I leaned back in my chair, watching the sun slowly make its way down to the horizon, leading the enormous mountains of Montana into darkness.
“These are real experiences, Jenna. Getting outside, hiking, seeing the wild. Not just sitting on the bed looking at a phone or watching TV all summer,” my dad said, sprinkling some spices on the chicken breasts he was grilling and then looking at me.
I waited until he turned back to the grill, then rolled my eyes. “Yep.”
“Chicken’s done, Michele,” Dad hollered, putting the meat on a paper plate and setting it on the table.
“So are the mashed potatoes,” Mom said, plunking the bowl down next to a bottle of barbecue sauce.
We all dug into the food. I was famished after a long day of hiking. I cut my chicken into little pieces and started scarfing it down.
“This chicken is great … Da-ahhh!” I dropped my fork.
“What?” Mom asked, concerned.
“Bone?” Dad asked. Mom shot him a dirty look.
“Bee! Bee!” I shouted, pointing to where a bee hovered above the pepper shaker.
“Come on, Jenna,” Dad said. “It won’t hurt you.”
I scooted my chair back anyway. The bee flew in spirals around the table. Then it landed on my plate.
“Get it off!” I said, looking to my parents for help. They just looked at the bee. It made a lap around my plate and stopped at a few tiny bits of chicken. The bee inspected the pieces with its antennae, then took one in its front legs and lifted it to its mouth.
It was eating the chicken!
After a few nibbles, it grabbed another piece and flew off.
“Amazing,” Dad said.
“Amazing? Scary, more like it. We just figured out that bees are carnivorous.”
“It is interesting,” Michele said. “I better hurry up and finish before he comes back!”
I forced a smile as I pulled my chair back up to the table and started picking at my mashed potatoes. A few minutes later the bee came back, landing first on the table – and then my plate. Again.
This time I stealthily reached for Dad’s phone and started recording the bee. Like before, it grabbed a piece of chicken then buzzed off.
I ended the video.
“I think he likes your grilling, Joe,” Mom said.
“I agree. Sadly, none of our friends will believe us if we tell them that my grilling is even favored by insects.”
“That’s for sure,” I said. “But if you show them this then they’ll have to.” I played the video for them, wiggling my eyebrows mischievously.
“You actually got it!” Dad said.
“If I have anything to say about it, Chicken Bee will be an Internet sensation,” I said, getting up. “Does anyone want seconds?”
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.