Mongo loves apples. When he and Dad go on walks, Mongo will scoop the ground apples up from under the neighborhood trees and bring them home for snacks. Dad will typically grab a couple of apples off the overhanging branches as they walk by, and put them away for Mongo treats.
Today, Dad and Mongo learned the downside of feral apple gathering. Mongo and Dad stopped under a tree to pick up some treats, but they were not the only ones to have that idea.
It was twilight when Dad dropped both leashes on the ground under the tree. Mongo usually helps with the apple gathering by scooping up a couple of apples. Spork typically waits patiently until the boys are done wasting their time gathering mere vegetable matter.
As Dad reached up to pick an apple and Mongo leaned over to scoop one up, Spork yelped and ran off down the road toward the house. Dad tried to call her back, but she was moving at a high rate of speed, and would not be deterred. Dad muttered something under his breath, and turned back to the tree.
Then Dad noticed Mongo trying to rub his face with his paw. Dad quickly grabbed two apples and stuffed them in his pockets. Then he turned back to Mongo to see what was the matter.
It was then that Dad noticed the yellow jacket flying around Mongo. Dad leapt into action. Dad swatted at hornet and missed. It buzzed closer to Mongo. As it landed on Mongo’s flank, Dad splattered it.
Dad looked at Mongo’s face, and it appeared to be a little swollen. “C’mon buddy. We need to get out of here before you get stung again”, and Dad hustled him away from the tree.
Mongo and Dad walked back down the road to the house, and Mongo stopped three or four times to paw at his face. “I hope you don’t have a ‘yellowjac’ in your ear!” Dad bent down and looked into both ears and then listened to each one also. He didn’t see any nor did he hear any buzzing in Mongo’s ears. After a few minutes they were home.
Dad looked at Mongo in the light. Mongo looked a little swollen, but not bad. Dad rubbed Mongo’s head and started into the kitchen to make dinner.
Mongo pawed at his face again. Dad put down the spoon he was holding and moved towards Mongo. Mongo headed to the water bowl. Dad waited.
Dad noticed that his right arm was itchy. He looked and scratched the bump, and it felt like it was burning. “Dang, I got stung too”, he said to Mongo. “At least this was not as bad as the time in Wyoming.” That time Dad had been wearing sandals and got stung on the foot. He and Kimi were loading the truck for the trip home, when Dad suddenly started hopping up and down and yelling, “Ow-woo-ow-woo-ow-woo-oo!“ Kimi didn’t know that Dad had been stung and turned to him and said, “Dad, we have to get the car packed. This is not the time for your James Brown impression”, and she walked back into the cabin as Dad continued to howl. Kimi was certain that Dad was going to finish that howl with “I feel good!” But he did not, and instead limped into the cabin looking for meat tenderizer.
Anyways, back in the kitched, Mongo finished a big drink of water and then strolled into the living room to lay down. Dad figured the waterbowl must have been about empty by then. He walked over to pick it up and when he looked in it, he saw the reason for Mongo’s discomfort.
There in the bottom of the nearly empty bowl was a yellow jacket flailing around in a large puddle of drool. Dad stepped back. At that moment he realized that Mongo must have had that hornet in his mouth when it stung him. That was why he had an oddly swelled appearance. He was not swollen on the outside. He was swollen on the inside! “Poor little guy, he got stung on the inside”, thought Dad. “He’s lucky the dog slime immobilized the yellowjac before it could really let him have it.”
Dad got an anti-histamine from the Dog medicine cabinet and covered the pill in Pont l’Evèque cheese, and tossed it to Mr. M. He swallowed it whole, as always.
“We’ll have to be more careful in the future” Dad said to Mongo. “I thought all the hornets and wasps would be gone by sundown, but I guess not. And since we can’t rely on Spork to defend us, we will have to exercise extreme caution in the future when picking apples off the ground.” Mongo looked at Dad and sighed.