If you don't like squirrel, there's always beaver.

Eddie and the bee tree

August 16th, 2007 Posted in Uncategorized

My friend Eddie, not the sharpest tack, but good at climbing trees to retrieve the critters that don’t make landfall, went on a hunt with me this weekend. He brought along his old Mossberg 22. Really good shooting rifle, but you have to realize that being anywhere near Eddie when he’s carrying, other than behind him, is a tad well… unsafe.

We were pretty deep into the woods so that any of the local citizenry wouldn’t be scared off by the shooting, or Eddie’s 3 tooth smile. We were also in an area where some racoon and possum was likely to show up. I don’t care for either for eating, but Eddie’s wife would eat anything. I guess that explains more than you care to know about a lot of things.

So we was sitting on a pretty good size deadfall trunk waiting for some rustling on the ground or in the trees so we’d have a thing or two to shoot at. I guess Eddie didn’t really pay attention the the end of the log he was sitting on. He started swatting at a bee or two that seemed a bit upset at him. Next thing you know, he’s ripping off his jacket and running around trying to get some bees that crawled up underneath off of him.

I was far enough away that the slowly gathering crowd of winged stingers wasn’t paying me any attention. I was sitting there trying to make up my mind about whether to help him or just sit there and laugh my ass off. It seems that there was a hive in the end of the tree log that Eddie picked, and he just happened to set his ass down right on top of one of the exits. I thought about the stinging end of the critters (plus the buzzing was getting louder as more came outside to see what the commotion was about), so I stayed where I was and just proceeded to get a good chuckle out of the show.

By this time Eddie was far enough away that they seemed to forget about him. The smart thing would be to move elsewhere, but Eddie’s jacket was on the ground next to the hive. Unless he had some gold coins hidden in the lining, I couldn’t think of any reason not to just come back and get it later. Ugly as hell, too. I think his wife made it from some upholstery scavenged from a couch they found in the woods somewhere. Smelled a bit off, too.

But Eddie wanted it, and he devised a plan to get it. And I could tell by his expression, that it would be a good time to get off my haunches, and move a save distance away.

What he did next, was to go over to the tree he had he rifle leaning on, and start shooting directly into the bee hive. Not real tough to guess how the bees took to that.

So Eddie’s walking towards the bee hive (and his jacket), shooting every couple of steps, and working the bolt to chamber a new round. Of course the bees are getting less and less happy about how their day is turning out and decide to explain that fact to Eddie just as his clip goes empty.

Still a few steps from his jacket that just happens to have more magazines and extra bullets in the pockets, Eddie finds himself defenseless. But having the rifle in his hands, and Eddie being Eddie, he gets the idea that if you grab it by the barrel and swing it, it’s just as good as a big fly (or bee) swatter. By this time he’s getting stung pretty good, while I made a quick sprint about 30 feet away, being equally worried about getting spotted by the mass of bees, and of Eddie getting to his jacket and his extra ammo. To be honest, the latter was the more worrisome of the two.

Of course during all of this, Eddie is screaming, shouting, and cursing up a storm. Actually he was doing all of that while getting stung repeatedly. I won’t say that he was screaming like a little girl, but you’re free to imagine it any way you like. And however you imagine it, it’s probobly pretty dang close.

By this time I was gettting a bit of unwanted attention from the bees, so I decide it’s a good time to hightail it out of there. I maybe get 100 feet away when Eddie runs past me, still making a noise best described as a prolonged screech, while holding his jacket in one hand, and what’s left of his rifle in the other. In it’s bee swatting capacity, he managed to smack it against a tree and break the buttstock clean off. While not real smart, you have to give him credit for being able to pick up both his jacket, and all of the rifle parts during the onslaught.

By the time we were clearing the woods, Eddie’s left eye was just about closed shut, and from what I could see, he had a fair amount of stings on every exposed part of his body. And I’m guessing from his walk, some parts that were less exposed.

During the walk back He explained that what he wanted to do was to take a few shots at the bee hive to scare them off so he could get his jacket back. Between being unhappy about a few stings I got myself, and trying to digest the train of thought behind his explanation I wasn’t saying much myself during the trek back.

Just about the time we got to the pickup, I saw a good number of squirrels in the trees hopping from branch to branch making a fair amount of noise.

I think they were laughing at us.

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