Today’s post is a little different to normal. I spent some time this morning in the garden, weeding the veg patch (again) and planting out some sunflowers. I wasn’t sure what act of wildness to tell, so I decided to use the app. I flicked through a few ideas and found the “Tell Wild Stories” one. I decided that this could be fun to try. As I’ve got a long-ish story, I’ll keep my intro to a minimum!
I took inspiration from the animals I saw in the garden today. A few photos, seat yourself comfortably, then I’ll begin.
The Butterfly and The Bee
Flit was a butterfly. Not just any butterfly, he was a beautiful small tortoiseshell butterfly and was one of the handsomest butterflies around. But not only did he look good, he was able to visit the most flowers in the shortest space of time as well. All the other butterflies admired him for his looks and talent.
One day, Flit was showing off and feeding in a garden when he happened to alight upon the same flower as a little honeybee. “Hello,” said Flit, “what are you doing on my flower?”
The honeybee was very surprised at being spoken to in this way.
“I’m sorry, good sir, I didn’t realise this was your flower. We honeybees have been working together in this patch of flower to collect as much nectar as we can. If we don’t, then we won’t have enough honey to survive the cold winter.” The honeybee was very shy and this was the longest speech she had ever made, but probably the most important because it was the very essence of what it is to be a honeybee.
Flit was disgruntled. “Well, why not just eat the nectar and be done with it? Enjoy life while you can, you can’t have too much of a good thing!”
“Oh no sir!” The honeybee cried, “we must prepare and save for the winter when its too cold to move far and no flowers to feed from!”
Flit was unmoved. “They’ll be plenty of flowers, and the cold? It won’t kill you, its good for you. I’ll tell you what, we’ll have a competition. I’ll try to store some food like you honeybees do, and you can try my way of eating anything and everything. We’ll do this for 24 hours. Meet me back here tomorrow on this same flower. Whoever wins, gets exclusive rights to this flower. No cheating!”
The honeybee said, “Well ok, it’ll be hard, my colony won’t like me for doing this, but ok, its a deal. But, there’s one problem, you butterflies all look the same to me, you must tell me your name!”
“My name’s Flit, the handsomest of all small tortoiseshell butterflies – and the best flyer and feeder! Now tell me your name.”
“I’m just Bee. In the colony we don’t really have names, we all have our jobs to do, so we get on and do them. Well, must fly, the colony will be missing me, but I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to them.”
And so, the butterfly and the bee parted ways. Bee flew back to her colony and when she arrived all the other bees wanted to know what had kept her away so long and why she didn’t have any nectar. Bee tried for over an hour to explain the competition that she had with the butterfly (using the complicated dancing that bees do). Finally, the other bees got it and all thought she had been so brave that they decided to help her. The Queen Bee was understanding and told her to have the rest of the day off to fly and feed as much she could. But the Queen gave her a warning, “Be careful of eating too much nectar, only one day of this is permitted, if you eat too much you will grow fat and sluggish and will not be able to fly anymore. Then we will have to exile you from the colony.” Bee couldn’t imagine not being able to fly or being exiled! However she was cheered by the reception she’d recieved from the colony she headed out into the world and started to feed. She found flower after flower, and after a while, she understood the Queen’s warning. She was full up with nectar and her flying was much slower than normal. She knew she shouldn’t return to the hive like this so she found a safe place to sit and rest in a place she knew well, trying not to worry about being exiled.
Flit, on the other hand, was having problems. He couldn’t work out how to store the juicy nectar. As soon as he started collecting some in his mouth, he just had to eat and eat and eat. It was so tasty that he just couldn’t cope with collecting some and spitting it out again into a pile. That was another problem. He couldn’t understand how the honeybee stored her nectar, let alone turn it into honey! If you put it on any surface it just oozed off. He tried first on a leaf, eventually the leaf got so heavy it drooped and the nectar fell off. Then he tried on the ground but other butterflies and bees kept eating it. He just couldn’t work it out. This was the first time he had failed at anything. He flitted from flower to flower the rest of the day, miserable and depsondent, unable to feed.
Finally, the 24 hours were up and the animals flew to that same flower they met on. Bee was still full and slower than normal, but she had done what she had agreed to and was happy – she wasn’t going to be exiled, she could still fly! She happily told Flit this, getting very excited, before she realised that Flit was looking very sad. “Whatever is the matter?” she asked Flit kindly.
“This is the first time I’ve failed at anything. I couldn’t store the nectar safely, and I just wanted to eat it all the time and I’m terrible hungry now.”
Bee felt sorry for the poor butterfly, but she said, “Well, I think I won this competition and I can’t tell you the secret of how to store nectar, but although I won the rights to the flower, I’ll let you keep it. I don’t really need it. It’ll soon be winter and we’ll have plenty of honey to feed on in the colony.”
Flit felt even more miserable at the kindness of the honeybee. “You are far to kind to me. I’ve been an arrogant fool. Please, let us share this flower and all the others for the rest of the season and I won’t be unkind to anyone ever again.”
Bee was touched, and agreed to share the flower for the rest of the season, even though she knew it was very soon to be over.
The animals parted, friends. Flit had learnt his lesson and Bee became less shy. The season wore on. They passed each other every so often and always stopped to say hello. Flit was true to his word and was never unkind again. Bee stayed with the colony and her story became famous amongst bees.
Eventually a long, cold winter arrived. What happened to the butterfly and the honeybee we’ll never know. Maybe they survived, maybe they didn’t. But I know that both animals will remember each other for the rest of their days.
I haven’t written a short story since I was at school! I hope you enjoyed it!
Wild stories abound
Every animal has a tale to tell