The lovely Rebecca Williams of Natural Narrative Resources wrote this beautiful story of a fond memory of her childhood, and she was kind enough to share it with us:
Becca and the Bee
Even in the shade with a good book, the afternoon felt too hot and humid. Becca sat her book down and looked over to the van. Her father’s feet stuck out under the passenger door. She heard a grunt and then the drip of liquid into a pan. She knew he was changing the oil. A moment later, his feet started to move and he wiggled out from under the van. With his work clothes on, he must have been hotter than her.
She smiled as an idea formed in her head. “Dad?” She drew the word out into a long question.
He grabbed a rag from his belt and started to wipe his hands. “Yes, honey.”
“Do you want half of a popsicle?” She knew he had a soft spot for popsicles and this meant she could have one too.
He grinned at her. “Sure, get one out of the freezer.”
“Orange alright?” She called over her shoulder, heading to the freezer in the garage.
“Yeap!” he called back.
She reached for the handle of the flat top freezer and then drew back with a yelp. “There’s a BEE!” she shouted.
Unconcerned, her dad walked to the back of the garage. The bee did not notice the sound or commotion. It lay on its side, unmoving. Very gently her father touched one of the six legs. The leg moved weakly.
“He’s alive!” Becca jumped backwards.
Her father chuckled. “He’s not going to sting you.” He lowered his head to better look at the bee. “Poor guy must have got stuck in the garage last night. He’s run out of energy. We will just give him a snack and send him on his way.”
Becca looked at her father, surprised. “You want to give a bee a snack?”
“Becca, there’s more to a bee than its stinger. Think of everything the bees give us.”
“Honey.” Becca said thoughtfully.
“Apples, oatmeal, almonds,” her father added.
Becca narrowed her eyes, considering. “Apples? Oatmeal? Daddy, you’re crazy. Bees don’t make apples.”
“Come,” her father held out his hand, “lets look at the apple tree.” Reluctantly she took his hand and they walked across the drive to the apple. “Do you remember in the spring, there are always flowers on this tree?” Becca nodded. “Those flowers, with a little help, turn into these baby apples.” Carefully he pulled down a branch to Becca’s eye level. “The flowers need the bees’ help, to carry pollen from one flower to another. When one flower has some pollen from another, it can make an apple. But without this help, the flowers can’t make apples. Now, do you want to help make the bee better? I’m not sure it will work, but we can try.”
Becca considered the last time a bee stung her. Then she looked at the apple tree and thought about how much she enjoyed eating apples off the tree. “Yes. Let’s help the bee.”
Together they went inside and made a little bee hospital bed. Becca helped by finding a little box. They lined it with cotton and put a thimble full of water in one corner and a large drop of honey at one end. Daddy carefully lifted the bee into its hospital bed and together they put it outside and set it in the shade. Then they went into the garage and Daddy gave her a whole popsicle. After the last lick, Becca ran to the box. “The bee’s gone, Daddy!” she called.
~ Written by Rebecca Williams ©2016