Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

Mrs. Wasp and Her Home

H ERE is a round hole on the hill-side path. Is it a crab's hole?

No, it is too far from the sea for a crab. Mrs. Wasp made it for her baby to live in.

Her name is Vespa. In her house she has a hall, a room, and a bed. In the bed her baby lies asleep. It is now a soft, white egg.

When the baby wasp comes out of the egg, he will be all alone. When Mrs. Wasp has laid the egg safe in bed, she goes away.


A Wayside Home

She shuts her door with a lump of mud. She leaves her baby some food to eat. The food is a pile of little caterpillars. When she leaves her baby, she never comes back.

When he gets big, he digs his way out, and off he flies. If he meets his mother he does not know her.

Mrs. Wasp makes her bed of fine sawdust. She cuts the wood up soft and fine. She has two small, sharp saws with which to do this.

She can make paper out of wood. How does she do that? She saws the wood into a fine dust. Then she mixes it with glue from her mouth. When she takes it home, she spreads it out thin with her feet.

It dries into fine, gray paper. With it she papers her house, to keep her baby warm and dry.

Mrs. Wasp is cross, but she is wise. She has a long sting. She kills, or puts into a deep sleep, the caterpillars that she takes home. This keeps them from decay.

She is never idle, she has so much to do making and furnishing her house, and storing up food.

The wasp in the picture is called the Hermit Wasp, because she lives alone.