Son, now that you're thirteen years old we need to have a little talk. I know that you're much more prepared to hear this than I was when my father sat me down to have the same conversation, but this could still get a little uncomfortable or downright awkward. I never was much for words, so I hope you'll forgive me.
It's about the birds and the bees.
See, birds... when a mommy bird and a daddy bird love each other they go back to their nest. Then they sort of hug and move around until the mommy gets knocked up. The daddy bird leaves at this point because the mommy bird chases him off with her horrible screeching and her generally aggressive and annoying nature. Soon the mommy bird lays eggs, which is where the baby birds begin their lives. The mother keeps these eggs in her nest and watches over them closely since they are extremely vulnerable.
You with me so far? Okay.
Now bees, all bees are males except for each hive's queen. It is her job to churn out babies nonstop. There is no love, just impersonal impregnation by any old drone she doesn't dislike enough to kill. Her babies are born inside of the beehive, where they remain until they can fly.
Do you see why I'm telling you this? No? Jeez, I knew I'd screw this up.
Okay, what I'm getting at is that those are the best times to strike. You want to kill these things while they are babies, before they have a chance to grow and to kill you. It is essential that you understand where to find them when they are almost completely defenseless. Furthermore, by destroying a bird's nest or a beehive from afar (always from afar, where you are less likely to be seen and consequently targeted), you can inflict greater numbers of casualties.
You still look confused. Perhaps I should have started by getting right to the point.
The men of our family are waging a secret war with every species of bee and bird known to man. Have been for centuries. We did not choose this battle. The birds and bees made a dark pact to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth, never bothering to explain the why of it. There is no choice on our part but to take them out before they achieve their goal. Negotiations are impossible. We have tried, several times, and all we have to show for it is the stung and pecked corpses of our diplomats rotting away in the agency's morgue.
Impossible? No. This is no joke and I am certainly not insane. I understand your doubts, though. I really do. I didn't believe my father at first either, but all that changed soon enough. The things I saw... no boy should ever have to lay eyes upon what I have.
Entire families suffocated beneath thick layers of honey, their faces forever frozen in agony. Cars with bird shit on them. These images will be burned into my brain for the rest of my days.
In time I came to understand the horrible reality of the situation, and the burden I would bear for the rest of my life. My father trained me in the art of combat. From him I learned how to carelessly discard plastic rings from six-packs of soda, throw rocks at beehives, and use way more toilet paper than I need to so the rain forests will disappear as fast as possible. When you are ready I will teach these things to you as well.
I don't expect you to join the fight right away or even understand all of this. Just let it sink in. Come to grips with the fact that this is all happening, whether you want it to or not, and that people are dying out there.
Remember uncle Andy, who fell off that scaffolding thirty two stories up? A bee pushed him. Or your cousin Pete, whose life was cut short in that boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico? A flock of seagulls derailed that train and pushed it three hundred miles off the railroad track into and directly into his fishing boat.
They are the reason that I fight, son. I hope that one day all of this won't be necessary, but in order for that day to come I'll need your help.
Before I let you go, your mother wanted me to talk to you about something else. It's about the stork.
See, sometimes the stork visits people's houses to deliver a bundle. It is vitally important that you do not touch this bundle or attempt to apprehend the stork. You hear me? He's the most dangerous operative we're up against. If you should encounter him, run as fast and far as you can, and when you stop you call for backup.
Can you tell which is which?
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