Friday, October 14, 2011

The Bees Get Stung

One day, deep in the jungle, a swarm of bees started building their hive on a big tree right next to the river. The river was the place where the mighty lion, the tall giraffe, the quick gazelle, the ever alert deer, the restless monkeys, in fact all animals, big and small came to quench their thirst.

Now the bees were actually a swarm of rogue bees. They did not like anyone coming near their hive. Any animal or bird that came that way got buzzed and chased by the bees. No one dared to stand up to the bees for everyone knew a bee sting could be very painful. The bees even drove away the birds and monkeys who had made the tree their home. All this meant that animals on this side of the river neither could walk up to the river for a drink nor rest under the giant tree in the hot afternoons.

The monkeys and parrots who got driven away from the tree decided to go and meet Arjuna, the king of the forest. 

Arjuna was perched on his throne when Bhadra, his minister, brought the monkeys and parrots to him.

“Greetings, my king” said the monkeys and parrots.

“Tell me, what brings you here?” Arjuna asked.

Kapila, the head of the monkeys said "My lord, we live on the big tree on the river bank. Recently a swarm of rogue bees have made their hive on the tree. They have driven all of us away from the tree”.

“Yes, my lord” said Mithi, the leader of the parrots. “Not only have we been driven away from the tree, the animals on our side of the jungle have not been able to use that route to drink water from the river. The bees chase and sting anyone who comes that way.”

“That is very arrogant of them” said Arjuna “I will send two of my soldiers right away to teach those bees a lesson”.

The monkeys and parrots came to the tree accompanied by the king’s soldiers who were two giant bears. Now we all know there is nothing that a bear loves more than fresh honey. As soon as the bears saw the hive, they started attacking it to get the honey out. The bees flew all over them buzzing furiously and stinging them but the bears had such thick skin that the stings did them no harm at all. In a short while, the hive was ruined and all the honey eaten. The bears smacked their lips and rubbed their tummies happily.

The bees were flying around not knowing what to do when all of a sudden they were drenched by big sprays of water. All the animals who had gathered to watch the bears turned around to see where the water had come from. They clapped and cheered as they saw the herd of elephants fill their trunks with water and spray the bees. The bees tried to fly away but they could not fly very far with their wet wings. They soon collapsed on the ground exhausted. 

Kapila, the monkey chief, came forward and said to the bees “If you cannot live here in peace, then you should better go away from here. If all the animals in this jungle turn against you, you would be no match against them”.

The bees realized that they had been very foolish. They apologized to all the animals around them and promised to live and let live. All the animals once again started using that way to come to the river to drink water and rest under the shade of the tree. 

In a matter of days, the bees had once again rebuilt their hive and filled it with delicious honey. The bears could often be seen sitting under the hive with their tongues out to catch the little drops of honey dripping from the hive.

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