God’s little wonders

God’s little wonders

A miniature marvel of architectural engineering has come up on my balcony. It is a hornet’s nest on one of my flowering creepers.

It now looks like a submarine, with three portholes, but its shape kept changing while it was being ‘built’. First it looked like a pot of clay, tiny, of course. And exactly like the ‘matkas’ (pots) that are commonly used to store water. Perfect in its proportions, it was lovely to see. Then it enlarged and came to its present shape. The ‘builder’ then covered it with a green paste. Was it for camouflage, I wondered, or insulation? That will remain a mystery.

There were two different suggestions by friends who saw it: “Destroy it,” said one lot. “Otherwise you’ll be stung by the wasps. They are horrible! The sting swells up and is very painful.”

The other lot said, “Oh! It’s very lucky to have this come up in your house. It will bring you good luck.” I preferred to believe this opinion. I do know what others said is true, so I shall be careful.

Curious to know what was ‘inside’, I looked through the portholes. In the daytime, it wasn’t clear, so I waited for nightfall and peeped in again with a torch. I was amazed by what I saw!

There were three compartments, like three storeys, and in each there was a grub, asleep. A dead insect is placed next to each grub, probably for the grub’s first meal, when it wakes up.

There has been no activity for quite some time though. The little submarine is still there, and I am waiting, discreetly watching out for what will happen.

Certainly, the option to break it did not meet with my approval. To ‘live and let live’ is better, I think. Lines from William Wordsworth come to mind: “Kill not the moth or the butterfly, For the Day of Judgement draweth nigh.”

Remembering the different types of hornets’ nests I’ve seen, I can recall at least four. One looked like three tiny cylinders joined together from base to top, with perfectly smoothed-out openings. One was fan-shaped and stuck to a wall. Yet another was a little globe clinging to a twig. But the one that was really a work of art was made of bands of different coloured clay, in the shape of a ‘surahi’ (an ewer). It looked as though it was made by a fairy potter!

They were all made of fine clay, but the different shapes were made by the different species of hornets and wasps according to their requirements. It makes one marvel at the creatures that share our space, and how the Almighty has given each one of his creations the intelligence and the ability to make their dwellings in keeping with their lifestyle.

In closing, I must mention that I am waiting for the good luck that is supposed to come my way!