I am so excited to share with you all the first of a seven book bilingual educational series that I wrote in 1997. The series is entitled The Virtuous Animals. Each book is narrated by Bumba the bee and teaches an important life lesson. Please check the En Español blog category to read the story in Spanish. I hope you enjoy!
The Adventures of Bumba the Bee
Once upon a time, in a pueblo in Mexico, lived a little bee named Bumba. Bumba was the youngest bee in her family, and she was also the most adventurous. One day, when Bumba awoke from her nap, underneath her favorite tree, she flew up to her beehive and realized that her parents, five brothers, and six sisters had all left to follow another colony of bees to find a new place to live.
Nobody realized that they had left Bumba behind. All of a sudden Bumba felt completely alone in the world. Then the corners of her mouth began to rise into a big smile as a great idea began to form. Bumba was going on an adventure; she was going to search for her family on her own.
So, flying up to her beehive, Bumba packed all of her shoes into her suitcase, grabbed her sombrero, and began her flight. As Bumba was flying she looked down and saw the queen ant and her good friend the spider; she decided to stop and ask them if they’d seen what direction her family had gone. She didn’t get much information from the insects, but she made another good friend of the queen ant. They did tell Bumba, however, to search around the ocean or in the jungle.
So Bumba left to begin her search for her family flying first towards the Pacific Ocean, and of course stopping in many flowers along the way to eat.
On her way, Bumba met many different animals and asked if they had seen her family. The toad and chipmunk both said she should search in the forest, and the snake said, “No I haven’t ssseeen your family, but come back sssooon to play with me.”
Finally the day ended. Bumba was very tired having flown all the way the from Mexico to Hawaii. Looking down she noticed a farm shed and decided to stop for the night and get some sleep. Once inside, Bumba met a lonely goat and the two of them talked about many things until they both fell asleep. The next morning, the goat told Bumba to search around the Atlantic Ocean, and he wished her luck.
Once again Bumba was on her way.
Flying over the Atlantic Ocean, she met a dolphin, a shark and a whale who were all playing and doing tricks in the water. It was very nice for Bumba to see that all of the creatures of the sea were friends. Bumba asked them if they had seen her family fly by, and the sea creatures said, “yes.” They said, “Last night we heard this buzzing sound, and looked up to see a swarm of bees flying by. We heard them say that they were on their way to the African jungles.”
Bumba thanked her new friends very much, relieved that she seemed to be heading in the right direction. She stayed for a little bit to play with them and also met a friendly seal and a very lost and shy penguin. Then, they all wished her good luck on her search, and soon Bumba was off again; this time in the direction of Africa.
Bumba no longer felt alone in the world thanks to all of her new friends.
When Bumba arrived in Africa she realized immediately, wiping the sweat off of her face, that it was too hot, and there was no way that her family would be here. So Bumba decided to ask some of the other animals if they had seen her family, and at the same time she made many new friends. First, she asked an elephant, then a giraffe, and finally a ferocious looking, but really sweet, lion. All of them were very friendly, and they all said the same thing; that her family had gone to the tropical rain forest.
On her way to the tropical rain forest, Bumba flew back across the Atlantic Ocean, and then over an ocean that she didn’t recognize at all. Bumba realized she was lost when she passed over a kangaroo and a koala bear. She knew that kangaroo’s and koala’s didn’t live in the rain forest, so she flew down and asked them where she was. They both told her that she was in Australia, and that the rain forest was in the opposite direction. She thanked them and turned around again in search of her family.
Finally, Bumba arrived at the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica, and she just knew that her family was there. Then she met a nice playful monkey with a white face who told her that a lot of bees had just flown overhead and had offered him some honey. Bumba smiled with joy knowing that her search was over.
Bumba knew she was close when she heard a beautiful and familiar buzzing sound near by. She decided to stop one more time before reuniting with her family to think back on her wonderful adventure and all of the new friend’s she had met around the world.
While relaxing in the center of a pretty yellow petaled flower and soaking in her new surroundings, Bumba met and made friends with a handsome raccoon and a noble turtle. She shared several of her adventure stories with them, and laughed at all the wonderful memories. Then, feeling content and ready to be with her family again, Bumba said goodbye to her new friends and flew off for the last short leg of her adventure.
The next day, Bumba awoke to the very beautiful sound of her family buzzing, and she began to tell them all about her adventures.
Once upon a time there was this dishonest chipmunk named Anita…
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Copyright © 1997 Michelle Joy Rigberg
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