So, there was this girl who could turn back and forth from a bee into a child, whenever she pleased. Bee…girl, bee…girl, bee…girl. Kids called her “Bee-Girl,” but her real name was Marie Pannaflannablopski. Every day of her life was an adventure. I only have time to tell you about one of those adventures, so when I’m done, don’t ask me to tell you any more. ‘Cuz I won’t.
Okay, Marie got out of bed one morning. She was still a girl. As she ran downstairs, her mom said, “Hurry up, Marie! You’re going to be late for school. Dear oh, dear, there’s no way you can make it on time.”
“Of course there is!” said her daughter. She turned into a bee and zipped out the window. “Good thinking, Mare!” her mother cried. Sometimes her mother called her Mare. Nobody else did, I think.
She went off to school. There was a path leading right to it. On both sides of the path were fields full of flowers that looked awfully yummy-smelling. So Marie turned back into a girl, just to check if they were yummy-smelling (bees don’t have noses). They did smell yummy. But the girl smelled them so much, she lost track of the time. When she finally got to the school, her teacher said, “Miss Pannaflannablopski, I am seriously angry. Outraged, even. You are seven and a half minutes late, and today is Pancake Day.”
Every Friday was Pancake Day at school. That meant you were supposed to come early and help mix up pancakes and cook them. Afterward, everyone was supposed to eat pancakes till they were stuffed. Then they got to go home.
“Since you didn’t help make ’em,” the teacher went on, “you can’t help eat ’em! It’s bad enough there isn’t any honey this week.”
“But…but,” Marie stammered.
“No buts!” said the teacher. “And there will be no pancakes for you, either, Miss Pannaflannablopski. Go home!”
Marie ran out of the school in tears. She sat on the steps for a long time. While she sat there pouting, a bee whizzed past her nose. Marie decided to follow it. Presto! She turned into a bee, and off she went. The bee led her right up to a skinny, tall tree. High in the tree was a bee hive. The bee went inside. Marie decided she’d follow it. She knew it was dangerous, but she did it anyway.
Inside, the bees were busy. Bees usually are. There was a big tub in the middle of the hive. One by one, the workers stepped into the tub and shook the pollen off their bodies. Then a bunch of older bees that were sitting on the edge of the tub spat into it. Then some younger bees jumped in and started stomping and smushing the pollen and spit together. That’s how honey is made. It sounds disgusting, I know. But honey tastes so good that it’s worth it.
Marie didn’t want to disturb them all. But she did anyway.
“Buzzy, bumble, bumfuzz-buzz!” she cried. ‘Cuz when she was a bee should could talk bee-language.
“Bizzy…fum buzz, buffle-zuzz.” replied the bees.
“Huzza, buzzy-bum, pum fuzz buzza bum buzz? Zum bubble fizz, bizz fizzle,” she said, politely.
“Bizzy…bzz bzz bzzzzzz?” they answered.
This is what it all meant in English:
“Hey! Let’s make a deal,” Marie had said.
“Hmm…we’re listening,” the bees had replied.
“Can you pretty please give me and my friends a bit of honey? It’s Pancake Day, and we don’t have any.”
“Hmm…what will you do for us?” the bees had asked.
And she told them. But I won’t tell you what she said just yet. ‘Cuz it’s more fun if it’s a surprise.
The bees nodded their heads. “Fizzzz!” they cried, which meant, “We’ll do it!”
A few minutes later, Bee-Girl came whizzing out of the hive. Behind her were probably a million bees, I think. Every one of them was holding a bee-sized bucket in its hands, full of honey. Soon they came to the school. The children were sitting outside on picnic tables, looking down sadly at their dry pancakes. And then…
Buzzzzz! Vrooooom! Like a bunch of bomber planes the bees swooped down and dropped the honey. They were careful to get it on the pancakes, but some of it got in the teacher’s hair by mistake.
“EEEEEEEEEEEK!” she screamed. Because teachers don’t like getting sticky.
“HOOOOORAY!” cried the children. Because pancakes taste much better with honey on them.
“Zuzzy bizz bizz iz!” said the bees, which meant, “Now it’s your turn to help us!”
“What do they want?” shrieked the teacher, who was still trying to get the honey out of her hair.
“A-bumble fuzz fuzz bum bubble buzz,” said Marie. But then she remembered she was still a bee, and people can’t understand bee language. So she turned back into a girl.
“Well,” she said, “in return for the honey, I promised the bees that…that…”
“That what?” gasped the teacher.
“That we’d help them make more.”
“EEEEEEEEEEEEK!” shrieked the teacher again.
“HOOOORAY!” cried the students. Because it sounded like fun.
So for the rest of the day they skipped about in the fields, gathering pollen from flowers. Even the teacher started to have fun. They put the pollen in a big bowl (it looked like popcorn) and when it was full, they carried it to the tree so the bees could scoop it up with their pails and take it into the hive.
It was probably the best Pancake Day ever.
After that, getting honey for the special day was a breeze. Marie only had to shout to the bees from the school, and they’d come right away and give her the honey. Afterwards, the students would always help them gather more pollen.
One more thing. The students made up a song about Marie, and they sang it every Pancake Day. This is how it went:
Marie speaks Bee just beautifully.
It’s such a treat to hear that sweet
With pancakes dull and dry,
She zips outside to cry,
(And the bees come right away).
(And they’ll answer, “Fine, and you?”).
(And they’ll mumble, “What a treat!”).
(And put honey on the cakes).
Cause she speaks Bee just beautifully.
It’s such a treat to hear that sweet
That’s pretty much the end of the story. I have to go now. It’s Pancake Day.
1. What was Bee-Girl’s real first name?
2. Why was her teacher mad?
3. What was special about Fridays at her school?
4. How did the bees help the class?
5. What did the class do to help the bees?