Wednesday, 7 April 2010
St. George & The... Ummm... Bee !
Our Sacristan is on a well-deserved holiday for two weeks, and, as her assistant, I have stepped into the breach.
At the end of Mass, I started clearing a few things away in the Sacristy. Suddenly, I became aware of a loud buzzing noise coming from the little room where the torches, candle snuffers and thuribles are kept. I glanced in... and saw the most enormous bee - about three and a half inches in length.
I have never seen a bee that size. It sounded rather annoyed.
Now, many years ago, I had a really bad bee and wasp phobia. Just how bad can be judged by the fact that, at its height, I used to walk in the road so as not to go near any gardens where a bee might be lurking... A course of systematic desensitisation has sorted the phobic behaviour, but I still don't like bees and wasps. They're fine outside. I am just much happier for them to remain outside.
Anyway, this was one very large bee. I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and shut the thurible room door. I could still hear loud buzzing...
At this point, His Hermeneuticalness returned to the Sacristy. Rather sheepishly, I explained that there was a very large and angry bee behind the door.
"That's ok," he said, reassuringly, "Leave the door shut."
"But I can't!" I wailed... "I need the candle snuffer... and I have to get the torches for the Mass at Chislehurst..."
He smiled indulgently (ok, ok... he laughed at me for being such a wuss) and he opened the door to have a look.
He then promptly shut the door again.
It was a very, very large bee...
Off he strode, in search of some sort of implement. On his return, he was brandishing a large broom. He opened the back door of the Sacristy, and then opened the door to the thurible room... I think he squished the bee on the bristles... I wasn't able to see, as I was preparing to flee the Sacristy if it all went horribly wrong. Fr. Tim then disposed of the body via the back door...
Of such valorous deeds are legends made...