/ Michigan quarterly review: Vol. 29, No. 2
ARTHUR MILLER BEES A story to be spoken It was high summer and the days were long. The baby crawling around on the rattan carpet suddenly let out a cry and we both looked down and shushed him. The setting sun's orange rays crossed his little quizzical face as he looked intently at the back of his hand and now screamed again, but hysterically this time and I saw the bee walking on his finger and rushed to knock it away. His mother picked him uptstill screaming in pain. It was infuriating that he was stung. Then I saw three or four more bees moving around on the carpet where he had been sitting, and then further away a few more, making a total of a dozen or so. Then I saw that even more were crawling up the tan sackcloth drape next to the slider through which the dying sunlight was pouring into the room. Where were they coming from? But they were moving slowly, feeling around rather than darting here and there, disoriented somehow, a slight reassurance. We examined the baby's bedroom before putting him to bed and shutting his door. But of course bees could get under a door, so we kept looking in on him through half the night until we were too tired to stay awake, and we slept in exhaustion. In the morning there was no sign of bees in the living room or anywhere else. It seemed strange. The house was screened, how had they gotten in? After breakfast I went outside to fix a hole in the vegetable garden fence. A perfect clear day and a faultless blue sky. After I had gone a few yards a small dark shadow passed across the grass in front of me, a black shadow about the size of a desk when there wasn't a cloud in the sky. And then I realized I was hearing a roaring over my head and looked up. About fifteen feet up in the air thousands of bees 153
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