Presentation on theme: "Retold and illustrated by Phillip Martin. Gather around me, soldiers," instructed Lion. "We are about to go to war against the insect kingdom. As your."— Presentation transcript:
Gather around me, soldiers," instructed Lion. "We are about to go to war against the insect kingdom. As your general, of course, I will lead the attack. But, before the fight begins, I need to be sure that you are all clear on our battle plan."
The kudu, oryx, and jackal drew close to hear his advice. "We have size on our side, said the lion. However, our enemies outnumber us by millions. We must show no mercy. Attack and destroy them. Remember they will try to do the same. They will swarm, sting, and bite, but we will overcome."
The general lowered his voice to barely a whisper. He motioned his officers even closer to his side so nobody else would hear his words.
"Now listen carefully because this is the key to our plan. Throughout the battle, tell your soldiers to keep an eye on me. Since I'll be in the front, I'll be able to tell if we are winning or losing our fight.
As long as we are winning, I will hold my tail up high in the air. If our soldiers see my tail up, they are to continue their attack. However, if for any reason we are losing the battle, I will drop my tail. That will be the signal to immediately stop all fighting and run for your lives."
The kudu, oryx, and jackal listened carefully to all their instructions. Then, they moved off silently to pass the word on to their troops. The lion took a moment to reflect before the battle began. A smile crossed his face; he knew his plan was good.
But, what he didn't know would cost him the victory. Hidden among the flowers of a nearby bush, a tiny bee overheard all of the plans. As soon as the lion moved on to his battle station, the bee flew back to the insect camp with the news.
The lion roared, the elephant trumpeted, and the terrible fighting began. For a while both sides were evenly matched. Lion, his tale flying high in the air, directed a brilliant attack. Encouraged by their brave leader, the animal kingdom charged onward.
There was only one hope for the insects. Eventually, it was clear to the insect general that the battle had turned against his kingdom. He looked at the little bee and said, "It is time."
That was all the instruction that the little bee needed to hear. He knew what to do and where to do it! In a moment, he flew into the thick of the battle. He didn't have far to go, and he had no trouble in locating Lion at the front of the fight.
The little bee smiled as he flew into position. Then he cried, "Bee-ware from bee-hind!" as he gave the general a sting he would never forget.
Of course, in the heat of the battle, none of the animals heard the little bee s battle cry. All they noticed was that their leader had suddenly dropped his tail. And they knew that meant!
The animals ran for their lives. So, the insects won their war against the animal kingdom all bee-cause one little bee was bee-hind enemy lines bee-fore the fighting even bee-gan.
About the Author – Phillip Martin The countries in Southern Africa offer such a wealth of experiences. I know this because, I lived in Zambia and took every opportunity possible to travel the region. I searched for whales off the coast of South Africa, explored for wild animals in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and encountered fascinating traditional life of the San people in Botswana. I also contracted malaria at the base of the world's largest sand dunes in Sossusvlei, Namibia.
About the Author – Phillip Martin Along the way, I searched for collections of folk tales which Ive retold with my own humor. However, this story was shared around a campfire when I spent two nights with the Herrero people in northeastern Namibia. The story of Bee-Ware from Bee-Hind was brought to you all the way from Africa.
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