The Assault at Court of Flags.
It was a ragtag army of small children marching with purpose and a real challenge to achieve. It was Peter Pan leading the Lost Boys against Capt. Hook. But their hands held not swords and clubs but rocks. The small lad bringing up the rear had a stone the size of a large potato held in both hands resting on his shoulder and was constantly repositioning the rock to maintain his grip on it.
Peter Pan was the oldest at about 9 or maybe 10 and was the leader by size and imagination over the 5 or 6 small children who populated the apartment complex parking area this sunny June afternoon many years ago. Wendy was there as well and seemed to be involved in this same quest that fired them all as she carried several rocks in her fingers…
“And where are you all off to?” I enquired as they paraded past me single file up the sidewalk.
“We’re going to knock it down” mumbled Peter his cap bill insolently reversed and demeanor protective of the sacredness of his army’s challenge.
“It’s a bee’s nest” offered Wendy.
“And where is this?” I asked.
“Over there! In a tree! It’s big!” offered the small curly headed potato carrier, a big smile and bright excited eyes lighting up his small face as he struggled with his rock with a will and determination few other 5 year olds possess.
Not wanting to put a damper on such an obviously well planned endeavor I gave the appropriate adult guidance for the situation “Well be careful!”
And off the army marched out of sight and mind. For the moment at least.
There were some raised voices indicating the assault had begun that carried to me across the lines of cars. But what got my attention was Wendy’s scream, as only young girls can scream, and I looked up to see the army in full panic and retreat. Peter made it thru the door of his apartment and was gone from the field. The rest ran about Pell mell batting at their heads and shrieking wildly.
The potato kid ran out of his Flip Flops as he passed me and continued on down the sidewalk whimpering “Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama,Mama” followed by a cloud of very aggrieved bees.
When the field had cleared I went and checked out the battle scene. Rocks and stones lay about to mark the place. The Potato lay below the large dent it had made just below the passenger door window of the closest car. The football sized White Faced Hornets’ nest was pierced through its center where it hung maybe 5 feet off the ground with the inhabitants repair work already begun.
I left a note for the car owner to check for the door damage and warning as to the presense of the Hornet nest. The nest was gone the next day. The dent took 2 weeks to disappear. Peter Pans parents apparently worked out the responsibility issues over the topic of collateral damage as peace returned to summertime…