Take Sunday for example. We woke to our dogs making a terrible fuss. Our home is on one corner of our land, then there’s our driveway, and then there is a field that is adjacent to the road. To walk the perimeter of the field is a quarter mile. The dogs were fussing at a truck parked on the road in front of our field.
It happens often enough that we didn’t think anything of it until the driver gets out and is pacing beside his vehicle. So, my husband and I drive down to see if he needs any help. As it turns out, the fellow was trying to call his hunting dogs back to him. He had been hunting coyotes and he couldn’t get his dogs to return.
Please understand that where we live coyote hunting is necessary, because the population can get out of control and endanger humans and their pets and farm animals. We wished him well, but asked him to refrain from hunting on our land. (We’ve had more than one stray bullet embed itself in our wall. Just a side effect of living where we do.)
Not that we didn’t trust the guy, but as I’ve said we’ve had issues before, so my husband and I pull on our blaze orange and set about working in the field. We’ve been trying to create a hedgerow along the road to discourage four wheeling.
To that end, we relocate bushes that grow wild in the field to the row. One of the more prevalent bushes has large thorns, but beautiful smelling flowers in the spring. I have no idea of the name.
We move three. He has a shovel and I’m using a hammer-like tool to break away any rocks. My husband is doing most of the heavy lifting. While I’m standing beside him I can’t help but look around. I’m waiting for a coyote to bolt out of the woods toward us. I’m on edge.
When I glance back at my husband, who is now setting the bush in place I see what appear to be flies all around him. (This can happen if you are working too close to road kill. We know from experience)
“You are getting swarmed by flies,” I say.
He says, “That’s weird.”
I scan the tree line again.
Then he says, “Ow.”
My gaze darts back to him and I see the insects for what they really are, “Oh my God, they’re bees!”
Even as I shout he is already running, a cloud of angry yellow jackets swarming behind him. Then they turn on me.
I hear my husband yelling for me to run and I do. In my panicked mind, I didn’t want the bees that are chasing me to find him. So I angle away. Running for all I’m worth. I hear him yelp again and I turn to see the cloud is gone, but his cream colored sweatshirt is dotted with black.
“I can’t get them off,” he shouts.
Without thinking, I run toward him. He’s still swatting at his clothes. I approach at a run, flailing at him with the only thing I had on hand…the bushes. Steps away from him my boots catch on something. I slide into the brush at his feet. Rising to my knees, I swat at him over and over. Knocking winged assailants to the ground with every blow.
Finally, the danger ebbs and we are left gasping for air. My husband smiles at my choice of weapon. “Pricker bushes. I’m being stung by yellow jackets and you beat me with pricker bushes.”
I look at what are now merely thorny twigs in my hand and realize my other hand is empty. “Good thing I dropped the hammer.”