Yesllow jacket bees | By: stanley ray mcqueen | | Category: Short Story - Funny Bookmark and Share

Yesllow jacket bees

Yellow Jackets bees"

Folks here in Muddy fork all worship at the little goose chapel church
house that sets in the hollow not too far from  the sawmill , mountain
saints has and old custom concerning their faith in the almighty God,
as it is written thy shall take up serpents and they shall not harm
thee, but paw is not a member of the little good chapel saints and he
kills ever copperhead he can strike at with a corn hoe,  but my maw she
is a saint of the church here, and she believes in handling shakes , My
given name is Jake and paw name is frank maw she bears the name of Sara
our last name Is Bishop,  and I just  turned twenty last week, our
little hillside farm isn't much to speak of its' so steep and all and
rocky , it hard to raise corn on a hard rock paw always declared” It
was near that time of year that the pastor of little goose come to our
shack and asked me if I could ketch him a mess of copperhead and
rattlers for the snake handling service, he told me to get my friend
Walter north to help me set shake traps and that he would give me and
Walter five dollars for ever snake we brought him,

Walter and I were the best shake catchers in these part, and we made a
heap of money each year catching a mess of new shakes, we both love
that time of the year and knew that it was easy to catch snakes with
the good traps we had, all we had to do was bait  them with mice and
the mice was harder to catch that the shakes, I was scared that maw
would get bite some day and die and I tried hard to get her to stop
handling shakes, but her faith was strong in the lord, and she has
handled more snakes that anyone around , my friend  Walter said they
had to be some sort of trick to handling shakes , and not getting bite,
and that some day he would figure it out somehow,

Walter and I leaf off early and set traps along the old bluff that was
around history ridge, and put mice in the trap we had caught in paw
corn crib, that next morning early we went to the ridge and discovered
we had twenty five snakes caught, ten rattlers and fifteen copperheads'
this year we had done real good on the number, we had made us fifty
dollars each and was happy about that, We took them all in one big tin
bucket we had got off of paw that some corn seed had come in year
before last, the good preacher paid us and we both thanked him, and we
both headed off to the saloon  that was located in our little township
of Muddy Fork,  which was no more than a wide place in the wagon road ,
it has few crude shack and a small jail house and small boarding house,
and the red coon saloon,. And a black smith shop,  Walter and I love to
drink and every time we made some money it ended up going to the saloon
keeper pockets, we enjoyed drinking and laughing and getting drunk, but
maw never knew that I drunk and paw never neither, and that was the way
I wanted to keep it that way, because of maw being a member of the
little goose chapel church, we set and drank to about near dark and
tonight was shake handling  night at the church and we both got to
drunk to think right, Walter wanted me and him to attend the church
meeting, us feeling so good and  all on the whiskey spirits it seem
like a good idea to go and watch the saints handled the shakes we had
caught  just the night before , Walter and I knew where a big nest of
yellow jacket bees were and Walter come up with the idea of capping the
nest with a fruit jar and threshing the ground so the bees would fill
the jar and that we had found alongside the wagon road that lead to the
church house, Walter had a idea in that mind of his , that might make
the night's meeting a little more interesting for the two of us to
watch from the pine thicket  that was just outside the church house,
Walter told me that we would let the shake handling get underway and
that we would slip up on the porch stoop of the church and roll that
jar of bees inside the church and see how the saints would take to
yellow jackets joining the nights worship service, we both had mean
streaks in us both of us young and mischievous, and  drunk making us
the more meaner,  Walter said he would lose the jar lid just lose
enough that when he rolled it inside the door that it would uncap the
bees and they would join the folks at little goose chapel church, and
Walter wanted to know if the folks could handle bees being loosed  in
the church , he told me it was an experiment. I being drunken it made
the idea seem a good one and why not add a little something to the
shake handling service,. It was quiet a walk from the township to the
church and we caught ever one of those yellow jacket bees and had
nearly a gallon of mad bees in the gallon fruit jar, it was a moonlit
night making it better to walk and see our way to the church house , we
made it to the thicket and hide and it was not long till folks starting
arriving at the church house,  wagon and mule teams were parked

alongside the wagon road before the church house ,  snake handling
night always produced a full  church house, what a night I was thinking
to be hide in a thicket to watch and do mischief  to the worshipers of
little goose chapel church , folks , seems like whiskey spirit make a
man mean and careless and that what it had done to me and  Walter, we
waited patiently for the meeting   to get  underway at the church house
, the windows were all open and coal oil lanterns give light to the
church, and we could see good from without the thicket ,  Rev Howard
greets the folks with a big howdy and some songs were song and the
meeting was getting started good, after the songs were finished , Rev
Howard  begin his sermons , folks he said tonight its' that special
night that we take up serpents knowing they shall no harm us because we
are all saints of faith,   yes folks we are shielded from all evil and
serpent   can't bit us because God locks their jaw joints, yes folks we
are the folks of faith, we know that serpents  are not going to harm a
one of us on this night of handling them and declaring that we are of
the faith of God,    I remember one man lacked the faith and a
copperhead latched on him and bite him and he died because he was not a
man of God or of faith, Rev Howard declares, yes folk be not afraid of
any beast because they cannot harm folks that have the faith he said
and amen's” his own words,  folks answered him with amen's , and he
preaches harder , we can see him waving his slim arms as he declares
the faith to the saints, now he said loud bring on the serpent and two
men go and retrieve the two basket of shakes and  uncaps the lids of
the basket of shakes and people reaches in and partakes  of the
serpents,  see the faith lost soul Rev Howard shouts loud , see those
shake get limber as dish rags he Bragg ” take my saints handled them
pass them around share your faith  he commands , and folks are passing
the wiggling shakes about the church house, Walter said suddenly it
time to lose the yellow jackets it time to see what kind  of faith that
little goose chapel church saints have he whispered to me , and slipped
off carrying the gallon of been along with him,, I watch as he sneaks
and quietly interned the porch stoop and he takes the jar and laid it
down and  quietly rolled it right through the open  church house door ,
the jar rolled and as it rolled it unloosed the jar lid and all hell
broke loose he hurried back to the thicket and join me , and we watch 
as people were being stung , folks were throwing serpents  down and now
fighting mad yellow jackets, folks leaped out the open church windows
and we even the good Rev Howard  took and run out and was slapping
himself  trying to rid himself of the bee that were stinging him all
over,  seem like faith had lost it grip I was thinking as I watch
people head off toward any direction to get away from the angry swarm
of bees, kids were screaming and crying and  mules were being stung and
run off with the wagon without drivers, it was something to behold, for
sure and I was getting sober and was wondering what we had got
ourselves into ,  we  never considered the mules and the children being
stung , and it  everyone one running for their lives from angry mad
bees, Walter and I  high tale it out of that thicket before anyone sees
us and we run for now our lives knowing that if anyone seen us we have
hell to pay at day break ,  ever mule that was tied broke the tie ropes
and run off leaving all those folks to walk to their shacked which was
some miles away from little goose chapel church, We manage to get away
safe from being discovered and thanked the lord for that, Walter said
we had done the worse sin known unto man, ever one of those serpents
got their freedom back that night and the devil had won that meeting 
all because of too drunken mean country boys who had broke off more
than a man can chew, Walter said it was strange that little bees could
run men and woman to the woods and that folks could handle snakes in
faith but yellow jackets  broke all their faith hold, if I shall live
to be a hundred I shall never tell who was the ones that broke up the
shake handling meeting , and like grandma bishop always said that all
is well that ends well......the end

Click Here for more stories by stanley ray mcqueen