“Grandbee, will you tell us a story? It’s raining and we can’t go out to fly,” said Jadyn Bee. “Yes! Please, Grandbee, please,” chimed in Darcie Bee.
“Well, I’m sure you could find something else to do, but if you promise to listen I will tell you about the great escape at Bizbee Barn.” Grandbee looked at them and cleared his throat.
The Great Escape at Bizbee Barn
Once upon a time many years ago, my great-great Grandbee heard something that made him very curious. It was a hot sticky Sunday evening when he first heard the sound. It had become so sticky that all the bees had gone inside the barn to cool off. My Grandbee had gone to the top where he found a nice place to relax. It wasn’t long before he heard the sound and decided he must find out what was making that noise. So off he flew through the barn slats towards the sound.
As he flew he saw Nellie Lady Bug who waved and said, “How are you today?” “I don’t know. I hear something,” said Grandbee. “You do? I don’t,” said Nellie as she puzzled over the mystery. “I’ll let you know what I find out,” said Grandbee as he flew on. He didn’t get very far when Brea, a roly ploy, waved and said, “How are you today, Grandbee?” “I don’t know. I hear something,” said Grandbee. “I’m on my way to find out what it is,” he said as he buzzed off.
Next he saw DeMarco the caterpillar and told him that he heard something and was on his way to discover what it was. About half way up the farm he was stopped by Jakyde Cricket who wanted to know what was making him in such a huge hurry. Grandbee told him about the sound and that he needed to find out what was making such a roar in his ears. Now, Jakyde thought that was rather strange since he didn’t hear anything, but decided to go with Grandbee. “I’m sorry, but you can’t go this time. I’m in a hurry,” said Grandbee and off he dashed. Finally, he got to the toad colony and saw Maddie the Croaker. “Hi Grandbee, where are you going in such a rush?’ she croaked. “I hear something and want to know what it is,” said Grandbee. “I don’t hear anything, Grandbee. Perhaps your ears are playing tricks on you today?” croaked Maddie. Grandbee didn’t wait to answer her for the sound was getting louder in his ears! He had to find out what that curious sound was.
He was almost to Willow Creek when he rounded a bend and saw a gigantic wall of water coming towards him. He knew he had to warn his family and friends and just hoped that he wasn’t too late. He flew faster than he had ever flown before and gave warnings from one end of the farm to the other. He told Maddie to tell her colony to get to high ground and told Jakyde to tell his clan and his cousins the Elliott Grasshoppers to hop on up to high ground. He also saw Brea and told her to roll on out of there. He heard Brea call to her son Davion to roll on up the hill.
He told DeMarco to march his army of caterpillars down the tunnels and close the doors. Next he saw Sylvester Snake and said he had something he needed to tell him. “No! I won’t listen to you,” said Sylvester as he raised his nose up high. “But it is very important,” cried Grandbee. “No,” said Sylvester as he slithered away. The last one he saw before reaching the barn to warn his family was Nellie Lady Bug. She was holding a Tea Party for her clan so they all heard at the same time to head for higher ground. They all raced for the top of the highest hill and just hoped that everyone would make it. That night was a very long wet scary time. No one knew for sure if everyone made it. The next morning everyone started to gather for a head count. Grandbee said, “gather in your clans so it will be easier to see if anyone is missing. I will go first and let you know that all the bees are here.” Jakyde said, “Crickets and Elliott Grasshoppers are here.” Nellie said, “Lady bugs are all here”. Brea said that Davion wanted to give the news. Davion said, “All the Roly Polys are here.” Grandbee said, “Maddie, are you and your clan here? Has anyone seen them?” It seemed that the toads were missing. No one could find them.
Well, everyone camped on the hill for several weeks, until the ground began to dry. Finally, Grandbee reported that it was safe to head home. When the bees got back to the barn all they found was the roof! They would have to start all over making new homes for themselves. As they looked around they saw that all their friends had lost their homes, too. The only thing left was one very large Heppner tree in the middle of the farm. Grandbee flew over to the tree to see if it would make a good home and found large and small clumps of brown stuck to the limbs. It turned out to be a very muddy Maddie, DeMarco, and all their clans safe on the upper branches. What a happy day that was. He had thought they hadn’t made it, but here they were safe as could be. He did a little bee dance around Maddie’s head, but then noticed she didn’t look very happy. “What’s wrong, Maddie?” Grandbee asked. Maddie looked so sad when she told him that she couldn’t find Grand Toad Hilaree. “I’ve looked high and low, but she is nowhere,” moaned Maddie. Just then the mud began to gurgle and out popped Grand Toad Hilaree. Now, it truly was the time to be happy for all his friends survived the wall of water that came on a hot sticky Sunday in June of 1903.
“Oh! Thank you, Grandbee,” said Jadyn Bee. “That was a great story.” “Look” said Darcie Bee, “it has stopped raining so we can go fly.” “Bye, Grandbee, and thanks,” chimed in both of them as they buzzed away.
This work belongs to Janice Rice. All rights reserved.
The author lives in Oregon, USA.
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