Maya the Bee warns the queen (15/17)

Little Maya gathered all her strength and flew lightning-fast through the purple dawn to the forest where she could hide if the hornet guard would come after her. The fine veils of mist hung over the land and the cold threatened to paralyze Maya’s wings. It seemed like everyone and everything was still asleep on earth.

Maya flew high in the sky as fast as she could to the threatened beehive. She had to warn her people so they could prepare for the attack. If the bee colony had a chance to prepare their defenses, they could fight the stronger opponents. But if it was a surprise attack, they would have no chance. Maya was very worried.

As she thought about the strength, energy, and courage of her people, and their dedication to their queen, the little bee felt an enormous anger towards the hornets. She was proud of her people. It wasn’t easy for her to find her way through the forest because she didn’t remember the route she had taken. The cold was hurting her and she could barely see the world below her.

“Oh oh, how will this continue? Which way should I go? Now I could pay for my disloyalty to my people,” Maya thought. Suddenly a secret force sent her in a certain direction. Maybe it was the homesickness for her land that guided her. She surrendered to instinct and flew on quickly. In the distance appeared the mighty lime trees of the castle park.

“There I have to go,” she exclaimed joyfully. She descended towards the earth. Thicker strands of mist hung over the meadows than over the forest. She thought of the flower spirits who cheerfully went to their death in the morning dew. That gave her confidence again and her fear disappeared. The bee colony could expel her from their kingdom and the queen could punish her, as long as the bees were spared from the invasion of the hornets.

She was now close to the long stone wall that protected the bee city from the west wind. And in the distance, she saw her homeland between the blue and green firs. Her heart was pounding and she was out of breath, but she continued to fly quickly towards the entrance. At the entrance stood two sentries who shouted “halt.” Maya couldn’t say a word, and they threatened to kill her. That’s just what happens when a stranger enters the bee city without the queen’s permission.

“Back off, you,” shouted a sentry, pushing her roughly. “If you don’t, we’ll kill you. What’s wrong with you? I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Then Maya spoke the password that all bees know. The sentries immediately let her go.

“What!” they exclaimed. “You’re one of us and we don’t know you? How is that possible?”

“Let me go to the queen,” begged the little bee. “Right away, quickly! We’re in great danger.”

The sentries still hesitated. They couldn’t comprehend the situation.

“The queen cannot be awakened before sunrise,” said one of the sentries.

“Then the queen will never wake up alive,” Maya desperately exclaimed. “Death is following me. Bring me to the queen as quickly as possible.” Her voice sounded so angry that the sentries became scared and obeyed.

The three hurried together through the old familiar streets and corridors of the bee city. Maya recognized everything and, despite all her excitement and haste, her heart trembled with joy at the sight of the dear familiar scenes.

“I’m home,” she stammered.

In the reception room of the queen, she almost collapsed. One of the guards supported her while the other hurried to the queen’s private quarters. The first bees were already awake and stuck their heads curiously out of the openings. The news quickly spread. Two bee officers came out of the queen’s private chambers. Maya recognized them immediately. In solemn silence, without saying a word to her, they took their positions, one on each side of the doorway: the bee queen would appear soon.

She came without her courtiers, only accompanied by her assistant and two ladies-in-waiting. She hurried straight to Maya. When she saw the condition the child was in, the stern expression on her face relaxed a bit.

“You have come with an important message? Who are you?”

Maya managed to utter two words: “The hornets!”

The queen turned pale, but she remained calm.

“Mighty queen,” Maya sobbed. “Forgive me for not fulfilling my duties. Later I will explain everything, I have remorse in my heart. But not long ago, as if by a miracle, I escaped from the hornets’ fort and the last thing I heard was that they were planning to attack and plunder our kingdom at sunrise.”

The consternation of the ladies-in-waiting, the guards, and the assistant was indescribable. Everyone wanted to flee in all directions. But it was extraordinary to see how calm the queen remained when she received this terrible news. She stood up tall and regal, inspiring both awe and confidence. She felt that she had never experienced anything so superior since becoming queen.

The queen beckoned the officers next to her and issued some commands.

“Oh, my queen!” said Maya.

The queen bowed her head to the little bee and looked at her with love and tenderness, saying: “Our gratitude is great. You have saved us. Whatever you may have done before, you have made it a thousand times better. But rest now, girl, you look very miserable, and your wings are trembling.”

“I would like to die for you,” stammered Maya, trembling.

“Don’t worry about us,” the queen replied. “Among the thousands who inhabit this city, there is not one who would hesitate to sacrifice their life for me and for the welfare of the country. You can rest now.”

She leaned forward and kissed the little bee on her forehead. Then she beckoned the ladies-in-waiting and told them to take care of Maya. Maya was moved by the queen’s words and let herself be carried away. As if in a dream, she heard distant sounds and saw all the important bees gathering, and she felt the beehive shaking on its foundations.

“The soldiers! Our soldiers!” whispered the ladies-in-waiting next to her.

The last thing Maya heard before falling asleep was the sound of soldiers marching past her door and shouting orders with a cheerful, determined voice. And in her dreams, she heard the old soldier’s song of the bees:

“Oh, sunlight with your golden rays and golden shine, Through your glow, our lives are illuminated, Bless our labor, bless our queen, Let us be united forever.”