The Queen Bee Fairy Tale

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“The Queen Bee” is a classic fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. It highlights the virtues of compassion and the magical rewards that follow.

Here is a short retelling. Enjoy

In a kingdom where the woods were filled with magic and the creatures spoke in whispers, there lived three princes. The eldest two, Karl and Franz, were known for their adventurous spirits, but their curiosity often led them into trouble. The youngest, Benno, was kind-hearted and loved by all the animals in the forest.

One sunny morning, the three brothers set out on a journey to find their fortunes. As they ventured deeper into the forest, they came upon a great ant hill. Karl, ever impatient, lifted his foot to crush it.

“Stop!” cried Benno, grabbing Karl’s arm. “What harm have they done to you? Let them be.”

Grumbling, Karl lowered his foot, and they continued their journey. Soon, they encountered a lake where ducks were swimming peacefully. Franz, his eyes gleaming with mischief, picked up a stone.

“Leave them alone, Franz!” Benno pleaded. “They have done us no wrong.”

Franz dropped the stone with a sigh, and they walked on.

As night fell, they found themselves in front of an enormous beehive hanging from a tree. The buzzing of the bees echoed in the stillness of the forest. Karl and Franz, hungry and tired, suggested lighting a fire to smoke out the bees and take their honey.

“No,” Benno said firmly. “These bees are harmless. We will find food elsewhere.”

The next morning, they reached an old castle shrouded in vines and mystery. Inside, they found an ancient man with a long, white beard.

“Welcome, princes,” he greeted them. “To lift the curse on this castle, you must complete three tasks.”

Intrigued, the brothers agreed. The first task was to gather a thousand pearls scattered throughout the forest, with the warning that failure meant being turned to stone.

Determined, they searched all day, but by nightfall, they had found only a few. Exhausted, they sat down in despair. Suddenly, a great number of ants appeared, led by their queen. The ants swarmed over the forest floor, collecting the pearls and delivering them to Benno.

“The kind prince saved our home,” said the Ant Queen. “Now we return the favor.”

The second task was to retrieve a key from the depths of the lake. As they pondered how to proceed, the ducks they had spared swam up, holding the key in their beaks.

“You spared our lives,” quacked the Duck Queen. “Now we repay your kindness.”

The final task was the most daunting. In a room filled with a thousand sleeping maidens, they had to identify the youngest daughter of the king. The old man warned them that choosing incorrectly meant eternal sleep.

Just as they were losing hope, the buzzing of bees filled the air. The Queen Bee flew in and landed on the lips of one maiden.

“This is she,” the Bee Queen hummed. “You showed mercy to my hive. Now I guide you.”

Benno gently shook the maiden awake. She opened her eyes, and the castle began to transform. The old man revealed himself as the king, freed from his curse. The sleeping maidens awoke, the castle regained its former glory, and a grand celebration ensued.

The king turned to Benno. “You have proven your heart’s purity. As a reward, you shall marry my daughter and inherit this kingdom.”

Karl and Franz, humbled by their brother’s kindness and wisdom, learned the value of compassion. The three brothers ruled the kingdom together, ensuring it thrived in peace and harmony.

And so, the tale of “The Queen Bee” spread far and wide, a story of kindness rewarded and the magic of mercy.

Also Read: The Iron Stove

Follow Up Questions

Why do you think Prince Benno was able to complete the three tasks?
Which animal helpers did you like the most and why?
What lesson do you think this fairy tale is trying to teach us?

Moral of the Story

The moral of the story “The Queen Bee” is that kindness and compassion towards others, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, are rewarded.

It teaches that showing mercy and being good-hearted can lead to unexpected help and success, emphasizing the importance of treating all living beings with respect and care.

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