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  • Writer's pictureBruce Siebold

Stirring The Hornet's Nest

Over the course of the summer, I frequently stopped by the bald-faced hornet's nest to marvel at its beauty. Today I inched close enough to snap a photo and then slowly retreated. The pear-shaped nest is attached to a small maple tree about four feet above the ground and looks to be made of swirled grayish paper. With only one entrance and exit point, the hornets must have developed a sophisticated air traffic control system to monitor their busy flight schedules. The nest is home to one queen and hundreds of faithful hornets ready to defend their nest at all costs. Their needle-like stings contain venom and cause swelling, itching and pain for up to 24 hours. Throughout our lives, we have been told that being cautious is the wise thing to do, and why would we ever want to look for trouble and "stir the hornet's nest." However, sometimes using our courageous voices to kick the hornet's nest in order to right a wrong, shed light on an injustice, or speak for those who have no voice in our world, is the right thing to do. The needle-like stings we receive from those who disagree with us may be painful, but as Nelson Mandela once said. "fools multiple when wise men are silent."

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