Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Little Bee Trunkhosie

O NCE upon a time it was morning in the bee house. The sun was up, and shining brightly, so that it was too warm for the bees in their little bedrooms. They woke, and stretched their legs, and rubbed their eyes, and brushed their wings, and made themselves ready for the day.

Out of the largest bedroom of all came a great, beautiful bee who was the queen of them all, and she called:—

"Trunkhosie, are you there? Honeytrunk, Sharpsting, Early Up, and Swiftwing?"

Then Honeytrunk, and Sharpsting, and Early Up, and Swiftwing answered, "Here." But Trunkhosie, who was, of them all, the smallest but the earliest to rise and the first to say, "Here," to the beautiful queen,—Trunkhosie did not answer.

Now Trunkhosie knew the finest clover fields, and the lilies with the deepest cups. She could carry more honey and powder upon her legs than any other bee. She made more trips from the flowers to the bee house than Sharpsting and the rest. And where was Trunkhosie that she did not come out of her little bedroom and greet her queen?

"Trunkhosie!" called Sharpsting.

"Trunkhosie!" called Honeytrunk.

"Trunkhosie!" called Early Up and Swiftwing, "where are you?"

But no little Trunkhosie answered, so they went sadly away, Sharpsting to a red clover bloom, and Honeytrunk to a white one, Early Up to the daisy fields, and Swiftwing to a yellow, yellow primrose.

Where was busy little Trunkhosie?

The queen sat upon her great throne all made of wax as yellow as gold, and she looked very proud and stern, and she buzzed:—

"Lazy Trunkhosie shall be punished. Lazy Trunkhosie must be punished for staying so late in bed."

But as the angry queen buzzed, way off, down the road she saw a little, little bee, with a heavy, heavy load. She had more honey and powder than any bee had ever brought home to the bee house before, and the little bee's wings were heavy, and her legs were weighed down, but she hummed merrily as she flew along. Then the queen came down from her throne, and out of the bee house to meet her, for it was Trunkhosie.

"Where have you been, Trunkhosie?" asked the queen.

"I went a long, long way yesterday," said Trunkhosie, "and deep, deep down in a rose. But it came night, and the dew fell, and the rose shut tight, and I couldn't get out. So I slept all night in the rose. But see," and Trunkhosie showed all her honey, "and see," Trunkhosie showed all her powder.

So the queen knew that Trunkhosie had not been a lazy bee. She praised her, and she left her load in the bee house, some for the baby bees, and some for the children, and then she flew merrily away for more.

Good, busy little Trunkhosie!


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