“On a verdant slope of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia, there stands an olive grove about the ruins of a villa. Close by is a tomb, once beautiful with the sublimest sculptures, but now fallen into as great decay as the house. At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Pentelic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs. Mount Maenalus is a chosen haunt of dreaded Pan, whose queer companions are many, and simple swains believe that the tree must have some hideous kinship to these weird Panisci; but an old bee-keeper who lives in the neighbouring cottage told me a different story.”
Today I am reviewing a beekeeper from the works of H. P. Lovecraft. I expect that even the most devoted fans of Lovecraft would barely remember this character, though, given that he is alluded to but twice in a minor Lovecraft story, “The Tree“. He doesn’t even do anything in the story. Basically, this story is narrated by some chump. That chump tells a story that was related to him by a beekeeper. Thus, the beekeeper is neither the narrator, nor is he actually a part of the story of the tree.
What do we know about this guy? Not much. He’s Greek. He’s old. And he knows this story. He automatically gets Two Honeycombs for being a good beekeeper (one doesn’t get to be an old beekeeper if one is not good at it, after all), but I could infer more. Maybe this beekeeper actually knows a lot more than this one story. Perhaps he knows all manner of secrets of the Lovecraftian universe and all its monsters and such. It seems entirely likely that this beekeeper is a major force in protecting humanity. Nobody out there can prove me wrong! But, unfortunately, this story also can not prove me right.
Two Honeycombs out of Five.