Sunday, January 23, 2011

I've always been a great fan of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and Just So Stories and Joel Chandler Harris' works with the Brer Rabbit tales. I offer this a story sorta' combining the two styles. Hope you like it.


Why the Bee has a Stinger
Patrick Shields

They was a time, chillun, when all the beastes could talk…yeah. They flung the language round jus’ like me and you does now. ‘Course they is always animals that is louder dan de others, sorter like some folks. Sometimes folks with the loudest voices got the least to say. Well, all the animal dat was quiet a peaceable ain’t got much voice according to them what growl and roar around with empty stomachs and loud voices.

Miz Queen Bee, she got a mess of younguns and sisters to take care of, and the men folks, Drones, in the family don’t do nothing but eat, fly around, and court. Dey goes from hive to hive and they welcome at any place they hang they hat. Dat’s the way it was. The ladies of the house don’t bother wid ‘em, nor pay ‘em much mind. They had it MADE!

Now, times get hard when the dry season come around.  Miz Queen Bee have a hard time making ends meet for the winter months with so many mouths to feed. She got a bunch of good workers and they gets it done somehow, main strength and awkwardness.

One day, guess who show up a begging? King Liron, Mr. Elephant, Mr. Monk and a bunch of the loud mouths. Them animals let the Queen’s gals know that the Drones done tole them they  ain’t  never got to worry about no victuals, ‘cause the Queen let 'em eat anytime and anywhere.. The animals said they wanted the same treatment ‘cause they’s feeling sorta’ Dronish and hungry, theyselves.

Well, The Queen Bee come out to hear ‘em poor mouth, and sorta’ takes pity sakes on ‘em and want to help ‘em. The sisters tell her ain’t a good idea for to let em eat, cause they mighty greedy, The Queen tell the gals  they got lot more honey to make and they better get on wid it ‘cause she de Queen Bee, and she don’t want to hear none of they bad mouthing…she wasn’t raised to turn hungry folks away.

The queen, she invited ‘em in. and bless gracious, them animals just about stomp things flat getting to dat honey.  It was mess and mayhem! Chillen’ hollerin’, ladies flying and squallin’. The Queen and  the gals barely got out de way befo’ they home was tore up. They had to take up in an ole gum tree, in a hole ‘ole man possum used to rent.

The Queen she mighty tore up about the mess them critter made of her home, and  decided some “comeuppance” was in order. They had a ‘sembly, the Queen and the  sisters, and decided they needed a way to defend they home. But how? They was too little to have big tushes or claws. The Queen she said she would take the matter to the ‘ole conjure woman and hear what she low.

The Queen Bee told conjure lady exactly what the situation was, and what she and the sisters had decided they needed to do. The old conjure woman grunted and rolled her black eyes when the Queen told her about what them amimals did to her house when  she invited ‘em for dinner. The ole woman closed her eyes and mumbled some kind of stuff ‘bout a book, and told the queen to come back in a week.

A week later, Miss Queen Bee turn up at the conjure woman’s  house. She allowed she had studied the situation, and agreed the Queen and her gals was gonna' have to arm they selves to defend the home. Conjure woman allowed that they needed spears to fend they selves. The Queen asked how they gonna’ ge them spears…and how they gonna use ‘em. Conjure woman say the Queen Bee have a ceremony and she give the Queen  some MumboJumboMojo she must speak over the sisters on the dark of the moon at midnight.

When the night come, de Queen, she put out the word they was gonna’ have a Séance, and she spoke de words…BUZZ...BUZZ and more BUZZ.

When the sisters woke up de next morning, they all had tiny little spears on they rear ends… sharp as a razor, with some poison thrown in for good measure. The spears didn’t get in the way, they were light and deadly, and could only be used in defense of the  of the sisters, under pain of death. Yassir, that ole conjure woman sho’ fixed them sisters up!

So Said, So Done…

Them same animals that had dinner at the Queen Bee’s house got together down by the river one afternoon, and decided that the Queen Bee Restaurant was the best meal they ever had and they was going back to the Queen’s for dinner again. When they got there, the Queen Bee announced she done had enough of they kind of havishness and they weren’t welcome at her house no more. De monkey say, sassy like, he don’t care what she say, he bigger than she is, an he done gone and invited hisself, AND his friends, to take supper at the Queen’s house again.

Time the monkey made a move, them sisters boil out the house and gun to stick they spears in the monkey. He KNOWED he was in trouble! Ole monk, he hopped and flopped, squirmed and squalled, swatted and smacked, trying to keep them sisters from tearing him up with them spears, No matter how high he climbed, ‘dem gals was all over him!

Now, the rest of the animals was getting the same welcome, and didn’t take ‘em long to leave them environs! They headed for the river and jumped in, all of ‘em, even ole King Liron, the King of Beastes, Crown and all! Ole man Elephant had to pack ‘em all in mud with he trunk to take the swelling out. They eyes was swole shut, chillen!

Now, while all the fuss was going on, de ole bear come rambling along and smell dinner...his favorite, honey. ‘Course all the sisters was out defending they home and ole man bear help hisself. When the Queen come back, she find her home ‘stroyed again!

To this day, seem like ‘ole man bear is the onliest one that the ole Queen Bee and the gals is afraid of. Them gals can sting and sting, and ole man bear just wipe he eyes, and shake he head and stay for dinner, invited or not. 

As for them Drones who started all the mess in the first place? Well, them gals still puts up with ‘em all summer, but come the first cold day, they throws ‘em out of the house to fend for they selves, all because they couldn’t keep they mouths shut about a GOOD thing.

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