Little Bear and the Bees! A Folktale, adapted by B.Z. Smith
After a long winter’s nap, the Bear family woke up early on Spring day. Little Bear stretched and said, “I really want to go outside to run around. Can I go out by myself, Mama Bear?’
“You have grown alot this winter, Little Bear. So, you can. But remember to stay in your own garden, our forest. And watch out for the bees. They have also woken up now that Spring is here.”
Little Bear ran outside and galumped down the path. He came to a patch of ripe red strawberries and gobbled them up. He splashed through the river, and caught a fish to eat. Then he saw a tall tree, one that he had climbed before with his Papa Bear.
Little Bear scurried to the top of the tree. From way up there he could see the whole world stretched out before him. He could see the whole forest. He could see the farms on the edge of the forest, where the humans grew their food. He could see the towns beyond, and he could even see all the way to the sea where ships sailed. What a wonderful world!
Then he smelled something sweet. All at once one little bee came buzzing, “Don’t you smell my honey, don’t you smell my honey!”
“You’re just one little bee, and I’m a growing bear!” Little Bear replied. So, he smelled the honey.
Then Little Bear looked at the honey. It was sparkling gold and amber.
Suddenly there were two little bees, buzzing around his head. “Don’t you look at our honey! Don’t you look at our honey!”
But Little Bear just laughed, “You two are so small, and I am big!” So, he looked at the honey.
Then he reached out and touched the shiny sticky honey.
Now three bees buzzed around and around his head. “Don’t you touch our honey! Don’t you touch our honey!”
But Little Bear just laughed again, “You two are only three tiny bees! But I’m a big bear!” So, he touched the honey.
Then Little Bear dipped his paw into the honey hive. He pulled out a little scoop of the honey! He licked the honey. He slurped up the honey!
All at once four bees buzzed around and around his head. “Don’t you taste our honey! Don’t you taste our honey!”
But Little Bear smirked at them. “You silly bees! You two are still only four itsy bitsy bees! But I’m a big hungry bear!” So, he tasted the honey.
Now Little Bear stuck both his paws into the honey hive. He scooped out a big handful of honey. He was ready to eat it all up!
But all at once…Not one, not two, not three, not four. No! Hundreds, thousands of bees buzzed in a great swarm all around Little Bear, like a big dark cloud. One bee flew in and stung him right on the nose!
“Ouch!” yelled Little Bear. Then he shimmied down that tree as fast as he could go. Little Bear began to run all the way home with that swarm of bees following him. Another bee zoomed in and stung him right on his behind!
“Ouch!” he yelled
He splashed right through the river. He dashed right passed the strawberries. He ran right to his Bear Cave and straight into the arms of Mama Bear.
Mama Bear scooped him up in her strong arms. Then she waved her big paw in the air. “Stop, you bees! Go on back to your hive!”
The bees knew they couldn’t go into the Bear Cave, so they stopped and hovered in the air. Then the black cloud of bees flew back home.
And Mama Bear, she cuddled her Little Bear. And with her great big bear paws, she carefully pulled out the stinger from Little Bear’s nose and his behind. She did this just as gently and carefully as your mama would.
Little Bear told her the whole story. She listened and smiled.
“And how did the world look from the top of that tree?” she asked.
“Oh, Mama! It was beautiful! What a big wonderful world!”