Mad Hatter's Tea Party 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

She felt a twinge in her back as she pegged out the sheets. From inside the house she could hear shrieks of laughter as the children were playing a game: based on previous experience it sounded like there would be much to clean up later. The wind brushed against her cheek and sent a lock of hair over her eye, and as she flicked it away the sheet fell. Fortunately there had been no rain recently, and the dry earth didn't stain the fresh laundry.

Although hanging out the washing took much longer than shoving it all into the tumbledrier, she always preferred to do it as it gave her a few minutes to herself among the flowers .The garden wasn't perfect, she could see clumps of weeds in every aspect, but it was pretty and slightly wild. There was always an air of magic out here, and today was no exception with birds singing and bees fact there was a very loud buzz just near her ear.
She flicked it away but it came back even louder.
"Shoo" she said.

The bees were insistent, it almost seemed as if they were talking to her.
"Come and play with uzzzz...come and play..."
Was it the bees? Or the echo of her children running in the garden.
"You never have time to play with uzzzz..!"
It must be her children, that was their constant refrain. She impatiently swiped at the bees - rather too violently, and hit herself in the face. "Idiot!" she labeled herself, and then felt a bit woozy: had she clouted herself that hard?  She slumped onto the grass and closed her eyes...and suddenly it went silent.
Ahhh...peace! she thought.
As quick as that thought ran through her mind the peace was broken. There was an even louder buzzing, almost as if hundreds of little raspy voices were shouting at her
"Open your eyes!"
She did, and gasped.
Instead of her garden she was sitting in what could only be described as a bee hive! She was surrounded by hundreds of bees. And opposite her...not a bee, but a man. A man in a hat.
"Felicitations, and cavalcades of joy!" he exclaimed.
"Sorry, but where am I?"
"Oh, for goodness sake, lady, just go with the whimsy! No questions: only fun and merriment."
"I don't just go with things, I meticulously plan and consider situations. I have a checklist of things I need to do before I can even leave the house. I never consider whimsy, and I certainly do not act spontaneously !"

A bee appeared with a bowl of small cakes.

"Madeleine.." it buzzed.
"Go on!" said the behatted man. "They're very good!"
The impossible magic of the situation persuaded her to take a cake from a stranger. She placed the whole little treat in her mouth.
"Mmmm!" It tasted of rosebuds and Summer. She imagined she were growing very tiny, or maybe getting bigger, or was she just melting away? She ate four more!

As she grinned a whole table full of cakes and dainties appeared in front of her.

"Dive in" suggested the man.
She looked at the delicious array in front of her. "Well, why ever not?" she said, and closed her eyes, grabbing the first thing her fingers touched: a lemon and raspberry muffin. It was quite delicious!

"I know!" The man in the hat said, as if he could read her mind. "The best you have ever tasted?"
She nodded in agreement while her eyes settled on a honey cake.
"It's a little known secret, but the bees are the best bakers in the world!"

And they certainly were - she tried each and every pastry, pie and sweet treat laid out in front of her, without ever feeling full.
Eventually the table was empty, and she lay back and sighed. The hum of the buzzing was sending her to sleep, and as she drifted away it seemed to take on a different tone...they were singing a lullaby for her.

Awaking with a start she found herself on the lawn, the children still raucously screaming, the birds still singing,   and the bees still buzzing.
"Ah well!" she sighed "Whimsy can't last for ever. Back to work!"
As she passed the dining room table, her arms full of sheets now dry, her eyes fell on an object that certainly hadn't been there when she went outside:

She retraced her steps to the back door, peeped out and whispered: "Thank you bees, until next year" and blew them a kiss.

You can spy on last years Mad Hatter's Tea Party here.

PS: There seems to be an awful lot of Mad Hatter's Tea Parties about today - you can find out why if you head over to A Fanciful Twist.