Bee Keeper | Teen Ink

Bee Keeper

October 23, 2010
By izzy_todd34 BRONZE, Jacksonville, Florida
izzy_todd34 BRONZE, Jacksonville, Florida
3 articles 4 photos 0 comments

I was always curious to know why I wasn’t allowed to touch Grandma’s flower box. It had a hand carved bumble bee on the top and delicate hand painted flower’s on the side. She carried it every where she went, and every woman on the island had a flower box. The island was full of flowers, every species you can imagine. Every time a girl was born on the island she was assigned a type of flower that she had to take care for the rest of her life. It is her duty to keep the island beautiful and her flowers prosperous. Every year all of the women on the island compete against each other to see which garden attracts the most bees, and that woman is than officially dubbed Queen Bee. Bees are our best friends on the island. We raise them almost like children and my grandmother happens to be the bee keeper and was the Queen Bee for 5 years in a row. Iam thirteen now and my grandmother has informed me that I am almost to that age where
I will be able to receive my own flower box. She said we must wait when the breeze is right, the soil perfectly damp, and the flowers just starting to awake from their long winter’s nap. I invited my friend Josephine to the ceremony the other day and what she said startled me.
“ You think that you will be crowned Queen Bee this spring?” Josephine asked
digging the dirt from underneath her nails.
“Think… I know! My grandmother is weaving the celebration crown, with tulips which is my birth flower.” I said wiping my hands on my apron.
“ Ellie, have you ever got the feeling that our teachers and family are lying to us.?’ Josephine asked never taking her eyes off of the dirt pile she created.
‘ Lied to us about what? ‘ I asked this time.
‘ About everything… the fertilization process… There is way more to life than

just freakin… plants!’ Josephine stood up with a shovel in her hand, and walked over to

her dandelion patch. She took the shovel and slashed away, shredding the beautiful

yellow flowers. Ripping the stems off as if they were light as paper, dirt and petals were

flying ever where until there was nothing left of the once bright garden.

I looked over at Josephine whose face was covered with dirt. Bright yellow petals

were stuck in her long wavy brown hair. Tears began to fall down her face turning the dirt

into mud. I stood up never taking my eyes off of Josephine. She looked up at me, her eyes

wide open.

“ Ellie… you got to help me. Help me clean this up.” She said piling broken petals back

into the dirt pile. I stepped backwards towards the cabin. ‘ Ellie, please help me! What

will the sisters’ do to me if they see this?’ I could tell she was panicking, she began

throwing dirt, rocks and broken stems into piles trying to “replant” her garden that she

destroyed herself. “Ellie!” She screamed as I turned away. She broke the forbidden rule

which was never to destroy your birth flower, It gave you life and if you take the flower

of life away your life will decompose along with the flower. That was a rule everyone

followed on the island.

“Ellie! Help Me!” Her voice faded off in the distance as I ran to inform the sisters’

of what happened.

* * *

My grandma ripped off my blind fold and I found my self in a sun room. Every

woman on the island was in the room and they all were dressed in white dresses holding

their flower boxes in white gloved hands. My grandma kneeled down in front of me and

handed me a box with a bee on top of it and tulips painted on the sides of it.

“Ellie…” she began “ The flowers have awakened and they need your assistance.

The time has come for you to receive your pollination tool box.” She slowly opened the

box to reveal a long thin blade that resembled a bee stinger. It had a gold bee on the top

and tulips carved up and down the side of the blade.

“As you all know…’ My grandma was speaking to all of the women in the room

‘Earlier today we lost an important part of our island. The dandelion patch was destroyed

by our own Josephine.’ All of the women gasped as my grandmother spoke.

‘ Josephine destroyed them at will, shovel in hand dug them up and tore them to

shreds. She told my grand daughter here that we were brain washing her and that there

was more to life than just plants!” All of the women shrieked in horror at the word

plants. “ Well the time has come once again to replant those beautiful dandelions, let the

others decompose and fertilize the rest of our birth flowers. We will make the dandelions

be born again!” The women applauded with their gloved hands and he room fell silent as

my grandma pointed to me.

“My granddaughter… Ellie has the tool to make the soil be replenished again, and

she will do so tonight!” My grandma pulled a white sheet off to reveal Josephine tied up

to a table. She was shaking and trembling with fear.

“Ellie…” My grandma whispered in my ear “ We had a bad seed in the garden on

this very island. You have the tool to exterminate this problem once and for all. Let the

flowers live again!” I raised my pollination blade…

“ Plow!” My grandmother screamed “ Plow the bad seed!”

Outside was quite… Just a slight breeze was blowing through my tulip garden….

The author's comments:
I wrote this piece during the spring time and I saw how my mom's tulip garden attracted all these bees. It got me thinking of how I could twist something so ordinary and beautiful to a metaphor that is dark and twisted in itself.

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