It was an innocent hand offered. My 84 year old father had managed to get to the back of his property and there he stood, cane in one hand steadying himself and the saw in the other cutting away at the fence post, trying to create a space for another birdhouse.
As any bossy daughter would do, I gave him the talk about being careful and not hurting himself It didn't make a lick of difference that Dad had single handedly installed the other six or seven birdhouses.
I assured Poppa Bear that I could easily slide the saw back and forth and knock the top of the fence post, making it an ideal location for the little wooden birdhouse. He agreed and relinquished his toothed tool. I started cutting away at the post.
Suddenly, as if on cue, a swarm of buzzing bees hightailed it out of one of the birdhouses already in place, and went into attack mode. I was the target. My arms flailed and the saw went flying. Luckily Dad had started to move away when I took over the task. The saw missed him. A few angry buzzers alighted and headed his way, but his safari hat afforded him the protection he needed. I wasn't quite as lucky. The nasty little critters would show me no mercy. How dare I interrupt their homestead and shake up the neighbourhood with that incessant sawing? I was surrounded. As what seemed like fifty angry bees, buzzing maniacally around my face, I swatted and screamed and must have looked like a psychotic karate dropout. Those determined stingers got me on the neck, under my arm and on my lip. Then they were gone. Just like that. I stood there wondering how long it would be before I might go into anaphylatic shock. Stupid things, like did my chemotherapy lower my resistance and now am I doomed to die from a mere bee sting or two? entered my noggin. How long would it take for me to keel over anyway?
Minutes passed. Nothing happened, other than localized throbbing. I dashed inside and doused my wounds with vinegar. Nasty bees.
A short while later, fat lip and all, I went outside to face my attackers and to figure out what to do with the half-sawn fance post.
There was Dad, cane in hand, blowing the dust off his saw. I really should have minded my own business...