My niece and nephew are staying with us for two weeks. To celebrate, I thought I’d repost the story of their visit two years ago.
I haven’t written much about the nephew and niece because they haven’t done much except play on the PS3 and sigh at the rain, but it finally cheered up enough for me, the niece and nephew, Spud, Spud’s friend and the dogs to take a walk along the Pennine Trail yesterday. Not much happened that is worth blogging about, unless you want to hear how a horse mistook Spud’s fingers for grass and nipped him; how Spud was freaked out by a slug staring him in the face as he hid in the grass during a game of commando; and the nephew, thinking he was doing a good thing, killed a bumble bee that landed on the friend. If you don’t want to hear about any of that, it’s too late because I’ve already written it and you’ve already read it.
The nephew was mortified when I told him he was going to jail as it is against the law to kill a bumble bee in this country. Furthermore, his valiant act was in vain because bumble bees don’t sting and even if they did, only when attacked, and this one had just mistaken the friend for a flower and it’s a bit mean to kill something because it thinks you’re a flower. Once he was penitent and contemplating a rush for the Mexican border, I eased off the guilt throttle, satisfied that the nephew would never again kill an innocent bee that was just doing its bit for the planet. I could see he now preferred the death of a thousand non-stings to a reproachful look from Auntie Tilly.
I know you are wondering if this photo is evidence of my rage, but he actually did this to himself. Playing football on tarmac in the rain is dangerous enough, but he thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of the three minutes of sunshine that escaped on Wednesday afternoon, and took off his shirt. Having put it down, he turned, ran for the ball, slipped on the wet tarmac and went head over bee-killing heels before sliding along on his back and messing up the gravel. He was quite shaken up, and this is a thirteen-year old boy who bats for an adult cricket team, so it must have stung a bit.
A couple of paracetamol, liberal doses of antiseptic and an Auntie Tilly hug and he was all better, but he kept reappearing in my personal space to show me the bruise on the knee, scrape on the ankle, rib lacerating the shoulder that he hadn’t noticed earlier. It was inevitable that he’d have to pay it forward. I guess that bee just had bad karma.