This is a story about the struggle between Man and Mother nature. This is the story of one six-year old’s superhero hubris. This is the story of Batman vs. the bees.
As a six-year-old, when your mom, dad, teacher or some other adult told you that you could be whatever you wanted to be, you took that straight to heart. Growing up in the early 90’s I’d spent some serious time being a lot of different things. I had quite the resume built up. A T-rex from Jurassic Park? Check. All-time great and basketball hero Michael Jordan? Check. Just an ordinary truck? Sure. Why not? But of all of the things on my list, my favorite to be was Batman.
I watched the show. I played the Nintendo game. My parents even let me watch the movie even though it was scary and had real grownup swear words in it. Mom even sewed me a cape with a mask that I would wear all the time. The cape was attached to the mask and was so long it would drag behind me. Just like the real batman.
As the Batman I had a perfect record when it came to beating the bad guys. But there was one hideout that I had yet to tackle: the hive.
The hive was an old faucet that hung crookedly from one of our neighbor’s houses and it was home to my arch nemeses, the bees. I could see them flying in and out of the old faucet and I could almost swear I could see honey drip from it every once in a while. From what my six-year-old brain understood, bees just naturally hated fun. Any time I would play outside on a hot summer day the bees were always there. Waiting to sting me. I knew they had to be stopped. For the good of mankind and also for the good of me, because as far as batmen went, I was kind of a wuss.
But I knew that Batman had to be brave. So I came up with a brilliant plan. I was going to trap the bees in their own hideout and I was going to use my cape to do it.
So I approached. Slowly and cautiously. I knew that I was only going to get one shot at this.
As I got closer I could tell that the hive was on high alert so I acted fast. I threw the end of my cape around the faucet and tied it as quickly as I could. I had done it! But I knew that I had to get out of there fast because I could hear the angry buzzing coming from inside the hive. I stood up and began to run away when I heard and felt two different things that both meant bad news.
First I felt a tug against my head. In the heat of the mission I had forgotten that the cape was still on my head. I had barely taken a step before my head jerked back and my feet came out from underneath me. Secondly I heard the sound of fabric tearing closely followed by the sound of many angry bees. The stinging began immediately and all thoughts of heroism left as they were replaced with the primal instinct to get as far away as quickly as possible.
It may have taken a torn cape and a few good stings but I learned that day that sometimes it is a-ok to run away from a fight. It’s even okayer to run away from bees. Even if you happen to be Batman.