A Memory From Childhood

I remember and why not I that saturday in July
I was ten years or eleven since then many years gone by
And the weather not so summery rain clouds gathering in the sky
Slashing thistles for my uncle in a field in Lisnaboy.

I remember after walking through small patch of mossy ground
That I felt a little startled at an angry buzzing sound
I had trod on honeybees nest and around me they did fly
And my fear I will remember till the very day I die.

With my hands my face I covered I was far too scared to run
And I felt like person staring down the barrel of a gun
But the bees they did not sting me though they sounded quite distressed
And after four or five long minutes they returned to their nest.

I had seen their wild born cousins nest in cavities of trees
But this was my introduction to ground nesting honey bees
I had trodden on their nest site and was taken by surprise
But they only swarmed around me with a buzzing angry noise.

I recall a distant Summer's day in weather mild to warm
In the coolness of early morning I witnessed a wild bees swarm
They were clustered on a tree trunk, I told an old man what I'd seen
And he said to me that the honey bees were protecting their queen.

I had trod on a wild bees nest and they rose up from the ground
And they made an angry buzzing as they circled me around
But why they never even stung me I have often wondered why?
On that cloudy day in Summer long ago in Lisnaboy.

by Francis Duggan

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