The Honeybees and the Christmas Stockings
On a cold and snowy Christmas Eve night, a pine branch fell onto a beehive. The branch, being large and heavy, cracked the top of the beehive, and the snow blew into the hive, making the bees shiver and shake.
The queen bee said to her workers, “Let us fly tonight and find ourselves a place to keep warm. So, they flew to the nearest home and down the chimney where they found two large stockings filled with sweet meats and presents.
The bees snuggled into the soft wool of the stockings and were soon buzzing softly in their sleep over the cracking fire.
Before long, the lady in the house heard the buzzing and said to her husband, “What is that noise over the fireplace?”
“Hmm,” he answered and rose from his rocker to look.
Spying the honeybees nestled in their stockings, he grew angry and snatched the stockings from their pegs on the mantle. He shook his stocking until the bees, now warm, awoke and began buzzing angrily around his head.
Alarmed, his wife ran to the fireplace and grabbed her stocking. She swung the stocking around and around her head until the bees in her stocking were also buzzing and angry.
The man and his wife began swatting at the bees, angry that the bees had ruined their Christmas Eve.
The bees, afraid for their lives, flew out of the chimney and toward the next home. There was smoke coming from that chimney and sounds of singing.
The queen led the bees down through the chimney where they found four stockings filled with fruit and cloth-wrapped gifts. They dove into the stockings and snuggled into the wool stitches and were soon buzzing softly in their sleep.
A small girl stood on the brick ledge in front of the fireplace. She cocked one small ear toward her stocking and called out to her mother, “My stocking is singing!”
Her mother leaned over the stocking, peaked in and smiled.
“Your stocking has guests,” she said.
The mother crooked a finger at her husband who also gazed in wonder at the tiny sleeping bees. He held his finger up to his lips and they tiptoed away.
The father strode through the forest to the bees’ nest he had seen the week before in the woods. The snow was heavy on top of the nest now and the crack was widening from the weight of the pine branch.
He lifted the branch, then shook off the snow. Placing the beehive onto the sled he had brought with him, he pulled it back to his home and into his workshop.
While the bees slumbered, the man removed the cracked top of the beehive and replaced it with a new board, thicker and heavier than the last. When it was finished, he pulled it on the sled to their home and set it beside the fireplace.
Singing softly, the mother and father, the small girl and her little brother stood around the fire until the bees awoke and peered out of the stockings.
The queen bee led the way, flying into her new beehive, while her worker bees followed. They snuggled into their bee places, now dry and warm from the fireplace and dreamt of flowers and spring days.
The family smiled and hugged and tucked into their own beds, dreaming of sled rides and pumpkin pie on Christmas Day.In the morning, the father carried the happy bees to a shelter by the side of the house where the chimney rose tall and warm. They would be safe here until warm days and flowers bursting with pollen would again call them from their nest for happy adventures.