Native American Legends
How the Honey Bee got their stinger
A Cherokee Legend
Back in ancient times when the people were more pure and could
converse with the animals and the Creator would visit with them,
the people asked the Creator for something that was 'sweet' to the
taste. So the Creator sent the Bee, but the Bee had no stinger.
Down came the Bee and it found a suitable tree in which they could
build their hive, live in, produce honey, multiply and feed its
young. Soon the people came to the Bee and asked for some of the
sweet syrup and the Bee gave each person a container full. The people
loved the syrup and greedily ate it, then went back to the Bee for
But the Bee replied, 'I have no more to give you for a while. You
will have to wait.' The people were not happy, as they craved the
sweet syrup. So they called upon the Creator, saying, 'the Bee does
not give us enough of the golden syrup. We want more!!!' The Creator
listened and sent down the Flower People. The Flower People began
to spread all types of flowers across the land giving the Bees greater
access and variety of flowers to pollinate and make more honey.
The Flower People spread all kinds of beautiful wild flowers around
to attract the Bees; bright blue, red, orange, purple and yellow.
More Bees were created to help pollinate the flowers. The hive grew
to be very large. The people seeing how big the hive was went to
get more of the sweet syrup. So the Bees gave all the syrup to the
people but left enough to feed their young. The people devoured
the syrup and wanted more. The Bee responded, 'We don't have anymore,
you will have to wait.'
The people were angry and asked the Flower People to make more
flowers so they could have more of the golden syrup to eat. The
Flower People responded, 'We made all the flowers we could and they
are all pollinated. You will have to wait until Spring.' 'No, said
the people, 'We want more now!!' So they went back to the bee's
hive and tore it apart killing almost all of the Bees and taking
the syrup. The remaining Bees were angry. They asked the Creator
what to do. The Creator was also annoyed at the behavior of the
people, so he told the Flower People to create some 'briar bushes'
and for the Bees to eat the briars.
The Bees did as the Creator said, they ate the briars and these
were transformed into stingers. The Flower People created an entire
briar patch around the Bee's tree. The next day, the people came
back and started toward the Bee's hive for more syrup; but the briars
around the tree scratched and tore at their bodies. Some of the
people made it through the briars to the hive. Covered in welts,
they yelled at the Bees, 'Give us some more syrup now, or we will
do the same as we did yesterday, kill your young and destroy your
home!' The Bees became angry and a loud hum came from the hive in
the tree, and out they swarmed. The Bees stung the people all over
until they were covered in welts and sent them running.
After that day, the people treated the Bees, flowers, and plants
with great respect and always promised to replace whatever they
asked for and never be greedy or take more than they needed.
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