While listening to live African music and enjoying a hamburger yesterday, I was visited by a yellow jacket (small hornet). I tore loose a bit of the hamburger, which she then feasted on.

They are useful insects, eating carrion and other insects. Although they will defend their nest quite viciously, at this time of year they are simply hungry because the insects that are their main diet are gone for the season.

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So I knew she would not be aggressive. She left after her snack.

Those of you who are open-minded will see how this relates to Americans' attitudes toward "others." Muslim, Mexican, gay, whatever - they are mostly people who just want to get along with their life, not cause problems. But if you panic and start swatting at the hornet, you will probably get stung.

Relax and be brave.

Peterson lives in Fargo.