It was one fine Thursday morning between cloudy days in Southern California. In January, when there is actually rain and the storm systems arrive in three-day cycles, it is as cold as Southern California ever gets. Flowers become few and far between, but are always present during the small lull in the amazing proliferation of plant life that spans most of the year there. So, it is not surprising that while traveling greater distances between flowers than he normally does, that a little bee would get confused.
After all, it was bright just like a flower, and it smelled oh-so-heavenly, like the most fragrant of flowers – it must be a whole bush in high bloom. There were so many fragrances it must be a garden! So it followed the fragrance trail in a blind stupor. Whoosh! Into the building it went. Whoa! It wasn’t a garden after all, but it was fragrant, perfume to be exact.
And was this world ever confusing, for he could still see the sky and bushes, at least, he thought he did. He saw what he thought were many more colorful flowers, but they just turned out to be people. He thought he’d better beeline straight back to safety. Whack! Ouch! What was that? He tried again and again to get out. He couldn’t see anything, so how could he be running into anything? He just kept crawling back and forth and just couldn’t seem to get out. It didn’t make any sense. Hey, one of the flowers just ran out! Normally, flowers pretty well stay put wherever they are growing, it must have been another person again, fragrant and dressed up like a flower. He wasn’t in a bee’s world anymore.
Elizabeth buzzed over to my desk. She told me she knew I was creative and she needed my help, in her office, right now. Then she asked if I was afraid of bees. She wanted the bee removed from her office, but she didn’t want anyone to kill it. Elizabeth dashed back to her office to check on the bee. I pondered a moment, then I dumped the rest of the water out of my Styrofoam cup and made my way through the cubicles to join her.
There was our dear little lost friend, the bee. Crawling and circling on the window, perplexed as can be. Elizabeth asked me how I thought it got in there? I said probably through the door, just like everyone else. He must have loved someone’s perfume and been intoxicated with the scent of flowers and followed them in.
Just then, Peter popped his head in the door and asked what was up. We told him we were trying to catch a bee. He said that was a piece of cake, that they caught them at home all the time. He walked right up to our bee, and grabbed the cup. He eyeballed our bee and said that he was pretty old and he wouldn’t last long. Elizabeth and I sighed, that was not the fate we wanted for our little bee who just wanted to be free in nature again. Peter flipped him into the cup and handed him to me.
With our bee securely in the cup, I rushed -- ever so gently as one can rush with a cup with a bee in it – to the door to the outside world. As I approached the exit, the security guard snapped out of his jail of boredom of papers and computer camera surveillance and asked me what I had there. I told him it was just a little bee that I was trying to return outside. He told me to give him the bee, that he would take care of him. So now I reiterated Elizabeth’s wish that she did not want him hurt. He told me not to worry that he did this all the time. He took the cup with our bee and slipped out the door, over to the grass, and released our bee. As he slid back in the door, he told me that our bee was safe and sound again. I couldn’t see where Elizabeth’s bee had gone, but I thought he must be so relieved to be back in his home surroundings again.
I know he was just a little bee, and that he was hardly worth most people’s attention, let alone their time and energy to save him instead of quickly and efficiently exterminating his little life without another thought about his world out with the other bees and if he would be missed. But in our own little best-of-all-intentions world, we like to think that he lived forever just because of our kindness. We hope you will join us in our good-natured reverie, and, that next time you see a happy little bee zipping by your head, that you will wonder if you just saw Elizabeth’s bee.