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WASP'S NOVEL TACTICS. B Y EDWARD G .

CRICKMORE.

As I stooped I noticed at Oulton Broad a large Spider's web stretched across the fringe of the garden Lavender bush which had no sooner caught my eye than a Wasp hummed lazily by and, evidently not looking where he was going, suddenly found himself secured by strong silken threads. He was a Wasp of the kind which loves over-ripe fruit. His tugging in the web brought the villain of the piece on the scene, but the Spider was in no hurry, and from his place of concealment, climbed slowly down towards his victim. He was a big menacing fellow, but did not seem to be very pleased with his capture or eager to come to grips. While the Wasp continued his furious buzzing, the spider, keeping his large body at a safe distance, began grappling with extended forelegs at the Wasp, endeavouring to turn him slowly over and thus get him more securely entangled. With a sudden and even more violent burst of struggling, the Wasp miraculously broke loose and feil to the ground, and the Spider climbed back into the centre of its web. Now one would have thought, after such a narrow escape, any sensible wasp would have flown away. But, after brushing and cleaning himself, he rose on wings which hummed fiercely and hovered motionless about six inches away from his enemy. For a fĂźll minute both were evidently glaring at each other ; then the Wasp very slowly backed a further six inches, his wings mere blurrs, and still he was hovering dead in line with the Spider. T h e hovering Wasp suddenly hurtled forward like the bullet from a gun, head first into the fat body of the Spider, knocking him clean through the other side of the web, and the velocity of his attack carried the Wasp through also, both landing in a heap on the ground below. Now the pair were on even terms, and they struggled like demons. Over and over they rolled : I could see the Wasp continually arching his back to get in a position to sting. After a few more minutes he succeeded, for the Spider lay motionless. T h e Wasp Walked a short distance away and I watched the valiant little fellow preen his head, brush his wings and eventually fly off. I bent down and examined the vanquished villam : he was dead. T h e daring courage of this Wasp filled me with wonder. In his tiny brain did he weigh the chances of success or failure in his plan for revenge ? Did he feel that the odds were that he would again become enmeshed or that, by employing such novel tactics, he must succeed ?

Wasp's Novel Tactics  
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