Bee on flower collecting pollen


The Girl Who Could Talk to Bees

by Dominic Silk

Competition theme: 'Perspective'

Lisa Merryweather, age nine and a half, skipped along the cobbled garden path. The flowers were out in full bloom: blues, and yellows, and reds, and purples, amidst a sea of lush green. Birds flitted about overhead, some came in for a landing on the branches of the old oak tree, whilst some more charged into nearby bushes where they chirped away about their various bird related activities. From below came the noise of her new shoes being scuffed; there may have also been ants in the grass, but she couldn’t hear them.

Young Lisa’s destination was a great big, neatly trimmed bush that hung down the trellis near the back of the garden. It was a nice bush, with pretty, little yellow flowers attached to snaking branches that were always trying to find their way into the sunlight. But it was also a special bush, for you see it was the only place in the garden where Lisa could talk to the bees. It was a strange discovery she had made one day, a long time ago when she had only been eight and a third. Mommy and Daddy had been very sad that day and they needed to have one of their grown-up talks. So, Lisa had decided to go outside. First, she had skipped with her jump rope and had managed to make ten jumps! Next, she practiced her cartwheeling on the grassy area further up the garden. It took her four tries, but eventually she had completed a full cartwheel. Unfortunately, she came to a bit of a crash-landing right at the end. She had been fine, but there had been someone who had not been pleased.

“Careful, mizzz.”

“Who said that?” Lisa had asked, bewildered.

“It wazzz me.”

It was a bee. A large, pretty bumble bee upon the ground who had looked as grumpy as a bumble bee could. The bee was grumpy because Lisa had knocked her from the flower she had been visiting. Lisa had promptly apologised, she had always been taught to mind her manners, and had politely asked the bee’s name, to which she was informed that it was Abigail, and then went back along her way.

Excited at this most unusual discovery, Lisa had run back into the house to tell Mommy and Daddy, who said her that was very nice but that she should go back and play outside. To which she had done. But she didn’t play, instead she went to find another bee to see if that one could talk as well. She had been in luck, as there had been several bees in the flower bed near the door to the garden, but try as she may, she couldn’t get any of them to talk. So, Lisa had taken a slow walk up the garden path, stopping every so often to say ‘hi’ to a bee, but sadly didn’t get a response. That was, until she arrived at the bush at the back of the garden.

“Hello Mrs Bee, do you talk?”

“Well, of courzzze I talk, what kind of zzzilly quezzztion is that?”

“You do!”

Now, Lisa was a smart young lady with an inquisitive mind, and it didn’t take her long to realise that the bush was the only place where she was somehow able to start a conversation with bees. She had tried the flower bed, she had tried near the oak, she had tried the vines growing on the fencing, and the only response she had received had been a disinterested buzzing. So, each day after school she ran into the garden to see if there were any bees to talk to, and each day she had not been disappointed so long as she only said hello to the ones on the bush on the trellis at the back of the garden. One day a sparrow had landed on a protruding branch, and she had greeted him using her politest voice, but alas he had simply cheeped at her, then flew off.

“Zzzparrowzzz don’t talk” said Hayley the Bee.

“They don’t?” Lisa had asked, confused at this revelation.

So, Lisa had gotten used to talking to the bees. They liked to talk about flowers and pollen, and honey, and their nests, and not much else. Lisa had been polite and listened to everything every bee had told her about flowers, and honey, and nests. Although they didn’t talk about much else, they were excellent listeners. Betty the Bee had told her that it was interesting to listen to Lisa talk whilst she was going about the important business of collecting pollen from flowers for the nest. At first Lisa had simply talked about her day at school in Mrs Parker’s class, and about playing with her friends in the playground. But then she had talked about other things, such as her Mommy and Daddy being sad.

“Are they zzzad because they don’t have enough honey?”

“I don’t know. Maybe?”

As the summer had drawn to a close there had been less and less bees visiting the bush, until at last they had all gone. She would still visit the bush every day, even when it had been cold. Her Mommy had insisted she put her coat and gloves on, but she didn’t see a single bee. That winter Lisa missed talking to her new bee friends; she tried talking to her dollies, but they didn’t answer back. Her Mommy and Daddy were still sad but told her that they loved her very much.

Christmas came and went, and she got a huge cuddly bumble bee toy whom she named Amanda. She loved Amanda, but sadly she didn’t talk. When the Spring thaw came Lisa started visiting the garden again, hoping each day that she may spot one of her bee friends, and each day she would go back inside disappointed. Until one day, on a Saturday, when she was playing in her bedroom, she heard a familiar noise from outside the window. It was a buzzing; the bees were back! She tried to say hello but received no reply. She stamped her foot and chided herself, she had to go to the bush. She ran downstairs, to calls of ‘no running’ from Daddy, and charged on out of the back door and up the garden path. There hadn’t been many bees around, but she waited by the bush all morning until at last one small black and yellow insect plopped down on a flower before her eyes.

“Hello Mrs Bee”

“Hello little girl”

“You can still talk?!”

“Well, of courzzze I can still talk, what kind of zzzilly quezzztion is that?”

So, Lisa started returning to the bush every day. There was much to talk about. She was in a new class at school, Mr Musty’s, and she had made a new friend in her class as well. The bees had a lot to talk about as well, but it was all about flowers, and pollen, and honey, and nests. Lisa, still being a polite young lady, had listened to all the news from the bees but couldn’t help thinking that it sounded the same as last year. Eventually her turn came again, and she had told the bees about everything, especially that her Mommy and Daddy were still sad.

“Are they zzzad because they don’t have enough honey?”

“I don’t think so.”

But then Lisa had an idea, perhaps the best idea she had ever had. Whenever she talked to the bees it made her feel happy, so maybe her Mommy and Daddy would feel better if they talked to the bees as well? She went back inside and told them she had something very important to talk about. She said that she knew they were sad, and that she didn’t know if it was because they didn’t have enough honey or not, but they might feel better if they came out and talked to her bee friends as well? They didn’t seem very convinced, so Lisa had used her politest but firmest voice, and she told them that she knew they would be happier if they just talked to the bees.

So, Lisa Merryweather, aged nine and a half, skipped along the cobbled garden path, scuffing her shoes as she did so. Her Mommy tried to tell her off, but she had already reached the bush. She told her parents to sit down, and the three of them waited for the first bee to arrive.

“I don’t think bees can talk sweety” Daddy said gently.

“That’s okay Daddy, the bees don’t need to talk they just need to listen. If you tell them why you’re sad, maybe it will make you feel better?”

Mommy and Daddy smiled at each other, and then they both drew Lisa in for a big family hug.

“Maybe it will sweety,” said Mommy, “maybe it will.”