Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 6, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 6, 2022 

Happy Tails 

by Chris Leclerc 

crawling, flying creatures played in the big scheme of things. 

The angry bee attack was my own fault. I had been teasing them as they came and went to and from the 
hive they had built just outside the window of my parents’ bedroom. Being the baby of seven, and with 
not a lot to do around the house whilst my siblings attending school, I had spent most of that morning 
obnoxiously tapping on the window, aggravating those bees to a point of frenzy. I guess I thought it was 
fun to tease them from a safe place were they could not retaliate. 

Well, I must say it came as quite a surprise to me when I stepped out the front door later that day and was 
suddenly under siege of those buzzing, bothered bees. The moment I closed the door behind me, they 
launched their attack and found their way inside the back of my t-shirt. They then proceeded to plant 
their needle-like stingers deeply into the delicate skin of my neck and shoulders. I immediately panicked 
and began yelling for someone to come and rescue me. 

Suddenly my mother was there yanking my t-shirt off and dragging me inside where she prepared a home 
remedy, which I believe was made of baking soda and milk. She spread that cool paste heavily over the bee 
stings as they were starting to rise up all over my neck and back. I don’t know which was more swollen 
by the end of that fiasco; my face, from crying so hard, or the numerous stings I’d sustained. For that first 
hour, my temperature rose to about 102, and I was feeling quite queasy. But thanks to my mother’s TLC, 
eventually the raised, rosy-red marks shrank down and my fever subsided. 

Years later, when I reflected on this painstaking experience, I remember being amazed that my mother 
knew enough to use a homemade baking soda remedy to draw out the venom those bees had injected into 
me. As it turns out, I benefited from all kinds of awesome alternative health care tricks my mother had up 
her sleeve, and I now know how very fortunate I was to have had her for a mom. 

To this day, I am unsure why I felt the need to pester those poor bees. I guess I was just a dumb kid finding 
satisfaction in annoying them from within the safety of my home. What I didn’t realize, was that bees 
have no desire to terrorize humans, they are simply going about the business they are designed to do. To 
work hard transporting pollen, to breed freely and to make delicious honey. When I learned about the 
important part bees play in nature, I was finally able to let go of my childish fear. 

In general, bees only attack in response to aggravation. It is not in their nature to do so at random. Because 
so many aspects of life on earth depend on the bees’ persistent activities, it is important that the human 
understand this and allow them to go about their business. By becoming fearful and causing a raucous, 
we humans can often get in the way of nature’s harmonious symbiosis. 

There’ve been numerous scientific studies on the bee’s olfactory capabilities. Though results have varied 
from species to species, the aggregate results strongly suggest that they have an excellent sense of smell, 
and are capable of sensing pheromones, a chemical factor that is secreted or excreted by mammals in 
response to social stimulation -ie: fear. Though some results are scrutinized, and it is an on-going, fluid 
research project, I’m inclined to believe it is true, due to my own personal experience. In my opinion, 
those bees smelled my fear and made it clear, they were not happy with me! 

With this in mind, I think the best thing to do, if you happen to come across a swarm of bees, is remain 
calm. That way they will be much more likely to ignore you and continue their work, than to become aggravated 
and attack. Conversely, if you become fearful and make loud noises or sudden movements, they 
may respond with aggression and give chase. For bees, it’s all about completing the task at hand, protecting 
their hives, and surviving. 

When I finally figured this out for myself as a young adult, I learned to relax and enjoy watching bees do 
their work and fly about with no anxiety or fear. It is a fabulous feeling to sit and listen to them buzz as 
they do what they were created to do. Somehow, understanding what makes bees “tick“, and learning to 
trust them not to attack, has helped me see a bigger picture in life. Getting to know what bees are about 
has taught me to stay out of the way of every form of wild life and just let them “do their thing”. 

There are so many lessons to be learned from all creatures, great and small. They teach us how to be better 
human beings if we let them. Perhaps the proverbial “birds and the bees” story that people used to tell 
their children during adolescence has been underrated. It’s not just a metaphoric means of explaining sex 
and reproduction, more importantly it is a true story about how best to navigate life on earth. Relax and 
enjoy your surroundings, fear-free. Indeed, you’ll be less likely to get stung by a bothered bee! 


[Nyerges is the author of “Til Death Do Us Part?” a book about death and the 
many ways to deal with the death of a pet or loved one. The book is available as 
a Kindle download, or from the Store at] 

When a loved one dies, the close survivors often express regret that they 

didn’t spend more time with the departed, or tell them that they loved them. 

Time flies, of course, and life always presents us with so many things to do. 
It’s easy to put off what’s important in life. 

I also deeply love and value my pets, and have always considered them very much a part of the 
family. As a child, I remember when our family dog Pariah was old and sick. I could no longer 
walk him, but I would go into the back yard to pet him and feed him. Then one day when I came 
home from school, my father told me that he “took care of ” Pariah. “What? Where is he?” I exclaimed. 
My father calmly told me that the local pet hospital “euthanized” Pariah. “What does 
that mean?” my teenage-self replied. “Does that mean he’ll be home soon?” 
“No,” my mother chimed in with a somber tone. “The doctor put him to sleep. He was dying.” 
My mother tried to hide her tears. I was shocked, and ran to my room. 

I was stunned! How could they do that. 

Later, after my father was asleep, my mother – who grew up on a farm – explained that she used 
to see animals die all the time. “We just tried to make them comfortable,” she told me. “Animals 
know they are dying. They usually want to be around their people to feel safe, and not in a cold 
hospital where they don’t know anyone.” 

That was her way of telling me that she didn’t agree with my father’s decision. I was sad for a 
long time, and vowed that I would never again do that to any pet of mine – and I’ve kept that 
vow life-long, despite the inconveniences that come with assisting a person or pet in death. I’ve 
watched pets – cats, dogs, one pig – get old, stiff, and slow, and then they find a spot to go and 
die. I’ve learned to accept this as part of The Way. 

I was saddened by what an Eagle Rock friend recently told me. His father, who lives alone, has 
had a cat for over 10 years. The cat became sick and old and was on its deathbed. The father – in 
his 80s – now seemed indifferent to this animal that once was a close friend. He wanted the cat 
to be taken to a vet and “put to sleep.” Fortunately, the cat died in peace on its bed in its home. 
But I was saddened that a person could be such a fair-weather friend because the dear pet was 
now dying. 

All of life is precious, and we need not push the death process. It comes quick enough. Nor 
should we fear death. 

I’m reminded of the time – precisely 10 years ago – when I was taking care of my wife of 22 years 
on her deathbed, 24/7. She died with me by her side, at home. I think the reason that so many 
people fear death, and want dying people out of sight-out of mind, is because they cannot get 
into the shoes of the dying person. The dying person usually wants to be around the people who 
they were close to in life and not in a sterile hospital. (Yes, I know all situations are different, and 
sometimes the family simply cannot deal with the demands and pressures of the dying person). 

The fact that we have grown so far from this very basic tenet shows how far we have strayed 
from out most fundamental roots. 





As a young child, I was terrified of every insect 
I came into contact with, particularly those that 
I knew could bite or sting me. I’ll never forget 
the first time I was stung by a bee. Or, more specifically, 
the first time I was stung by a swarm of 
angry bees. I was about four years old, and had 
not yet learned about how nature works. I didn’t 
understand the important role those creeping, 

Our lovable girl 
Cricket…, with 
the big personality 

She is very affectionate, 
full of spunk, 
and quite playful. 
Cricket is 
a little smartypants, 
too, being a very alert and intelli-gent 
kitty. She loves to talk to you, and tell you what’s on her mind! She enjoys chasing 
little bouncy balls, and then will jump into a cat tree and play a game, “Catch me if 
you can, come pet me, while I squirm around happy as a clam, just soaking up your 
love & atten-tion." She can be a little rascal at times, but in a cute way. Cricket has a 
sleek, athletic body, like a mini panther, with her shiny & silky black fur. She does fine 
with other cats, but she loves to be No. 1. However, she will settle in, just as she has 
with her fellow felines at our rescue. Cricket is spayed, healthy, current on vaccines, 
and microchipped. 

Find the adoption application on our website where you'll also find more adorable pix 
and video of Cricket. 

Pet of the Week

 Scooter is a fun and confident little dog with a bigpersonality! Scooter is five years old and has hind legparalysis, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. Heloves zooming around the play yard in his wheelchair 
and being excited about everything. Scooter also lovesbeing scratched all over his body, neck, and ears.

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary healthand-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as wellas a goody bag filled with information about how to carefor your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoptionappointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 

phone calls or email. 


WHAT: Silent Sky. A play. 

WHO: Written by Lauren Gunderson. Directed 
by Barbara Schofield. Presented by Sierra 
Madre Playhouse. 

WHERE: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra 
Madre Boulevard, , Sierra Madre, CA 91024. 
This is just east of Pasadena. Ample free parking 
is available in adjacent streets and lots. 

WHEN: September 9- October 9, 2022. Fridays 
and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays. At 2 

p.m. Also, Saturday matinées at 2 p.m. on September 
17, 24, October 1 and 8. 
ADMISSION: $45. Seniors (65+) $40.Youth 
(21 and under) $25. 

DISCOUNTS: Teen tickets (age 13-19) are 
available at $5 through the TeenTix Pass program. 
Go to our website to learn more. 

RESERVATIONS: (626) 355-4318. 

ONLINE TICKETING: https://sierramadreplayhouse.

including one intermission.

 When astronomer Henrietta Leavitt 
begins work at the Harvard Observatory in 
the early 1900s, she doesn’t begin by looking 
through a telescope. She joins a group of 
women “computers,” charting the stars as a 
vital part of the world’s first study of the sky 
done from photographs. As Henrietta, in her 
free time, attempts to measure the light and 
distance of stars, she also takes measure of her 
life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication 
to science with family obligations and the possibility 
of love. Based on the life of 19th-century 
astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, Silent Sky 
explores a woman’s place in society during a 
time of immense scientific discoveries. 

"Lauren Gunderson’s luminously beautiful 
play Silent Sky is an intellectual epic told on 
an intimate scale. Bottom line: Heavenly." —
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Lauren Gunderson is the playwright of 21 produced 
plays. The recipient of an MFA from 

Tisch School of the Arts, she is a winner of 
the Berrilla Kerr Award. Her previous works 
include A Short History of Nearly Everything; 
The Van Gogh Café; The Happy Elf; The 
Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and 
Her Dog!;I and You (made into a film starring 
Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams); and many 
more. Silent Sky had its premiere at South 
Coast Repertory in 2011. 

Barbara Schofield directs. At Sierra Madre 
Playhouse, she directed productions of Incident 
at Vichy (L.A. Times Critic’s Pick), Proof, 
Arcadia and The Fantasticks. She is directorin-
residence and Literary Manager at Open 
Fist Theatre Company. She is a board member 
of Sierra Madre Playhouse. She has served as 
a faculty member at American Musical and 
Dramatic Academy. Additionally, Barbara has 
directed or acted in productions in New York, 
Kansas City, London and Berlin. Dr. Schofield 
received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Tufts 

The cast for Silent Sky includes Ann Marie 
Wilding, April Elize, Candida Celaya, Aubrey 
Saverino and Jack Menzies. 

Production Manager: Jeanne Marie Valleroy. 
Stage Manager : John Dimitri. Assistant Stage 
Manager: Dori Jurican.. Resident Lighting 
Designer: Derek Jones. Costume Designer: 
Shon LeBlanc. Projection Designer: Fritz Davis. 
Technical Director: Todd McCraw. Scenic 
Arist: Orlando de la Paz. Interim Artistic Director: 
Gary Lamb. Associate Company Manager; 
Beryl Tsang. 

Understudies: Madi Bready, Madelyne Herman, 
Gloria Tsai, Cristiana Barbatelli and 
Chris Granlund. 

PLEASE NOTE: Covid-19 safety protocols in 
effect on performance dates will be observed. 
As of the writing, audience members must be 
masked and vaccinated. Vax card or digital record 
will be checked.

 Silent Sky is the story of a real woman 
whose life and discoveries were hugely significant 
for the exploration of the universe. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: