Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend Creature Features

We sat in our chairs reading and chatting and staring into the woods. We moved into the sun when it got chilly. We moved into the shade when we got hot. And in the canopy of the Live Oak trees over us, butterflies by the hundreds fluttered among the green leaves. There is a scene in The Hobbit where the dwarves have Bilbo climb to the top of the forest to see what he can see, because they are lost, and he pokes his head out of the darkness into the brilliant sun amid swarms of butterflies fluttering. The treetops of the park would have looked like that on the weekend we were there.

The raccoons made off with Guinness' kibble that night. We know better, but the container the kibble was in was evidently just too innocent looking for both of us, and although we made multiple passes of the campsite before we went to bed, evidently the kibble got left on the table. At least there was no sign of it in the morning. We were sure we had packed it away. But that feeling of certainty was vaguely familiar and made us both remember a certain rasher of bacon that we were once similarly sure we had packed away only to find the container sans rasher a few tens of yards into the woods. And so we both knew that out there somewhere in the undergrowth was a container that used to contain kibble and nearby certainly would be a contented raccoon happy with the previous night's haul.

I sat with a cold drink in my hand, and the bees found out. (How do they do that? One moment you're sitting there, and the next, all the bees in the neighborhood know you've opened a can of pop.) One bee was particularly insistent on getting into my glass. I got up to do something, and when I returned, the bee was entombed in the ice. I fished it out, but it was motionless. I set him on my jeans in a sunny spot in the breeze hoping it'd dry out but to no avail, so I resumed my gazing into the woods. And then the bee slowly began to reanimate, turning to one side and then to the other, the water soaking into my jeans. And then it began to move forward. And then it arched its abdomen and drove its tail into my thigh. And I yelled. And then I flicked that dang bee off my leg into the woods as far as its little trajectory would carry it not caring one hoot if it survived the impulse imparted by finger.

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