Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Question of Territory

This is my entry to this week's Indie Ink Challenge. The challenge I received is at the bottom of the post.

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To say Podin was tired when he came back home, was an understatement. Moving time was always tough. You pick a place to call home and get all settled in, and then you get the call. Podin's colony was ruled by a leader, who was quite capricious. She believed in superstition and at the slightest of reasons would want to move the colony of thousands to a new location. She had a band of workers that she called her scout pack. They would have to scour the regions and find a new place to set up home.

You might think that Podin's leader sounded like she thought of herself a queen bee. You are right. Podin was a bee and stayed in a hive ruled by a queen bee. It was not like she was a tyrant, but she had her whims and prejudices. Since Podin was one of the oldest in the pack, she valued his opinion and made him the leader of the scouts. Ever so often, they would set off on these expeditions to find a new place to setup their hive. Bees already have a reputation for being hard workers, but their limits were tested those few weeks, when they would travel mile after mile looking for a place that met all their needs.

It was smack in the middle of scouting time. Podin had had yet another unsuccessful day and was just about to retire, when he heard Rafersky calling out for him. He groaned inwardly. Rafersky was a young recruit who thought no end of himself. He had a good work ethic, but there was nothing else going for him.
"Mr Podin, I have found it, the place."
"Eh?" (Bees are known for their brevity)
"There is this beautiful place, about ten miles from here. It's a small lake in the middle of the woods. It looks so beautiful, you have to see it to believe it. I don't think humans know about this place, which means no disturbance. Shall we go tell the queen?"
"Pipe down boy. That's no good, we can't move there. Maybe you will have better luck tomorrow"

Rafersky bristled with anger. He hated Podin and all the older bees. They were slowing everyone down. There was a new generation of bees who still had to seek permission from these old fogies to live their lives. No, Rafersky was not going to stand for it. No siree! He was going to go straight to the queen. He had to do it, for the colony.

Podin saw Rafersky's eyes move towards the queen's chambers and guessed what was running in Rafersky's mind. So he thinks he can go over his head?
"Well, if you want to go to the queen, let's go. I don't think she will take kindly to being disturbed at this hour for such a silly thing."

The queen was obviously impatient. There were so many things to be done and she could do all of them tomorrow only if she got a good night's sleep today. But her mood lightened up when Rafersky told her he had found the place. In the hot summer, moving by the lake felt wonderful. Also the flowers by the lake were always sturdier than flowers inside the city. Which meant more pollen! And no human disturbance too? She giggled in an unqueenly manner upon hearing it.

"Your Majesty. I don't think we should move there. I am not saying that to spite Rafersky who found the place. It's because I don't think it's a good place for us to move to. Sure, living by a lake sounds heavenly, but have you considered water accidents? About half our population is terrified of water and the other half doesn't know how to swim. If one of our young ones fall into the water, what are we to do? Also, humans may seem like pests, but I think they have their use. Have we learned nothing from watching the Bee movie? There are good humans out there. I think that cutting away from civilization is not the way for us to go at this juncture."

The queen was nearly in tears after hearing Podin. She had never heard Podin speak more than two sentences together. Even Rafersky looked humbled and was nodding to what Podin had said. The queen announced that the search would go on and gave Podin a teary hug.

While walking back to their quarters, Podin smiled to himself. He hated humans and had not even watched the Bee movie. Podin had discovered the cove by the lake years ago. That had been his secret place to retire, when things got crazy around him. The thought of sharing that space with thousand other bees made him shudder. Sometimes a bee's got to do what a bee's got to do!

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My challenge was from Shiv
You are a worker bee in charge, with 90 other bees, of finding a new hive ...

Somehow I couldn't really get inspired this week. My entry reads like a children's story and I apologize for that.

I challenged Jules- "Do seasons affect you mentally? Why or why not"

5 comments:

Shiv said...

Nice job ... it was a weird prompt. My first one! I really what you did with it. It flows like one of those disney movies. It seems like its meant for kids, but it entertains the adults.

Head Ant said...

Bees are fascinating creatures. It was nice to glance inside their minds.

Stefan said...

Regardless of how you thought it sounded, I liked reading it and would read more.

janani said...

@shiv - Sometimes the best writing comes from weird prompts. Thanks for your comment, I love Disney movies so being compared to that is a high honor for me :)

@headant - Yeah they are aren't they? I am always fascinated by bees and ants

@stef - You are a sweetheart! :)

Mandy said...

I enjoyed reading it too! :)