Maya the Bee Becomes Friends with the Queen (17/17)

The noise of the battle woke Maya from a short sleep. She wanted to go outside immediately to help defend the city, but she realized that she was still too weak. A struggling heap of bees and a hornet came rolling towards her. Eventually, the exhausted hornet fell down. He fought as long as he could, without complaining, but then had to give up the fight. The bees hurried back to the entrance.

Maya’s heart was pounding. She flew to the hornet who lay curled up but still breathing. When Maya saw that he was still alive, she brought him some water and honey. But he shook his head and waved her away with his hand.

“I take what I want,” he said proudly. “I don’t care about gifts.”

“Oh,” said Maya, “I just thought you might be thirsty.”

The young officer-hornet smiled at her and then said, not sad, but with a strange seriousness: “I must die.”

The little bee couldn’t think of a reply. For the first time in her life, she seemed to understand what it meant to have to die.

“If only there was something I could do,” she said and burst into tears. But the hornet did not answer anymore, he was dead.

Maya never forgot what she had learned from this brief farewell. She now knew that her enemies were creatures like her, who also loved life. She thought back to the flower elf who had told her about his rebirth when spring came. She now wanted to know if that was true for other creatures as well. “I’ll just believe it is,” she said softly to herself.

Then she was called to the queen. Maya was very shy and trembling on her legs. There was a solemn atmosphere because some of the queen’s officers had not survived the battle. Yet there was also joy. The queen stood up, walked to little Maya, and took her in her arms. Maya had never expected this, and she was so deeply touched by this gesture that she burst into tears.

All the bees were moved. They were all very grateful for the brave act of this little bee. Now Maya had to tell how she had learned about the hornets’ plan and how she had managed to escape from the terrible prison. Maya told about the dragonfly with her glistening wings, about the grasshopper, about Thekla the spider and Puck, and how Bobbie had helped her so much. When she talked about the flower elf and the humans, it became very quiet in the beehive.

“Ah,” said the queen with a smile, “who would have thought flower elves were so beautiful? Their song is also wonderful.”

Maya continued her story about the hornets, and all the bees listened breathlessly.

“Terrible,” said the queen, “truly terrible…”

“And so,” Maya concluded, “I came home. And I ask Your Majesty for forgiveness.”

But no one blamed the little bee for running away from the hive.

“You did not forget your home and your people,” said the queen kindly. “In your heart, you were loyal. So we do not banish you. From now on, you will stay by my side and help me with state affairs. In that way, you can use everything you have learned during your adventures for your people and your country.”

Then there was an approving cheer.

So ends the story of the adventures of Maya the Bee. They say she did a lot of good work for her bee colony and was very beloved. She now lives as an old lady on her pension honey. Sometimes, she goes to talk to the young bees in the evening, who like to listen to all the adventures she has had.