Punch, 50 (1866), 265.
Happy Thoughts (Collected in Happy Hours: Including Some Instructive Facts in Natural History, and Other Domestic and Rural Information) [1/39]
[Francis C Burnand]
Diary, Spoof, Serial
Natural History, Animal Behaviour
Written from the perspective of a town inhabitant who savours the delights of living in the country during the summer. The narrator's anticipations of the pleasantries of such a lifestyle are interspersed with diversions that relay his own and friends' comments on the size and behaviour of wasps, hornets, bees, and swans, which he thinks will spoil his anticipated pastoral bliss. The first diversion includes the view of a 'country friend' who claims that 'Every Wasp that flies about in the early summer is a Queen Wasp; she is double the size of other Wasps, and has twice the sting'. Later he notes his friend's similar warning about the size and sting of the queen hornet, and about the ability of swans to break a man's leg with their wings, and the viciousness of swans.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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