The Bee Story

As told to Elsie Odell Bennette by Beth Gowdy

Bellpassi was a little town, that was moved to be by the railroad and its name changed to Woodburn. Before that Mr. Brown had the station for the stage stops between Oregon and California. Mrs. Brown cooked for the passengers. The horses were changed there and my father cared for them, and made trips back and forth to Portland.

Shortly after his marriage, he was taking some kind of a load to Portland with a four-horse team. Something about the wagon broke and in the mixup his left hand was caught and the end of the thumb was cut off, taking all the nail. I have a faint memory of running my fingers over the square end, and looking at his other thumb, and at mine, and being so puzzled.

I was too small to remember my mother, visiting Mrs. Brown, looked out of the window and saw me in the yard with a swarm of bees settling on my shoulders. I did not seem to be afraid, stood still, and Mrs. Brown, who could handle bees without being stung, brushed them off of me into her apron. I never thought to ask what she did with them till it was too late to find out. But nobody was stung.

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