I've just been stung by a bee; it really hurts. But it does put me in mind of the first (and only other) time I was stung. I was about 4 or 5 years old. We lived in Broussard, LA.
Our family was close friends with the Lawton family: Bill and Lou, and their sons, Bill and Petey. Some of you might know them - Bill Sr. has been gone a few years now but Miss Lou and Petey live in or around Morgan City. The younger (ha!) Bill, I'm not sure about.
Our families were so close that we had a sleepover at their house for some reason my mother was away - I don't think it was when Sarah was born. It was there that I had the first dream I remember. It was about Yosemite Sam. I woke up scared and confused. Many years later, at Six Flags Over Georgia, when a theme park actor in a Yosemite Sam costume ran over and hugged me, I spontaneously burst into tears. The people with me were scared and confused. But I digress.
So, back to Broussard. Miss Lou came over to have coffee with mother. She brought Petey and Bill along to play with us. We were all out in the side yard. The boys had a bee in a glass mason jar; holes had been punched in the lid so the bee wouldn't die. But just having the bee wasn't enough. No. They devised a game that involved throwing the jar into the air and trying to hit it with a piece of broken brick. One boy threw the jar, the other boy threw the brick. Then they would switch.
If you've seen pictures of me as a small child (and this is Facebook so of course you have), you might have noted that I was a very stoic child. I wasn't prone to loud, rough play. I preferred to stand by and watch (with the patented Hendrix "dead eyes"). And that's what I was doing on this day… standing and watching.
But as it would happen, one of the boys had just enough aim and good enough force that, when he threw the brick, he hit the jar. The next few seconds went a little something like this.
The brick hit me.
The jar broke, freeing the bee which stung me.
I fell down, onto the broken glass which cut both knees and one palm.
(Most of the photos of me from this era show my knees covered in bandaids so, surely ONE of the photos must be from shortly after this incident but I would be hard pressed to say which.)
All I remember about what happened next was that my mother took the tobacco out of a cigarette, wet it, and put it on the sting.
Did it work? I have no idea. But I've always wondered if any other child of that era was subjected to the same home remedy.
Now, about this sting. It really hurts. And me with not a cigarette to be found.