Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

What Mrs. Wasp Can Do

H OW does Mrs. Wasp make paper? First she finds a piece of dry, old wood.

She cuts off bits of wood, like fine, soft threads. She wets these with a kind of glue from her mouth, and rolls them into a ball.

Then, she stands on her hind legs, and with her front feet puts the ball between her jaws.

She then flies to her nest.


A Paper House

She uses her tongue, her jaws, and her feet, to spread the ball out thin. On her hind legs she has flat feet, to help her lay down the paper.

She lays one sheet of paper on the other, until it is thick enough to make a nest. Some wasps hang these paper nests in trees.

The nests are round, like balls, or they may be the shape of a top. At the bottom of each you will find two doors.

The wasp that builds in a tree does not live alone.

She has in her home very many paper rooms. They are like cells in a honey-comb. Sometimes she lays one sheet of her paper upon another until it is strong paste-board.

She can make wax. She puts a wax lid on the cells.

She can make varnish, to keep the cells dry.

One kind of wasp is a mason.

Her house is made of mud. She brings mud in little balls, and builds a house.

In the house she puts a baby wasp. She puts in little spiders for him to eat.

A hornet is a kind of wasp. We may call him Mrs. Wasp's cousin. Hornets catch and eat flies.

There is a black wasp that is called a mud-dauber. She builds a little mud house. I know a boy who broke one of these mud houses thirty-two times.

The wasp built it up each time. One of these mud-wasps built a house ten times on a man's desk. Each time that he broke it up, she built it again.

This kind of wasp does not leave her baby alone. She waits until it is hatched from the egg, and then she feeds and cares for it.