Finlay and Janet were two big brown
bears that lived in a cave in the highlands of Scotland. Finlay was a much
larger bear than Janet was but they lived in peace and harmony. During the
cold winter months the bears stayed in their cave and slept. Winter in the
highlands can be brutal. Icy winds blow and snow covers the ground,
freezing everything in its path. But when spring comes, itís another
story. Streams begin to trickle through the meadows, flowers bloom and the
air is full of butterflies and bumblebees.
Bees make honey, and honey was
Finlay and Janetís favorite food. Their honey pot was empty because theyíd
yet to find any honey to put in it. One spring morning the bears went out
of their cave to find something to eat. "It was a long winter," Finlay
growled. "Iím starving. What is there to eat?"
"We can go to the stream and find
some fish," Janet suggested.
"I donít feel like having fish. Why
donít we grab the honey pot and see if we can find a beehive. My taste
buds are calling for something sweet," Finlay said. He ran back into the
cave and came out carrying the honey pot. They walked through the glen,
looking at branches, between rocks, and anywhere else a bee might decide
to build its hive. Finlay was getting grumpier and grumpier as they walked
along. There were no beehives to be found.
"Letís forget about the honey and
have some fish. If you donít want fish, I saw some blackberries and
hazelnuts growing in the woods," Janet said.
"I donít want fish! I donít want
blackberries and I donít want hazelnuts!" he snarled.
"Very well then. You stay and look
for honey. Iím going to have some blackberries," Janet said and walked
back towards the cave.
Finlay walked up the hillside. It
was then that he spotted the beehive. "Aha! I knew Iíd find one if I
looked hard enough." He grabbed the honey pot and put it at the bottom of
the tree. Slowly and carefully he climbed up the trunk, being careful not
to disturb the bees. He crept along the branch and sat above the hive.
With a quick slap, he knocked the beehive off the branch. It fell to the
ground and splattered open. Honey went flying everywhere. The angry bees
buzzed around, not knowing what had happened. Seeing there was nothing
they could do to save their hive, they flew to another tree and started
building another one. Finlay waited a while, climbed down the tree, and
filled his honey pot with golden sweetness. He licked his fingers. "This
is delicious!" He carried the honey pot back to the cave.
Janet was sitting on a rock eating
blackberries. She had purple stains on her paws from the juice. "Finlay!"
she shouted, "you found some honey!"
"Itís delicious and sweet and amber-colored.
Iíd say it was perfect honey. By the taste of it, the bees used heather
pollen. Come and tree some," he said.
Janet stuck her paw in and licked
the honey off. "Itís lovely." The two of them ate until they were full,
put the honey pot down outside the cave entrance and went to lie down for
When they woke up, Finlay went to
get the honey pot. He was surprised to see a swarm of bees buzzing around
it. "You stole our honey," one of them shouted. "You knocked our beehive
down and destroyed it and then took the honey for yourself." The bee was
clearly angry. "Letís get him!" it shouted.
The bees encircled the bear.
"Yikes!" Finlay cried. He ran as fast as he could down to the stream and
jumped in. The bees tried to sting him, so he stayed under water as long
as he could. Finally the bees gave up and left.
Janet stood near the honey pot.
"Where did Finlay go?" she wondered. She started eating the honey from the
A while later the angry bear
returned to the cave. He was dripping from head to toe and had a few bumps
on his head from where the bees had stung him. He looked at the honey pot.
There was nothing left in it. Janet had eaten it all. Tired and worn out,
he said, "Do you have any more blackberries? I think Iím giving up honey
for a while."
Janet smiled and handed him a paw
full. "Not as good as honey, but at least I wonít get attacked," Finlay
scowled and then tossed some more berries into his mouth.