Bee Hives Must Be Destroyed

Back when we were kids, before killer bees threatened the food chain, we knew very little about bees.  If we had learned in school about how beneficial bees were, we might not have hated them so much.  All we knew about them was that they delivered a monstrously painful sting.  As if this wasn’t bad enough, we’d then need to have the stinger removed – an agonizing ritual of Mom digging at the tender area with a pair of tweezers.

The fear of bees was shared by all the kids in our neighborhood.  So any time we encountered a bee hive, there was only one thing on our mind.

How can we destroy it?

Smoke them out, burn them, drown them, beat the heck out of them with a club, pelt them with bricks – it didn’t really matter.  The bees had to die.

One day, a couple of us discovered a bee hive in the yard behind my house.  What a find!  We had to run and herald the news – more bees to be destroyed!

Tommy, from down the street, caught wind of our discovery and immediately seized the opportunity to take command of the operation.  He rallied the neighborhood troops together, and held a war counsel on how we would obliterate the hive.

I didn’t like the consensus they arrived at.  Someone would approach the hive with a two-by-four, give it a big whack, and then we would all run like hell.  (Great master plan there, Tommy!)  But most grievous of all, they had chosen me to do the whacking.  And I was one of the little kids.

“No way!” I shouted as I scrunched up my face in angry protest.

“But you’ll be a hero!” cajoled Tommy.

“That’s no fair!  You can all run faster than me!”

“But you’ll be a hero!”

Tommy knew how to push my buttons.  Of course I wanted to be a hero, even if it meant risking my life in a swarm of infuriated bees.  Someone had to do it – for the sake of neighborhood safety – and it might as well be me.

Tommy handed me the cumbersome weapon, and I cautiously tip-toed up to the hive.  Everyone stood around with eyes wide open and mouths gaping in frenzied anticipation.

I still didn’t want to do this, but there was no turning back.  I had to whack the bees!  I slowly raised the board, and dropped it with a deafening blow.

We took off running.  I was behind everyone, and all I could see was legs and shoe soles scrambling in every direction, with the bees fast on my heels.

“Yeow!”  They got me – twice!

Everyone kept running, and I hobbled home, with two pink welts on my right calf.

There wasn’t much glory in being a hero that day.  The commando troops had all retreated to the safety of their homes, while the despised bees flew furiously free, taunting us.

We knew they were out there, and they were mad.

Not quite the victory we had envisioned.

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