the house. There we assessed the damage.
I was three years old and had been bitten three times: once on my arm, once on my lip and once on my pinkie.
Gail lectured me about how one ought to behave around wasps as she held me and comforted me.
“Did you swat one away,” she asked. “Is that why it bit your pinkie?”
“No,” I lied.
I was afraid to go back outside. The following night after dark my father and my sister took a spray and went to kill the wasps. It was past my bed time, but my other sister and I sat nervously by the window. We ate chocolate ice cream and feared for their lives, at least I did. I was terrified that they’d get bitten just as I had. The fear made me feel sick to the stomach. Yet, they went willingly, to ensure my safety, and for that they were my heroes. When they came back unharmed I was filled with relief. Only then could I go to bed in peace.