Bumble Learns To Buzz
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Donald V Mitchell
Once upon a time there was a little bee called Bumble who had no buzz.
This wasn't noticed at first, when there are lots of bees flying around, it's hard to tell who's buzzing and ho's not.
It was only when Bumble was sent on an errand by the Queen bee that this came to light.
"A bee without a buzz is like a flower without a petal," buzzed the Queen.
"Or a teapot without a kettle," droned a drone.
"Bumble must go to school and learn to buzz," the Queen said in a stinging voice.
All the royal attendants started buzzing around in confusion, each one trying to outdo the others in carrying out the Queen's wishes.
By the time they had all settled down again, Bumble was enrolled in a school at the bottom of the garden.
"Now, for your first lesson I want you all to say - b. Listen to me, then try it yourselves," the old teacher said to his new class. "B - b - b."
There followed a lot of cheek puffing by the pupils, but no one could master the sound.
"Oh dear! Oh dear! Learning the bee alphabet is not going to be easy for you lot," the old teacher sighed. "Let's see how you do with the last letter. Now listen to me carefully, z - z - z."
The bee children tried again.
This time they used their tongues against their teeth, "Sl - . Sli - sli," some managed to say, but not quite getting it right.
"Well, I suppose this calls for patience. After all, a rose garden wasn't cultivated in a day," the kindly old teacher said. "We'll try again tomorrow. Now buzz off home - um - I mean, class dismissed."
As the bee weeks passed by Bumble and his classmates began to master the letters B and Z, all of them flying around the playground shouting out, "Bz - bz - bz."
"Now for the middle letter of the alphabet," the old teacher said one morning.
Bumble wondered if he'd master the whole alphabet.
"U - u - u," buzzed the old teacher.
"I - i - i," buzzed the pupils.
It took the rest of the school term for the pupils to master the bee alphabet.
Did Bumble pass the exam? Well, go down to the bottom of the garden with your parents and see the little bees feeding from the flowers. Listen! Can you hear the buzz - buzz - buzz?
One of those bees is Bumble. He has learned to buzz.
Now he can take his place in service to the Queen... Buzzing happily forever more.
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