Hubbell, the Humble Bumble Bee

Once there was a bumble bee called Hubbell. Hubbell was very shy. Even though he was born to collect nectar from all the beautiful flowers (this was his calling!) something always kept him from doing so.

This made him very sad.

He asked his mummy: “Mummy, why can’t I go and collect nectar just like all the other bees?”

“Oh, Hubbell,” said his mum, “you are just a humble bumble bee, and not a big shot bumble bee.”

“But what if I don’t want to be humble bumble bee? What if I want to be a big shot?”

“Now, your father and I don’t raise big shot bumble bees, we raise humble bumble bees. Do you understand?”, said his mum.

This frustrated Hubbell. He wanted to be a big shot, high-flying bumble bee, regardless of what his mother said. It simply wasn’t fair that he would have to be so humble against his own will and calling!

One day, when he was very fed up, he flew out into the wildflower meadow and started to have a go at the poppies. He used his sharp sting to destroy the deep red petals. He slashed them and he trashed them. And then he buzzed so loud and fast across the field that all the birds and beetles looked up to see what all this racket about.

“Hey, Hubbell”, said his friend Donna, the Daring Dragon Fly, who caught up with him “what’s all the fuss about?”

“I’m fed up with being the humble bumble bee. I want to be a big shot, high-flying, nectar-sapping bumble bee that knows no limits”, said Hubbell, while looking for his next flower victim.

“Of course you do”, said Donna, “why wouldn’t you. You can be anything you like!”

“Oh yeah? Well, you’re the first insect to say that. All I ever hear is I’ve got to be a humble bumble bee. Nothing more and nothing less. And I hate it hate it hate it. Today I am not one tiny bit humble.”

“I get you, Hubs. I wouldn’t like anyone telling ME I have to be humble either,” said Donna. “You get it out of your system, buster! I’ll catch you later! Be sure to pop over for a honey soda”, and she fluttered off.

Hubbell kept on shredding and slashing and trashing and racing and buzzing for a while. And when he was done, he plopped down on a water lily leaf totally exhausted, catching his breath, his wings spread out wide beside him.

After a while of lying there in the sun, gently rocked by the occasional ripples in the water, he turned over on his side, curled himself into a ball and drifted off to sleep. If you looked very closely, you could see little tears rolling down his bumble bee cheeks onto the lily leaf and into the water. The tears came from very very deep within and no one had ever seen them. It was the first time Hubbell cried.

From that moment on – as soon as he woke up again, that is – he never felt that he had to be a humble bumble bee again. He could be, if he wanted to, and sometimes he wanted to. But he could also be a big shot, high-flying, nectar-sapping bumble bee, whenever he felt like it. No matter what his mummy said.

And whenever he felt like it he would also have a honey soda with his friend Donna, the Daring Dragon Fly.


Copyright: Anja Löbert,