Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #1567734
In this Children's Fable, Izzy learns a lesson about heeding warnings. REVIEWS NEEDED.
|“Izzy and the Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon”|
In which Professor Proot teaches:
The Importance of heeding signs
How to tame a mischievous Imp
If the tale of Gnoyle taught you about the value of hard work, then this tale will do the same for the good sense of heeding signs. I'm sure that most of you are more than happy to stop when you meet a stop sign, or be quiet when entering the library. I'd also be most surprised to find any of you walking on the grass in the park when there are signs that clearly state that you are not to walk on the grass. Most surprised, in fact, but that is because children are good people, but this cannot be said of imps.
Avalon is full of imps. Of course, Avalon also has very few children, and this will sit as quite peculiar to those unfamiliar with the ways of that magical land. But here I will whisper to you a truth that few know. Are you ready? Imps are the children of the little people of Avalon; Gnomes and Pixies and even Goblyns. All their children come to the world as imps. If they learn to work hard, then the imp becomes a Gnome. Perhaps the imp is given to fits of harmless mystical mischief; that imp might grow to become a Pixie. For the mean spirited and nasty imp, there is only the life of the Goblyn ahead when they their impy skins and become True To Themselves, but this process is the stuff of another story.
This story is of an imp named Izzebizzelboo and…ah, I can see the name is difficult for you. Shall I say it slowly? Izz-eh-biz-ul-boo; is that better? No? Well, not to worry, because Izzebizzelboo’s friends also find the name hard to pronounce and, besides, he is quite happy to go by Izzy. It is also the story of the Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon, but before I tell you about these wonderful little workers, I must explain Izzy, if such things can be explained.
Izzy was a scallywag who spent his time hiding in shadows and creating mischief for whomsoever he should meet. He took particular delight in frightening Gnomes. Why Gnomes, you ask? Well, it is said that a Gnome cannot jump on account of having such short legs. This is preposterous, of course, but it is one of those things that people believe even though they know it to be untrue. It is much the same as believing your big brother when he tells you he did not eat your last piece of peppermint.
Izzy liked nothing more than to see Gnomes jump, and so he would drop down from the trees as the Gnomes headed off to work, hitching a ride upon a shovel or rake. He would then creep on his sneaky-feet into the crevices of shirt collars, he used his cold, cold breath to make the hairs stand up on the back of the Gnome’s neck. This, of course, made the Gnome nervous and fret that perhaps a spider was crawling on his neck. When the Gnome would check, Izzy was gone, having crawled under the Gnomes hat to continue his game. Now, on the noggin of a nervous Gnome, Izzy would begin to poke at the hat. This sort of thing will not go unnoticed for long, and eventually one of the Gnome's companions would make mention that their fellow might have something under his hat.
Now, imagine if you were the Gnome? Why, if I was afraid I had a spider on me, I would be even more afraid to remove my hat if my companion said there was something under their other than hair. I might ask him to look for me and, being a friend, he would slowly lift the hat so as not to disturb the spider that was supposedly there. Imagine, then, their complete surprise when they removed the hat to find nothing in the hair. Imagine also, their complete horror when Izzy dropped out of the hat onto the hand of a Gnome, all the while yelling "BOOOOO!!!!" If you were the Gnome, you would jump.
Imps say ‘many make more mischief.’ If he was feeling particularly naughty, or if the shadows were doubly dark, Izzy would gather his friends in the branches of a Gum Leaf Tree, where Elves made their homes. When his friends had whispered scary stories into the ears of Elflings, Izzy would draw in a big bellow of a breath, and then tap the little Elves on the shoulder. When the Elf turned to see what was there, Izzy would jump from the shadows and yell YAA HAA, then scamper to the twiggy ends of the branches with his friends, to chitter with joy as the frightened Elf ran home crying to the comfort of its mother.
It was not only the people of Avalon who found themselves at the mercy of Izzy's mayhem. Many a wizard on his way to see the Queen found his toes stubbed on a rock pushed into his path by the impudent Izzy. Few things delighted him more than making bumbling humans stumble.
This tale, however, is not about Izzy and the Gnomes, or Izzy and the Elflings, or even Izzy and the stumbling bumblers. As I have already said, this is the tale of Izzy and The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon.
In the mystical lands, few things are more wonderful than the hive of The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon, for there is only one. Hidden in the hollow of a sycamore tree, the busy, buzzing bees gather the nectar of the Honey Hibiscus and Vanilla Vine, and mix it with Cocoa Clover to make Chocolate Drops for the Faery Queen, Mab. Beneath the tree, she hung a sign:
Beware of the Bees,
The thing for their sting--
A salve for the sore--
Is a kiss of Mab’s ring.
Now, it is not always possible for people such as Queens or teachers or even parents to explain the "whys" of their dos and do-nots. It is often much easier to hang a sign, and so many a tale was woven about the reason for such a thing. Eventually it became accepted that it was for everybody's own good that they should not disturb the bees. People thought that the bees must have a fearsome sting to have the Queen herself set them apart, and so the people of Avalon left them alone and obeyed the sign.
All, that is, except Izzy.
Izzy knew that The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon have no stingers. In the bright light of the midday sun, when the heat forces even mischief to take a rest, Izzy would stare at the hive and daydream of sweet, sticky chocolate drops. He imagined the way they must taste, and how they would melt on his tongue. Some days, Queen Mab would catch him in his daze and shoo him off saying, “get yourself away, Izzebizzelboo, and don’t worry the bees. Mind the sign unless you wish to taste their sting.” Of course, when the Queen shoos people away, even Imps obey. Izzy did so, but he took his dreams of chocolate drops with him, to enjoy in the moments between his scally-waggery.
Imps, being Imps, are more curious than cats, and so Izzy scratched his head and hatched a plan. Under the shadows cast by the moon, the Imp snuck on sneaky feet, creeping into the palace grounds until he found the sycamore tree. The bees snoozed, snoring softly as they dreamed of the sweet nectar of Sugar Roses. Imps can be clumsy, however, and Izzy bumped the hive as he took a chocolate drop. Now, I am not sure how you feel about being woken from a wonderful dream, but bees are particularly grumpy, especially at the time of year when Sugar Rose dreams are in bloom. Sleepy bees swarmed the Imp, and chased him from the tree. Not once, however, did a bee sting Izzy, and he made his escape with the chocolate drop in his hand.
Free of the bees, Izzy scampered up a tree and popped the stolen chocolate drop into his mouth. Smooth, sweet, melting bliss coated Izzy’s tongue, and for the first time the Imp smiled because of something nice. Happy with himself, Izzy drifted into a deep sleep and dreamed of decadent delights.
In the morning, however, the Imp woke to a swollen nose. His friends laughed at the sight of the large, white boil that rose at the end of Izzy’s slender sniffer.
“Perhaps I’ve been bitten by a Boil Beetle,” he thought. Embarrassed, he scampered away to hide in the palace trees, and spy on the Chocolate Bees in the hollow of the sycamore. Soon, the Queen saw him and shooed him away again.
“Get yourself away, Izzebizzelboo, and don’t worry the bees. Mind the sign unless you wish to taste their sting,” she commanded.
The Imp spent the rest of the day pulling the ponytails of a gaggle of elf girls who lived in a nearby Gum Leaf Oak. As evening approached, however, Izzy turned his thoughts again to the hive and chocolate drops.
“The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon cannot sting me,” he thought, “and they will not miss a few, sweet drops.” Then, as is often the case with Imps, bad thoughts turned into bad actions, and he found himself reaching into the hollow that hid the hive. Out came a handful of chocolate drops, and a swarm of angry bees, but though they tried, their little chocolate stingers flattened against the Imp’s hairy hide. Izzy ran as fast as he could and soon was free of the bees, and alone with a handful of chocolate drops, which he devoured before falling into a dream of sugar canes.
Izzy awoke to a fiendish flurry of snickers and guffaws, as his friends pointed at the pimply Imp. In a pool, Izzy saw his hideous reflection. Boils covered his face, and they hurt most horribly. “Perhaps it is my teenage skin,” he thought, before using his sneaky feet to flee from his friends.
Despite his best efforts, and the juice of a dozen aloe leaves, Izzy’s face would not clear up, so he sat in a tree in the Queen’s garden to dream of sweet chocolate drops. When the Queen spied him, she shooed him away, saying, “get yourself away, Izzebizzelboo, and don’t worry the bees. Mind the sign unless you wish to taste their sting.” Commanded by Her Majesty, Izzy left, and spent the remainder of the day pulling a single leaf from a lazy Leprechaun’s four-leafed clovers.
When evening came, Izzy found himself in the Queen’s garden, dreaming of chocolate drops. “The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon have no stingers,” he thought, “and they won’t miss a few more delicious drops.” Mischief again moved Izzy’s feet, and he crept to the hollow. He shook the hive until both hands were filled with drops. Try as they might, The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon could do nothing to stop the Imp taking their treasure, and soon Izzy was perched on a branch, eating until his stomach groaned with fullness. Then the Imp drifted into a delightful dream of gingerbread houses and gumdrops.
In the morning, Izzy’s friends whispered to themselves and pointed at him with looks of alarm. Big, bulging boils covered the Imp’s entire body and ached to high hooey. Izzy was so swollen that he could only move his lips. “Perhaps a Wiry Witch is fattening me for her feast,” he wailed.
“We should take you to see the Queen,” his friends said. Because they could not lift the bubble-bodied Imp, his friends rolled him all the way to Mab’s door.
“Well,” said the Queen, “I see you ignored the sign.”
“But Majesty,” Izzy wailed, “The Famous Chocolate Bees have no stingers.”
“Silly Izzy,” she replied, “you should have heeded the sign. Of course they have stingers. The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon hide them in their chocolate drops, and if you eat them, you will surely taste their sting. I did not put the sign up to be selfish, I did so to prevent you from being stung by the bees.”
Finally, Izzy understood the importance of obeying signs. “Majesty, the sign says your ring will salve my sores. May I kiss the ring?”
“Only if you tell me what you’ve learned,” the Queen said.
“I’ve learned that it is wise to obey signs, even if I disagree with them,” the Imp said.
Queen Mab smiled, and offered her ring to Izzy. Upon a kiss, his boils suddenly disappeared, but he never again worried The Famous Chocolate Bees of Avalon. Tasting their sting once was too much mischief.
Even for an Imp.