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The Wasp And The Canary
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Hello, Dexter here. I'm just your average ordinary neighborhood wasp. Before you go swatting me though, I think you should know that like everyone else, I too have a story to tell. At least afford me the opportunity to get something off my wings before you swat me with your flyswatter. Please?
It's late October and the first frost was a couple of weeks ago. The fact that I am still alive is lucky in itself. If it hadn't been for Mom building her nest in the Miller's garage, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. The nectar is long gone on every flower in the region and the warm weather neighborhood social gatherings have long subsided. Those are usually great because of the pop cans. A drop of sugar from a can of soda is to us wasps, what Hershey's Kisses are to you humans. Things were going well for awhile, but then my usual stomping ground for feasting was taken away from me. Charlie Richards finally started putting the lid on his trash can. Times were tough.
One day a lucky situation came my way though, when Mrs. Jordan on Bexley Street left a fresh baked apple pie sitting on her kitchen table with the window open. I was beside myself with excitement. Just about the time I was ready to take my first bite of pie, a voice yelled out, "What do you think you're doing?"
The voice scared me so bad I thought I was going to lose my stinger. I looked over my wing but didn't see anybody.
"I said, what do you think you're doing," the voice said again.
This time I looked straight up and there before me was the strangest looking canary you ever laid your eyes on. His entire body was brown and yellow except for his head which was dark green. Humans get teased if they accidentally put on two different colored socks in the morning; given that, maybe that's why he's in a cage in the first place I thought to
myself. I suddenly felt a sense of compassion for this multi colored bird. I collected myself and said to the canary, "I was just going to have a little taste of this pie."
"It's not yours to taste," said the canary.
"I'm sorry but I couldn't help myself," I said.
"Don't you have any food?" asked the canary.
"No sir," I replied. "The flowers are all dried up and it's slim pickings out there."
"Well, there is no shortage of food here for me," said the canary. "But every day it's the same ole thing: nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, herbs.... After awhile the nuts and fruits can make you feel a little nutty and fruity. To make matters worse, every Tuesday my owners have relatives over for pizza. One of them is a little girl and when I ask for pizza, she always says back to me, 'Polly, want a cracker?' Every time I get asked that I cringe. When they first bring you home from the store you expect it for the first couple of months. But day after day after day makes me want to wear earplugs," said the canary.
"Well, it sounds like we both have our problems," I said.
"Wait a second," said the canary. "I have an idea."
"What is it?" I asked.
"Why don't we each have some of the pie?"
"Fair enough," I said. "But you're in a cage, what's stopping me from just eating this all by myself?"
"I might be in this cage, but I know a lot of birds on the outside that would just fancy a nice little wasp like yourself."
I swallowed so hard it shook the canary's cage. "I see your point. Do you have napkins?"
"No," said the canary. "But I have fresh water in my cage you can help yourself to."
We ate, and we ate, and then we ate some more. The canary and I nearly stuffed ourselves silly with apple pie. A life-long friendship was formed that day, and I'll always be thankful to my friend. I plan on stopping by around Thanksgiving to say hi, and pumpkin pie is one of my favorites.
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Artie Knapp is the author of many published works for young readers. These include:
He is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and graduated from Ohio University and lives in the United States with his wife and daughter.
Here's a very short list of just some of Artie's stories which are rotated on this page one at a time. A larger collection of stories is available immediately through our Unlimited Stories option (see our Free Story Access section).
A mouse by the House(Poem)
A wish from Above
Getting to know Ronnie
Light on a Snowy Day
No More Car Wash Blues
The Hummingbird who chewed Bubblegum
The Shell Shocked Turtle
The Sweet Smelling Skunk
The Turkey and the Pumpkin
The Wasp and the Canary
Thanks for your interest in Artie's work.