Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - A Mystery Memory


A little while ago as I was leaving my mother's apartment, I noticed that the crepe myrtle trees were in full and magnificent bloom. It reminded me that I still had the bloom time to look forward to as my crepe myrtles were still at the bud stage. As I stopped to take a picture of the pretty pink display, I came face to face with Mr. Bumble Bee busily feeding on the nectar. Not being terrible fond of stinging insects, I stood a healthy distance from him, pointed the camera and clicked. I quickly did a 180 and made a fast escape to my car. I had been reminded of the one time I had been stung by a bee and until recently, I did not know that THAT experience of ten years ago had been at the "hands" so to speak, on one of these not so little guys.

We were nearly at the end of a ten day tour of England and France with the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. Late in the trip we had returned to London and we were on our way to our departure point and one more stopover before catching the plane home. It was early in the morning and I had just settled into my seat on the bus when I felt this terrible ache that slowly spread into excruciating pain. It was like someone had lit a match under my skin.

Don was sitting next to me and was pre-occupied with settling in and didn't notice. On reflection, how could he have not noticed? But that will remain one of life's little mysteries. Quanah and Kevin (one of the other chaperones) were behind us and they noticed my extreme distress. They were swatting at my shirt and Quanah freed the remains of the bee from my back and someone removed the stinger. Another student ran up to the front of the bus and broke into the bus driver's mini-fridge and hurried back with an icy cold can of soda to put against the sting. Don, of course by this time was fully alert to what had happened and had jumped in.

On reflection, it all seemed to go in slowmotion but in fact it must have all went pretty fast, so Don's reaction wasn't slow, just not the first. Perhaps it wasn't so mysterious after all though for the longest time I wondered why he had seemed so oblivious. It was Quanah who just recently informed me that it was one of these monsters of the bee world that had decided to sacrifice himself on the alter of my back. All I can say is, "Gee, thanks". And thank God I did not have an allergic reaction, but then Quanah just HAD to further inform me that often reactions don't set in until the second time you are stung. Now why did he have to tell me that? Another one of life's little mysteries I suppose.

14 comments:

biene said...

Children are so helpful! The little guy in your photo is stunning. I love them. Yes, I have been stung, right on the top of my pointy head when I was 8, but sort of like them anyway, except hornets. My name is biene, so why not. That crepe myrtle is beautiful. Aren't you glad you have your cameras handy?

AnnieElf said...

Yes indeed B. Children are just so helpful. And yes about the camera. The world is just one big photo op for me now.

Colorsonmymind said...

This is so fun-awful that you got stung- but the part about how it was handled was.

Glad you didn't have a reaction.

Laini said...

Ouch! I haven't been stung by a bee in so many years it's something I associate with childhood -- running barefoot in wet grass and stepping on bees. Do grownups get stung by bees? I guess so! It's something I haven't thought about in a long time. Glad you're not allergic!

paris parfait said...

This is such a clever take on the mystery theme. I've been stung by bees and wasps - not a pleasant experience, at any age. Great post and beautiful photo.

krista said...

You know what I find mysterious!? Reecently someone told me bumble bees don't have stingers, they BITE instead.

They were so authoratitve about it I believed them.

So I'm wondering where they got their information now.

Mystery.

Susannah said...

the naughty bee was hitching a ride with you - the cheek of it! :-)

Amber said...

Oh, no! I'm sorry! I am so afraid my kids will get stung this summer.

Good job working the ss theme into this little story! ;)

:)

Jeremy said...

I hope that the experience didn't put you off the UK.
It's funny that you should mention bees, because a swarm of them (twenty to thirty thousand of them, I am told) moved into our chimney stack last week. I have been trying to move them on with the help of a local bee-keeper. This has involved various ploys, including lighting a fire in the woodburner on an already unbearably hot and humid day. The bees are still there.

Tammy said...

You would hate my yard because it's full of them. No stings yet!
Creative mystery piece :)

Kim G. said...

Ouch! That's a mystery I think I'll hope I don't have to solve soon!

My son got stung on his top lip once - smelling a flower and the bee wasn't in the mood to share. It was a bit nervewracking watching it swell up but he was ok. I told him he'd have an interesting story to tell someday (I've just stolen it from him for this comment!)

susanlavonne said...

Well told story...and do hope your only reaction is the tale you shared with us :-)

Verity said...

I love your sense of detail, it was so compelling, you had me there with you! I remember getting stung by a bee once. I leaned back in my chair, felt a sharp tearing in my back that made me shudder and then break out in a cold sweat. I was sitting in a room full of people but no one noticed and I didn't say a word. I have no idea why!

Joy Eliz said...

Fantastic writing. Bees - scary. Not the actual bite but what may happen after.