Laredo kept getting stung, and Momma was sure blocking out those bees would fix all their problems.
By Brennan Brink
Momma’s yellin’ woke me up this morning. When I went into the kitchen Momma was layin’ into Laredo. I figured he deserved it, the clock read just past 7 and I know at that hour he should be in the garden.
As Momma cooled down a bit she rationalized with Laredo for a change. Momma didn’t do that so I knew it was serious.
She went, “Maybe it would be best if you didn’t go out there with them bees, you can do some work inside the house, let me get off my feet for a chance.”
You see, ev’ since my daddy went up to heaven we had to hire up Laredo to do the yard work. Eva’ since the emancipation procreation from that damn Lincoln, we have to pay him a dime ‘n a half. It seems ever since we’ve had a bee problem out in Momma’s prized garden; probably Lincoln’s fault too. Laredo been stung so many times he should be used to it, but it seems he’s being a little soft today. Funny thing is Laredo was alot like them bees; seemed like if he didn’t agree with momma he’d try n’ sting her with his words. O’ n’ just like them bees he only stung when disturbed.
But somethin’ was off. Laredo could work the garden every day, but the plants in the garden started dyin’.
Laredo took Momma’s spot at the sink and said, “Thank ya’ Mar, I ‘preciate the hospitality.”
Momma sat back in her chair. She was busty and her hair was yellow as margarine an’ thin an’ well kept. As Momma relaxed she light up.
All of a sudden she sits up and gets a real smart idea, “Laredo, what if you built one of them greenhouses keepin’ the bees from immigrating in and stinging’ ya.”
I didn’t quite get all the words, my ‘ocabulary isn’t to built.
“T-that’s a good idea Mar. Ten’ I could-d work the garden all s-s-summer wit out dem bees stungin’ on me.”
Damn dumb, stuttering, n’ stamerin, Mexican.
Mar stood up, she was going somewhere, lookin’ real pleased with herself. She grabbed down the “rules for the garden” chalkboard, hangin’ ‘for Laredo’s chambers. On it she wrote “A garden without borders ain’t a garden,” right below were it the other two rules (A garden without consistent tending ain’t garden, n’ A garden whose aim does not serve its own plants ain’t a garden).
Soon ‘nough, maybe two weeks, maybe less, Laredo had the green house built. He used the old wood from the shed we stopped usin’ after Pop went up to heaven, and he had to get glass from in town usin’ our savings; cost a damn fortune.
But somethin’ was off. Laredo could work the garden every day, but the plants in the garden started dyin’. The flowers Momma sold, lost their color, n’ the vegetables lost all their taste. It wasn’t the bees causin the fuss neither, because not a single bee could get into the greenhouse.
Couple a summers later, we couldn’t afford to keep Laredo around. I took over his work, I was bigger n’ not so damn lazy. Garden didn’t get no better though. Momma sure was confused. The greenhouse was supposed to fix the problems on the farm, but somehow it just made them worse.
Photo: The Wall, US border, separating Mexico from the US, along Highway 2, Sonora Desert, Mexican side by Wonderlane on Flickr