under the umbrella


I was away for a couple of weeks during the Late August/Labor , fixed, Day holiday, so I brought down the garden umbrella.  It’s a sad affair, with a broken splints which I tried to reattach vainly with a handmade splint.  Getting caught up with work, I never got around to opening the umbrella and let it sit unbothered in the heat that took its toll on the herbs.

The other day, I decided to open it, but did not get very far, for inside, clinging like–well, insects–were a clog of bees.  About a dozen yellow jackets, climbing over one another, with a few buzzing about, way up near the top of the pole.  I immediately desisted.  Now I had an umbrella about a quarter of a way open.  All day, I kept peering at it, looking at the bees.

I wondered what they were doing, congregating like that?  Yellow jackets, after my internet search, did not make honey, so my first idea was wrong.  Making babies?  Maybe.  I left them alone, and thought I could wait for the frost.  I went back inside, shutting my indoor, wishing I had the screens my landlord promised in June.

I don’t know what made me brave it that evening, but since the bees did not seem that interested in biting me, I cautiously cranked up the umbrella, tilting it to avoid the fence.  Really, the set-up’s comic, and the one who really enjoys the comfy chair underneath is the neighborhood cat, although lately he has not been around.  Now I know why.  So I cranked it up, and left the premises.

Next morning, the bees were gone.  I kept checking back to make sure.  A mutually agreeable eviction.

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