(5) A New Life
Once again around the tamarind tree, they decide that to search out and get fruit they must now climb, since the neighbours are now extra vigilant. The climb up the tree for the first fifteen feet is uneventful, the sturdy limbs providing a stable perch from which to reach for the next limb. All three of the adventurers reach this plateau. Twenty feet up, the branches get somewhat smaller and bend on contact from the weight of the lead climber. One of the boys fearing the effects of gravity, decides to stop at this level, the other two continue to climb. Twenty five feet up a second boy decides to abandon the quest for tamarind and sits bouncing on a limb while Sir Edmund Hilary, the third climber strikes ever upwards, where the air is rare. And then it happens!!!
The bouncer has disturbed a nest of wasps attached to the branch on which he is bouncing. A hundred wasps with a single mind and a single purpose swarm. Sir Edmund Hilary on the highest branch is the first to scream, for the wasps have travelled upward. With deadly accuracy the flying, deranged hypodermics find their way up from his knees through the legs of his short pants, peppering his thigh and uncovered genitals with their indignation. For the next two days he will be genitally concerned for he will swell up and be the owner of a stubborn semi-permanent erection. The lesser Hilary, the bouncer, has not escaped retribution. A squadron of wasps has split off from the main force and pulverised his head and hands. Soon his eyeballs will be eclipsed behind the planet sized lumps below his forehead and he will be visually impaired for two days.
Both the afflicted climbers begin a descent too rapid to describe. The least Hilary, he who stopped at fifteen feet, escapes the attack and reaching for the branch on which he stands, grasps it with both hands and deftly swings to the ground. He hit the ground running! The upper two engage in an uncontrolled but steady, progressive drop from their loftier perches and hit the ground swelling while running.
Next year in tamarind season they will undoubtedly repeat the worrisome escapades of this year with two variations, different neighbours, different wasps.
I live in MemoryAmong my souvenirs