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How the Bee Got His Bumble

Published August 15, 2009
Countries: None
Age Levels: 8 and up

Long ago in the Altai Mountains in the south of Siberia, there lived a seven-headed giant named Delbegen.  He was as tall as the largest tree in the great forest.  When he walked, his feet were so large that his footsteps filled with rainwater and became bogs and lakes.  The growling of his stomach when he was hungry sounded like thunder to any person who heard it.

But, when Delbegen was hungry, not many people wanted to be anywhere near him.  The biggest thing about Delbegen was his appetite.  He bent over at the waist and used his hands to move the trees apart as he searched for deer, bear and other forest creatures.  He spread his fingers apart and dipped them into lakes and rivers to pick up handfuls of fish to eat.  It was said that Delbegen had even eaten a man or two in his time.

One day, the large giant smelled something sweet.  When he sniffed the air, the trees rocked and swayed back and forth because of all the air he breathed in.  The sniffing took him to a hollow tree that was filled with honey.  Delbegen snapped the tree off at the roots and sucked the honey out like a child eating a candy stick.  Then he chewed up the tree and swallowed it also.  He called a bee to him with the wave of his finger.

"I like sweet things," said Delbegen.  I am in the mood to eat more sweet things.  Go and bite every creature on the earth and find out who has the sweetest flesh.  When you find out, come back and tell me.  I will make my next meal on the creature whose flesh is the sweetest."

The bee flew away and followed the giant's command.  He bit a dog and a cat, but they did not taste sweet at all.  He bit a cow and a horse.  They tasted okay, but they were not sweet.  He tried tasting pigs, rabbits, goats and many wild animals.  Some were flavorful.  But, none tasted sweet.  Then the bee bit a man!

"Wow, you taste sweet," the bee told the man.  I need to tell Delbegan that you taste sweeter than all the other animals.  He will want to eat you for his next meal."  The bee sang, "Oh, man is the sweetest.  Man is the sweetest."

"Oh, bee," begged the man.  "Please do not tell the seven-headed giant that I taste sweet.  I will grow flowers for you to feed on.  I will not take all your honey like the giant did.  I will always leave enough honey for your family to eat and stay healthy."

But, the bee sang again, "Oh, man is the sweetest.  Man is the sweetest."

The bee would not listen to the man and started off to go tell the giant.  "Oh, man is the sweetest.  Man is the sweetest."  Then, the man grabbed the bee in his hand and ripped out the bee's tongue.

The bee flew straight to the giant, Delbegen.  "Well?" said the giant.  Which animal is the sweetest?

The bee tried to say, "Oh, man is the sweetest.  Man is the sweetest."  But, all he could say was "Bzzzzzzz!  He tried again, but the best he could do was to bumble and buzz.  That is how the bee got his bumble.

Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs. More stories and information about storytelling can be found at