As I’m sure is the case with most work places, when anything occurs at the Museum that could be refered to as an “incident”, we write an incident report. An incident report is just a summary of what happened, to whom, and when. It’s quite straightforward really, but as you might imagine, the incident reports that come out of the animal department can be pretty goofy. Below is a slightly edited version of the incident report I turned into Sherry when I got stung on the eyelid by what I’m guessing is a wasp. Enjoy!
It was Bastille day, and in honor of the holiday (viva la France!), I was piping classical music throughout the farmyard (it was a special Bastille day program: French composers. This also doubled as the animal’s weekly culture/history lesson). Sir Boles (known to the common man as Larry) joined me in celebrating France’s rise as a modern nation by scooping poops avec moi. After a brief hiatus while Barnes supply was being dealt with, I returned to my scooping/holiday observing activities. I had just finished scooping the sheep yard, and my thoughts were of the day: how the morning felt like early fall does, and how it was transporting me back in time to last fall, how interesting how summer and fall have such different emotional feelings, how summer is lovely and long but so stealthily draining, but the breeze through the farmyard was refreshing and made me feel alive again when I hadn’t even known that it was missing. I was thinking this as I was rounding the corner to go back into the goat barn, when suddenly something flew into my eyeball. Reacting in what was most assuredly a comical fashion, I propelled my sunglasses from my face with both hands while jumping back and making a sound that I cannot remember exactly, but most likely sounded something close to, “Ennnhhhh! Ennnhhh!”. I then stopped my frantic waving, swatting, and exclamations and waited for the brief sting of something flying into your eyeball to go away. When it didn’t go away after I was most confident that the foreign insect had exited my ocular area, and when the pain in fact proceeded to intensify, I finally realized the horrifying truth: I had been stung on my eye. This was around 10am. I immediately covered my poor, innocently attacked eye, which was at that point tearing up, and ran with much haste down to the building. Outside the Animal Department I discovered a small congregation of keepers and volunteers, one of whom was Annie. She was the first I told, knowing that I could get the most sympathy, help, coffee cake, and worried motherly affection from her. She, of course, did not disappoint, and followed me into the bathroom where I inspected my poor, poor eyelid, where a tiny red dot was visible mere millimeters from my eyelashes, implying that if my reflexes did not mirror those of a tiger as much as they do, I would have been stung right on the eyeball. I was taken into the vet room where a larger congregation of people were congregating, including Dr. V, one of the vets who was in for vet rounds. She immediately used her veterinarian skillz to assess my eyelid and used her motherly skillz to comfort me and make me feel much self pity for my poor, poor eye (which, at that point, was starting to hurt very badly.) A bag of frozen popcorn kernels was fetched, orders for benadryl and water were barked, and my pulse was checked old-school style several times by Annie, using only my wrist and her watch. A bottle of frozen water shortly replaced the popcorn kernels, and I was seated in a rolling chair, and assigned as the charge of Annie while she finished cleaning. I was placed strategically in the hallway, where many a person passed by and had the chance to be simultaneously appalled by and sympathetic to my condition. At it’s most impressive point, my eye was swollen almost completely shut. I was a patient patient, and after about an hour, the swelling had gone down, and most of the sleepy feeling from the benadryl had dissipated, so I was sent home. 14 hours later, the swelling was gone, but a tender, slightly stinging feeling remained to remind me both that I’m lucky to be sitting here today with both of my eyeballs, and also of my own mortality. To the bee who stung me while I was minding my own business thinking only lovely thoughts, I have only one word: karma.