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 Short Story

Bee Tale

By Bernard Shaw

The time will come and you will follow a bee. A woman sitting in a tent with a glass ball on a small folding table made this statement. Mum had laughingly sent me into the tent telling me that I was old enough to know something about my future. The woman was dressed in a golden robe with a silver scarf for a headdress. The woman asked me for my penny and then looked into her glass ball. At first she did not seem very interested after all I was only eight years old. Suddenly she closed her eyes her breathing got deeper then she started speaking in a deep voice, “You will follow a bee!” She mumbled something else but I got frightened and ran out of the tent, with the words you will follow a bee, ringing in my ears. Outside the tent the sun was shining and my Mum was waiting for me. We had each an ice cream then slowly made our way back to our home.

Mum asked me what the woman had said to me, I answered that I would follow a bee. Mum smiled and said, “ What nonsense, still what can one expect for a penny.” Schoolbooks had to be read and I was responsible for my own bedroom and for washing and wiping the dishes and one or two other little jobs that Mum had for me to do. My pocket money was one penny a week paid to me each Saturday morning. I soon forgot the woman and her words you will follow a bee.

The winter came and went spring arrived at last. It was getting warmer and Mum and I got the garden ready for the flowers and vegetables. I loved digging and planting and I was one happy little boy when my Mum gave me a part of the garden for myself. I was to be completely in charge of my own garden strip. I dug and the strip then arranged it into beds and then with Mum we bought some seeds and a few plants. In my strip I had some lettuce and some spring onions also four tomato plants. A long line of radishes was in another bed. I weeded and watered my plot and Mums garden when she did not have the time. My next-door neighbour kept a couple of beehives and the bees were everywhere. Once I was resting, I had finished my garden work and was sitting or half lying in an old wheelbarrow.

It was lovely and warm and my eyes were closed. A bee was buzzing around my head soon I heard what it was saying. Come with me. Come with me. The voice was so soft and comforting that I went with the bee. That is I followed its voice. It flew across some fields into the woods with me following. It was then I saw them. A dozen or more Fairies were playing and singing some were dancing other just flew from one flower to another. I was fascinated when one of the Fairies spoke to me. Come with me earthling I have something to show you. This was getting very interesting I had never before been called earthling. I now Followed the Fairy who flew just in front of my face until we came to a small pond.

Look into the pond earthling, look into the pond. I then saw a large house with a wonderful garden. There was my Mother sitting on a chair in a terrace of the large house. People were walking around talking and sipping drinks. I then saw a horse with a young man, sitting upright in the saddle. This young man is you earthling. This is what the old woman could not show you. The penny that you gave her was a magic penny and it made her tell you about the bee. We fairies do not let every one know that we are here on earth. You have been chosen because you have a love for gardens and flowers and you do not bother the bees of your neighbour.

The big house and garden will become yours when you are eighteen. You and your mother will be able to live comfortably in the house and you may use all that is in the house and grounds. Just one condition is attached you must never refuse any person entrance to your new domain. Rich or poor all will be welcome to a bed and food.

I then heard my mum calling me, “It is time for your tea,” she said and I awoke from my wheelbarrow position I had fallen asleep and had this wonderful dream. I told my mum about the bee and the Fairies and the large house with me on horseback. Mum smiled and said, No more fortunetellers for you young man. I often listen to the bees as they go about their work of collecting pollen to make the honey that is so sweet. But I have never heard one saying Follow Me.
Bernard Shaw
Copyright 2005
Listed 06/23/2005

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