This is an email my dad sent to the family after spending a weekend at our cabin in Vermont. Enjoy!
So, I went for a run...
Or a lumbering trot, stopping to walk every several yards because,
since the knee surgery and weight gain, "that's how I roll." I was
feeling good, as it didn't take me long to get warmed up, and I was
running more than walking, It was going to be a good day.
I remembered that there had been two Rottweillers on the route to
Landgrove road, so I mentally prepared myself to freeze, have the
owner come out and release me. But today there were no dogs, just me
and the trail. How could this get better?
After the first mile, I managed to pick up two deer flies. They
pestered me buzzing and diving, but there were only two, manageable I
thought. Like a typical Vermonter, I have learned to use my hat as a
weapon, at least to keep a few deer flies at bay.
I'm not sure what happened next, as the two deer flies were joined by
several bees. I could tell because the sound was different. I turned
around and saw an entire armada of bees coming at me. So, deer flies
were fine, but I soon found myself sprinting faster than I thought
possible. And, every time I looked back, there seemed to be more
insects, now in a variety of sizes, pursuing me. I really don't know
how I managed to provoke the swarm, I don't remember even seeing a bee
before the altercation and subsequent chase. They must have been
Africanized, because these bees were crazy, relentless, possessed.
So now I'm running as fast as I can, and I've taken my hat off to swat
and run, something between a cartwheel and pirouette. It must have
looked interesting, as an elderly couple in a passing car almost
slowed to a stop, rubbernecking, the woman's nose pressed against the
window to see the show. I was running and thrashing with the hat,
leaping, running and thrashing, until I just ran out of gas. The bees
chased me several hundred yards. They were pissed and in attack mode.
My heart was racing, and the thought occurred to me that, given my
ample size and lack of conditioning, I might be risking a heart attack
if I kept going.
So, I thought, keep running and risk cardiac arrest, or stop and
fight, and risk multiple bee stings. No good options. Shit. I stopped
running, grasped my hat, and said to myself, "come on bitch, let's do
it." The bees were all around me, dive bombing and trying to land, but
I was spinning and thrashing, and pumping my legs, like on Flashdance.
No part of my body was still, or assailable as long as I kept moving.
I managed to kill two bees, and for some reason, I thought the rest
would get the message and retreat. This did not happen.
The fight continued for what seemed two or three minutes, and finally
I killed the last attacker. I counted twelve bees around my feet, and
four deer flies, who had joined the assault when they thought the bees
had the upper hand. I was out of breath, exhausted, but victorious. No
stings, my pride intact.
I did, however, take a different way home.