The Pollen Parcel
Solomon Hogg attached a pair of shiny new wings to his one-wheeled flapicycle. He tested them out.
“These ones could really work,” Solly said to himself. “They are made of lighter metal and have the right shape. A pig like me might actually fly today.”
Solly stood atop a high, grassy hill. He was in the middle of his workday, making special deliveries for FlapOn™ delivery service. He licked his hoof and held it up to test the direction of the breeze. His dream to fly felt more real than ever.
The smooth dirt path headed downhill to the bee village of Sharpton. In Solly’s backpack was a bundle for the bees in Hive 23. This was the largest hive on Honeytown Road. Through his binoculars, he saw the large hive attached to the trunk of a tree.
“There’s the hive,” Solly said. He watched worker bees flying in and out of the hive’s entrance. “Golly! Must be fun to be a bee. Imagine having four wings, two sets of two, attached to your body!” Solly looked down at his own pink pig belly. He wondered if he could ever fly like a bee.
He decided to try. Solly zoomed down the dusty track on his flapicycle. The wheel spun. The new wings squeaked as they flapped. He picked up speed. Then he picked up more and MORE speed! He held his arms out like wings.
It seemed like he could feel a bit of liftoff...but he reached the hill’s bottom as normal. No flying.
“Oh, well,” Solly said as he pedalled on. “The hill probably wasn't steep enough for me to fly. Maybe next time!”
Solly leaned his flapicycle against the tree and knocked on the hive to make his delivery. Some of the worker bees answered.
“Zzz. Hey, it’zzz the pig,” the head worker bee spoke. “The pollen izzz here! Zzz-weet!” Four worker bees tried to take the parcel into the hive, but the opening was too small.
“Perhap-zzz we’ll need to unwrap it outside. Then we can take it to the queen in zzz-maller portion-zzz,” another worker said.
Solly liked watching the bees. He thought it was interesting how their chunky bodies hovered in the air on such small wings. They had a nice conversation about how bees fly. Actually Solly talked while the bees worked. It gave Solly some good ideas on how to improve his flapicycle wings.
The bees unwrapped the parcel of pollen. They divided the pollen into small portions so it could fit inside the hive. Solly leaned in for a closer look at the beautiful golden piles of powdery stuff.
“So clever. Oh, and the pollen is such a lovely shade of yello-oh-oh-OH *ACHOOOooo!*”
Solly sneezed. The pollen went everywhere, vanishing into the wind.
“Holy hazelnuts!” Solly said. Then he saw the anger on the bees’ faces. He backed away slowly, saying, “I— I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to— ” But the worker bees had called for the rest of the hive. They all formed a dark, angry-looking cloud over him. Solly scrambled, grabbed his flapicycle and pedalled away as fast as his short pig legs could go. The angry swarm of bees chased him.
Solly’s legs pedalled in a blur. He looked over his shoulder to see the angry cloud of bees gaining on him. Was there anywhere to hide? A-ha! He spotted a small pond, right behind a hedgerow.
The terrible buzz of the angry swarm was coming closer. Solly zipped around the hedges. His wheel caught a root, sending him flying through the air.
“Does this count as flying?” Solly wondered to himself just before plunging into the water. *SPLASH!*
Solly’s head popped out of the water and he saw a blur of bees directly above him. He swam until he came to a cluster of tree roots. He dove between them, then swam upwards. Before he knew it, he was back above water.
*PUUUHH* Solly caught his breath. He noticed he was in the middle of a hollow tree trunk. Still panting, he peeked through a crack in the trunk. The angry cloud of bees was still hunting for him. Solly felt a buzz in his vest pocket.
“Don’t sting me!” Solly gasped.
But it was not a bee. It was his phone vibrating. *PHEW!* He pulled the phone from his wet pocket. It was Webster Pelican, his boss (also his uncle) calling. Instead of answering, Solly put the phone away.
“I’m too embarrassed to tell my uncle what happened. Oh! Dear doughnuts! How’d I get into such a pickle?!”
Solly peeked again through the crack in the trunk. The bees were still there. *BZZZ* His phone buzzed again.
“I can’t answer it. Webster’s probably heard already about the mess I’ve made of the pollen.”
Minutes passed, and Solly let two more calls from Webster go to voicemail. Just then, he heard a feathery flutter outside the hollow tree.
A pretty voice chirped, “Solly? Are you there?”
Solly peeked through the crack. He saw his bird co-worker, Jenny Wren.
“Webster's been trying to call you,” she explained. “Are you having a lunch break in a tree trunk?”
“No. I messed up. I’m probably fired, right?”
“Fired? No! Webster’s been trying to reach you before you deliver the pollen to the bees. There’s been a recall on that pollen.”
“Recall?” Solly spoke with his snout pressed against the crack in the trunk.
“Yeah,” said Jenny. “You know - when a company has to take their product back because they found out something is wrong with it?”
“I see! So?” said Solly, blinking at Jenny through the crack.
“Well, that pollen you delivered had to be recalled. Customers could get rashes if they eat it,” said Jenny.
Solly’s sigh of relief echoed inside the hollow trunk. He told Jenny about his day. Both of them laughed at how he sneezed away the bees’ pollen.
Soon the bees learned how Solly had saved them from a hive full of rashes. They were so happy, they insisted that Solly meet the Queen bee herself!
“Solomon Hogg,” the Queen bee began, “for your bravery in a time of danger, you shall receive the high award of M.B.E., Member of the Bumblebee Empire.”
Solly smiled as the worker bees pinned the medal to his work vest. He was very happy to receive such an honour...for bumbling.