Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the store
many shoppers were stirring, not much room on the floor.
The stockings were hung by the beehive with care,
In hopes that the Queen Bee soon would be there.
The bees were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of honey-flowers danced in their heads.
And head beekeeper in her ‘beesuit, and I in my veil,
Had just settled the tills for a long winter’s honey sale.
When out on the pavement there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the extractor to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The fairy lights on the breast of the shop front above
Gave the twinkle of star-light to objects the likes of.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appease,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny bees.
This little bee driver, so lively on shift,
I knew in a moment it must be a Christmas apiarist.
More rapid than bumbles her coursers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Beeswax! now, Droner! now, Pollen and Venom!
On, Capper! On, Cluster! on, on Dadant and Queenzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now Fly away! Fly away! Fly away all!”
As a lit smoker that before the smoke swirl fly,
When mist meets an obstacle, mounts to the sky.
So up to the house-top the creatures they flew,
With the sleigh full of honey, and honeydew too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the shop roof
The tapping and humming this burden of proof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney honeybees came with a bound.
They were dressed all in fur, from their heads to their feet,
And with clothes all tarnished with ashes and sweet.
A bundle of sweet pollen they had flung on their backs,
And they looked like tiny pedlars, just opening a pack.
Their eyes-how they twinkled! their abdomens how merry!
Their wings were like roses, their antenna sparkled like a cherry!
One droll little bee was drawn up like a bow,
looking rather put out with no winter honey flow.
The stump of a stinger she held tight in her sack,
Keeping it in reserve in case of attack.
The queen had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when she buzzed, like a bowlful of royal jelly!
She was chubby and plump, a right jolly old thing,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of her sting!
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all the shop shelving, then turned with a jerk.
And laying her foreleg aside of her head,
And giving a nod, up the chimney she lead!
She sprang to her sleigh, to her team gave a hum,
And away they all flew making the sound of a snare drum.
I swear I could hear, ‘ere she drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
text & images-The Hive Honey Shop copyright©Dec2013