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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
All Out of Royal Jelly

"Where is my royal jelly?" roared Queen Katrina, angrily. "I am all out of my favorite jelly!" Her voice echoed throughout the hive, frightening all the worker bees. When the Queen was angry, it meant trouble for someone.

All Out of Royal Jelly

Within seconds after hearing her screams, all of the bees had fled the hive, leaving it empty, except for the Queen, her guards, and two other bees. Randy, a drone, was playing a game with his best friend, Wendy. She was a worker bee. At first they hadnít heard the Queen, but just as they were putting away their favorite game, Flower Petal Land, her angry voice reached them. Randy and Wendy were afraid. They had never heard Queen Katrina that mad before, and never, ever, had the hive ran out of royal jelly. Royal jelly was a special food. Only the Queen was allowed to eat it. It was made from only the choicest pollen and nectar from the purple-flowered thistle.

Just as they were about to hide, they heard the Queen order, "Guards! Bring me every bee that is left in the hive! Now!" Within seconds the royal guards surrounded Randy and Wendy, their pointed stingers aimed at them. They were hastily escorted to Queen Katrinaís cell at the very top of the beehive. They were both very scared.

After bowing before her, they stood up to see the Queen. She was standing in her royal blue robe, wearing a crown of rose thorns on her head. She said to them, "You two are the only bees brave enough to stay in the hive. Wendy, I want you to bring me nectar from the beautiful purple thistle. Randy, since there are no other worker bees around, and since you arenít doing anything else useful, go with Wendy. You are to guard and protect her. If you both succeed in bringing me my sweet nectar, I shall reward you."

Randy was glad that the Queen didnít know that they werenít really very brave at all. They had tried to hide. The only reason they had been in the hive was because they hadnít heard her yelling quickly enough to leave.

Wendy didnít know where any thistle could be found. None grew in the area that she knew of. "My Queen, I know of no thistle," she quietly spoke.

The Queen answered with a scream, "Then find some! Without the thistle nectar, I can have no royal jelly. I shall have a very bad day! Now, be off with you both, and donít come back without the nectar!" Randy and Wendy obeyed. They flew out of the hive in search of some thistle. Randy, being a drone, didnít have the special pockets to gather and store the nectar and pollen. Only worker bees did, so he came along only to protect Wendy. If anything happened to her, heíd be the one whoíd get into trouble from the Queen.

They flew away from the shade of the fragrant pine trees that surrounded their beehive, into the meadow. There werenít many blossoms to be seen anywhere. After a while they spotted some color amongst the desolation and flew down to get a closer look. "I see pretty pink heather and some bright pink flowers on a few laurel bushes; and they are really pretty; but I donít see any thistle. Do you, Randy?" Wendy asked.

Randy replied, "No, Wendy, I donít see any purple flowers at all." Next, they flew down to the stream. "Oh look!" Wendy gasped in delight. "There are so many beautiful flowers. I see some wild roses, and there are some dark purplish flowers over there, near that rock. I wonder if they are thistle."

The two honeybees flew towards the colorful flowers, but soon discovered that they werenít purple. "I am tired. Letís rest on the soft yellow rose petals and think about where we should go next," Randy suggested.

They sat for a while, thinking about their dilemma. "Look out, Wendy!" Randy suddenly yelled, pushing her down into the rose. "Itís a robin! He wants to eat us. Hide, and donít move!" Wendy looked up to see the huge bird flying above them."

"He doesnít look that little to me!" she exclaimed.

"Shhhh," whispered Randy. The robin swooped down, looking for them. The sunshine made the birdís red feathers look brilliant.

"Itís so beautiful," whispered Wendy, gazing up at it. Not being able to find the two bees, the bird soon gave up and flew away.

"Whew, that was close. Now, letís get out of here and find some purple thistle," Randy suggested, grabbing Wendyís arm and pulling her out of the fragrant wild rose. They flew in the direction of the hills. Wendy said, "There has got to be a thistle around here somewhere."

After flying for what seemed like hours, the two bees spotted a patch of pretty purplish flowers growing amongst a forest of bent and ancient, twisted oak trees. They flew down to them quickly. "Thistle!" squealed Wendy. "A big patch of gorgeous, thistle!"

"They are purple thistle!" said Randy. "Did you know that they grow all over the world, not just here in Scotland? See how they are kind of hairy looking? They are a rare beauty. But, weíd better fill up with pollen. Iíll draw a map so that the next time, when Queen Katrina runs out of royal jelly, we will know exactly how to get here." He carefully drew while Wendy gathered the sweet nectar.

Then they flew back to the hive. Wendy dropped off all the special nectar at the Queenís nectar and pollen cell, and Randy delivered the map to the Queenís guards for safekeeping. They were both so tired by then that they went to their cells and fell fast asleep. When Randy woke up, there, at the entrance to his cell, sat a jar of royal jelly. There was a purple ribbon tied to it and a note, which read, "Randy, thank you for your help. Enjoy this delicious royal jelly. Itís fit for a Queen." It was signed by Queen Katrina herself.

Wendy received a jar just the same as the one Randy had received. That night Wendy and Randy played another game of Flower Petal Land, and sat together, happily dipping their hands into the jars for a big scoop of royal jelly. They had never tasted anything so delicious before. It really was a treat meant for a Queen.

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