Barry versus the world

by Lewis

“Blooming heck! Would you look at that mess? I tell yar, tis not worth getting outta hive for.” Barry was looking at the gloop in amazement. He only got a few calls up to the canopy. Generally they got more rain up there so window cleaners were in less demand. He buzzed his way around grumbling and bumbling as was his want. ‘Still they pay well’, he thought. And with demand as it was, he had quite the sting in his tail.

He set to work and being a busy little bee, he was soon done, stopping to clean his wings with a now filthy hanky. “Gets worse and worse i tell ya.” He said to noone. Last week it had been fly tippers on the eastern border. Today, god knows what had fallen on the trees here. It was all getting messier. Which was good for business he thought. Then sighed.

He was supposed to be a window cleaner but as the insects started disappearing he took on more and more jobs. Now he was doing stem repairs, bark flaking, leaf mulching, the works. Sure hebhad more nectar than was good for him. But what's the point of there's noone to share it with.

He thought of Belinda, his queen and had to steady himself with the wave of memory that almost toppled him from the sky. No use crying over spilt honey he thought. There's work to do.

And as always it was dangerous out. He had to keep his senses keen. Folks were getting more and more desperate. Rumour had it one of the hedgehogs had got so hungry he'd taken to daytime wandering just to chance getting a free trio to the vet. Forest life was changing.

He heard the rustle of keys and the door swing open. “You done then?” Came a cautious squeak. The gloop had spread all over the bark and through the entrance into Cyril’s home. It had ruined his best tail brush and a goodly store of odds and sods, as squirrels were liken to collect. But Barry was nothing if not diligent and the place was almost back to normal.

“Nout murch I can do about the smell sorry.” Barry mumbled in response. He could see Cyril assess the damage, noted his concern for the tree, which was palpable in his nervous twitches. He turned to Barry, “You've done all you can. thank you. How much do I owe you?”He asked hesitantly.

Barry looked around, and gritted his antenna. “I durnt like to do this you know, where theres work, theres a wage’ that's what I always say. But that being said...there's no charge this time. You've got enough to worry about.”

Cyril smiled in delight. “You are one of a kind,” he said.

“Let's hope not hey.” Barry replied. “Right I'll bee off, ‘whilst the petals open’ and all that”. Barry floating over to the exit. He paused, turning back to Cyril.

“We’ve gotta look out for each other now. You hear me? It’s us against them. And they don't care who gets in their way. Maybe its time nature stopped fighting each other and focused on a common enemy.”

Cyril looked back at him, fear and excitement flashed across his face. Barry turned again and buzzed off into the cool evening air.