Freckle and the bumblebee

Pensive Freckle thinking about bumblebees

Freckle thinking back to last summer and that weird bumblebee in the garden! Photo by MD Wright

I was looking through my files for blog posts I’d started or made notes for and found this one from June 13, 2008. I’d forgotten about it and it made me smile to remember Freckle’s growly throat noises as she stalked a wooden garden ornament. Here it is:

Freckle and I were walking along the railroad tracks/community gardens late this afternoon when suddenly we heard a whirring noise in the midst of a clump of irises. We approached and as I suspected, it was a one of those bumblebees on a stick (the modern kind) but one wing had been incapacitated and was pointing to six o’clock. The other wing was doing double-duty and whirring gallantly in the breeze! Freckle was obviously shocked! She bounced back and crouched down as though she’d just met a Boxer with a strange face. She started tilting her head as only Boxers can do … turning it this way and that… looking at the lopsided bee struggling unsuccessfully to fly away with each gust of wind.

Then Freckle crouched really close to the ground and I could hear the beginning of what we call the “throat noise” … low gurgling sounds that begin just above her chest and rumble all the way up to her front teeth. She began bouncing from one side to the other … all the while gurgling away and tilting her head from side to side. The bumblebee, on the other hand, seemed completely oblivious.

By this time it was approaching 5:50 pm and I was hoping to be home in time to watch the six o’clock news. I said, “Freckle, let’s go. It’s just a bee on a stick… it’ll be here tomorrow.” Freckle wasn’t convinced. She gently planted first one paw, and then the other so very carefully between the plants surrounding the busy bee. Each time I said, “Freckle, not in the garden,” and she’d immediately lift her paw up but kept her eyes on the bee. And all the while, the warbling gurgle continued in her throat.

Soon I heard the evening news theme song wafting along from a nearby apartment building. “OK, Freck … here we go.” It took persistence and a cookie to convince her to move toward home. Later in the evening as I watched her snoozing peacefully on the couch, I wondered if she was dreaming about stationary bumblebees or whether she’d given it another thought.


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