Sunday, May 21, 2006

Chapter 2-3

I broke up the first chapter into 2 sections. It was way to long and had a natural break. In real world news, the NY Times has a great article on our failures regarding the Iraqi police force. Some say democrats and liberals continue to bash Bush. I say, reality continues to bash Bush.

Mr. Azure looked at the group.

“This is going to take planning. Nime is very fast, so we need to be fast as well. We need to talk to her for a long time, not just the usual hellos and goodbyes. Does anyone have any ideas?”

Caruso lifted up his faded back petal and said, “I don’t see how you could talk so fast. This Nime speaks quicker than the two little sprouts,” gesturing to Illy and Lilly.

Mrs. Scarlet looked around and said, “Well, that is true. I’ve never heard flowers who speak as quickly as you two dears. You two have the most amazing gift for talking. Must be because you practice all the time. Can you try to speed yourselves up?”

Illy said, “Well, we might be able to. We could see how fast we could be.”

Caruso let out his hoarse laugh that Illy and Lilly didn’t like very much, “Be. Bee. Ha.” Illy said it didn’t take much to amuse the old flower, Lilly said it took nothing.

Mr. Azure just watched. And then he said, “Nime seems to be particularly drawn to you, Mrs. Scarlet. Is it possible for you to make yourself more appealing to her, so that she will stay for longer? Something to bring out your lovely red color even more?”

“Why, Mr. Azure, I don’t know, I mean...” Mrs. Scarlet blushed deeply.

Illy and Lilly gasped loudly, and truth be told, with bitter envy, because when Mrs. Scarlet blushed, her color grew so red she looked as red as a poison berry. Or that’s what Caruso said later. He told them a poison berry bush once grew “A ways down the hill. “Actually a nice bushy fella he was. Hated that his berries were poison, but the red was the warning, see? He’d say, ‘I tried to warn em.’ Just the way he was, poisonous, and there’s no changing what you are, if what you are is poison.”

Nime flew toward the flowers at that moment. Bees do spend some time with the flowers they visit because, as hive creatures, they know the value of good social relations. Nime very much wanted to linger, relax, see and smell the flowers, but the hive always needed more nectar. Quotas were difficult to meet early in the season, and Nime held herself to the highest standards. Overall Nime felt bad about not spending enough time with the flowers, but not nearly bad enough to want to miss a quota.

She knew that the flowers liked having her there; after all, they made nectar for her. She knew their nickname for her, and liked it. Her real name wasn’t really any name at all. To the hive she was Three-Seven-Left-Work-Two-Without, meaning she hatched out of the third section of the hive at seven degrees to the left, and that she was a worker, second class, never given royal jelly as a baby. This was her exact designation, location, and circumstance of her birth and life. It was both more than and less than a name.

She preferred Nime.

When she flew up to the flowers that afternoon she intended to stop and chat. Yesterday, several worker bees saw a wasp, setting the hive abuzz. Various high ranking drones organized soldier bees and the hive’s defenses and lowered nectar quotas. The hive needed information about the wasp’s location and perhaps the flowers knew something.

Nime flew up to the patch as Mr. Azure, the quiet blue flower, said something she couldn’t quite make out. Mrs. Scarlet’s red became Red. The Red captured Nime’s eye and filled her mind. After she landed right on Mrs. Scarlet’s petal, which seemed to glow next to the greenery and dirt, she felt slightly woozy. The pale yellow flowers started talking.

“Hi!” And at the same time the other said, “Wait!” “Wait for just a second!” said one while the other said, “We have something to ask you!”

Nime collected Mrs. Scarlet’s nectar and captured the pollen with her fur. The flowers in this patch made a lovely light and sweet nectar, but not a great deal. “OK. But first, have you seen any wasps? Yellow jackets actually.”

Illy and Lilly’s petals opened wide at that. Mr. Azure answered for them all, “No, we have not, but we do have a matter we would like to discuss.”

“Go ahead. Mind if I watch while you talk?”

Neither Illy nor Lilly stopped talking until the end of their story. By then, Nime was sitting on the ground, watching Mrs. Scarlet’s Red fade to her normal red.

“Well, what can I do? I’m only a bee. I’d like to help you, but I can’t even talk to the tree. I’m too small to fly up to his main trunk and he’s too big to hear me, even if I could.”

The flowers all drooped and looked a bit withered up at that point. Nime gathered up Mr. Azure’s nectar and thought. “Well, you know. I could help actually. You’re on the south side of the tree. You can’t see it, but there’s a north side. It’s the shady side. There’re toadstools that grow right on the tree. At least I think they’re toadstools, mushrooms anyway. Or fungi? They lead all the way up his trunk. Probably they lead all the way up to his ear. I could tell one, then he could tell the next, then the next, and so on, until the last one tells the tree.”

Mr. Azure, “That’s incredible! How did you think of that?”

“Well, that’s how our hive does it. If I see a new flower patch, I’d go back to the hive, and I tell 5 people, then they’d each tell 5, and before you know it, the whole hive knows. What is the tree’s name?”

Caruso spoke, “When he was a little sapling his name was Max. If he gets the message, he’ll help us out. He was a good little sap.” Here he looked at Illy and Lilly. They each thought he was going to look at them like they were not good kids, so were surprised to find Caruso’s droopy face looking at them kindly, but only for an instant. Then his voice became stern, “He’ll help us. He used to be my little big seedling.”

Mr. Azure said, “We need to tell him to move his main south branch to the west by ten degrees. That way we can get the morning sun, and Max won’t lose much sun for himself. I’ve worked it out. So remember the following message: move main south branch west 10 degrees.” Mr. Azure was excited and was about to tell them how he had worked out that plan, but Mrs. Scarlet interrupted, for which Illy, Lilly, and Nime were grateful.

“Well, we have to make it nicer than that, don’t we? We have to say please, don’t we? Otherwise we’ll be thought of as rude. How about, ‘Dear sir, the flowers below are getting no sun. Please move your main south branch ten degrees to the west. This will uncover the flower’s morning sun, thank you.’”

“And Caruso says hi!” Shouted Caruso.

Nime asked, “Is that OK? OK with everyone?”

They barely had time to answer, and she buzzed off.

5 Comments:

Blogger marybishop said...

Your going to laugh, but while I read this, I actually saw a Disney-type movie unfold.

Is it me, or is this better second read?

There's social commentary, educational material and wit all rolled into one.

You know, all you need is a few chapters and an outline to send it off to a publisher.

Or you could publish it on lulu.com (one book's about 10 dollars)...and do your own promotion on your blog.

Recently I read an article that says lulu.com and other such websites are the future of book publishing.

With access to the internet, authors no longer need the services of a publisher, either in editing or promoting....

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