“I swerved for the squirrel but it came clean off the front of the tire, almost would have flown like in the cartoon were it not for the truck bearing at us, which swerved too, probably on account of the rodent approaching the windshield. Anyway, that near did us, near did her in at least, it would seem at the time. But funny enough, or not funny–so lucky, so fortunate, thank God–not a scratch on her.”

“Yes, I could. Well, I don’t recollect to be honest though I told the story for reporters who seemed interested, but not interested enough I guess, since nobody saw it or heard it not that I mind.”

“It’s not much in itself but the sight of the truck flipped up on its back was not something I will forget, and we thought we escaped near free of harm, only a scratch or too but then as I was approaching the hive last night to see them at work”

“He loves them, look at him, just look at that glow. He loves that they don’t even think about it much but might as well be playing for all of the rolling about in pollen and circling out in the sky, and he tells me that the miles they make…”

“Right…right… All of that is true, and I wanted to look in, and maybe smoke them a bit, to check on the shape of things, and my thumb ached a sudden, no reason like I could see, but then the ache marched out, like into the air, and into my knee, not like it crept along a nerve between them.”

“Well, it was that day in the car we know it, you see, because there was no other accounting for it, nothing in the week almost since then, nothing at all. We didn’t want to follow up again, didn’t want to bother the doctors with our time and worries, and didn’t want to bother ourselves with the cost, since it’s all too much. Then last night, and we thought we could call you instead, since the doctors likely would not know what to make of it—”

“It doesn’t make clear sense, we know. We appreciate you being out here to talk, and we wouldn’t have thought of it but”

“The bees, you see. We just couldn’t get it out of our heads all last night and this morning again that it started up near the bees, even though–”

“No, we are not saying they did nothing wrong, nothing at all wrong—But what, well we jumped ahead a bit, which has unfortunately set us all into a mess, so to talk back a bit, I went on tending to the buzzing beauties, as I call them, even though the pain set in both thumb and knee, and even though I knew it was owing to the car, my knee being so jammed hard against the wheel and my thumb near breaking that day—”

“We thought it was just nothing and thought better to say nothing, not wanting to bother them for their time and not wanting to bother ourselves for the cost, the cost you see, what we aren’t sure of…”

“We read a fair amount about Apey Smell, Appess Mell, pardon me, in books at the Barnes and Nobles over when we first got them, when we were off visiting her sister who lives nearby it, and none of what we read makes sense of what went on next.”

“Virge, you aren’t speaking clear! My lord, you’re making him near lose his mind with confusion and he is probably wondering that you didn’t hit your head in the car too.”

“The bees—they flew out like they do, as I came near and before I could smoke them to sleep, while I stood and watched, looked down at them, nearly forgetting the pain, they drew out and flew at me, but soft, and I took back a step not knowing them to do anything like it but they lit on me, on my thumb and some at my knee and set down to sting—”

“I thought it was over, his hollering and standing, that they had all been killed. You hear about that, them all dying or dead, and maybe China or Japan responsible, but then I saw it wasn’t that and I am sorry to say it now, I really am so sorry, I thought he was being made to suffer and blamed them, sure it was a mistake our taking them on and I rushed out but he was stood there, looking straight down, not hollering anymore and I don’t know what’d come over him”

“They lowered, their softness was so clean on me, and when they stung it felt like relief, like, like a wincing run of cold water beneath a burn, or like when the lilies are up in spring and the nose is cut to sneezing. Then the pain just gone—all gone. I’m still a bit puffy from where they stung see, but like they could smell it, smell the pain and knew to help and they did it for me—gave something up, dying like that.”

“It was a noble sacrifice, that it was, that it was…”

“We just been so astonished, not thinking Doctors the right to tell or not thinking that there was anything to ask and not wanting to bother their time–”

“But we bought them from you and thought you would want to know somehow what can be done by them, and maybe there is a chance here for something more, we just aren’t sure, just aren’t…”

“Would they have to die? Each time? Would there be no taking it out of them, whatever it was? Seems so much good to be done, but they don’t know any of it, their dying like that.”

“And then the regulations? The government with one thing and another, wanting money or telling us we can’t do what next, can’t hang my laundry out to dry, god I expect that next, but is there nothing in this, and you having so many bees and our being able to put our names to their…”

“We could testify, if a billboard could be found, rented maybe.”

“We know we are dreaming along a bit, and I’m just thankful to the Lord, that I am.”

“We are amazed is what, like Samson and the lion, but the bees are the honey, and thank God for it, and if the bees are the honey then what is the honey if you know what I mean. But it troubles me, the bees doing that for me, and now me asking them for more. Let them rest, my heart says, let them rest.”

“Yes, we don’t want to trouble you neither, but thought you should know. If you would like to, there’s cake inside, lemonade, or coffee too, if you take that late in the day.”


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