The King Bee

The King Bee

By Karoline Lehner.

Once upon a time there lived a bee hive in a stable. One day a big tumult occurred; armed cavalry entered the village and destroyed the houses. The stable burned down, and the bees lost their home. The village was completely demolished; no barn, no shack, no tree was left. The men were killed, women and children sold into slavery.

The bees wandered around yet they found nothing. Then they saw a sand colored fox appear on the horizon. He stayed at a safe distance because he didn’t want to frighten them and said, “You can live with me. There is enough room in my den for your hive.“

The bees thought about it and discussed if they could trust the fox. They decided to accept the offer, mainly due to the lack of alternatives. They followed him into his underground den and, as he showed them the place that he had meant for them, they began to create a new hive.

The initial uncertainty soon diminished, and the bees started to feel comfortable in the fox’s den. The fox took great pleasure in their company and enjoyed the sweet honey they would share with him on occasion. The queen bee was very thankful and adored the fox as the savior of her hive. For his hospitality and his protection, she loved him. She called him the King Bee of the Babylonians, because that was the name of her hive. So it happened that a sand colored fox turned into a King Bee.

The fox was well aware of the honor that was brought upon him and his chest engorged. One day he met another fox that came from an area further north.

“Good day, brother fox”, the stranger greeted him.

“I can not be your brother, brother fox”, answered the King Bee.

“Why do you call me brother, when you say that you can not be my brother?”

“I only answered to you. You believed me to be your brother, I didn’t want to shatter your faith at once. But since you seem fit to handle it, I tell you frankly, I can not be your brother because I am not a fox like you.”

“That is impossible. How can you not be something that you are? You are obviously a fox. Exactly like me.”

“I am a King Bee”, he pronounced.

The fox from the north started to laugh at him. “A King Bee? How uneducated. King Bees don’t exist!”

“But here I lively stand before you. I, the King Bee.” The fox got up on his hind legs, for he was overly proud of this title.

“There are only Queen Bees. Do you know nothing about the fauna, you dummy? I am a scientist and bee expert. King Bees do not exist”, the bee expert answered back and gave him a sharp look.

The foxy King Bee laid his hand on his chest and said:

“In me there beats a sturdy heart

and lives a peaceful pulse.

I am alive, is what I feel.

Vis-a-vis from me you stand,

you look at me and say,

I don’t exist, I am not here.”

The bee expert shook his head and rolled his eyes. He asked King Bee, if he was an actor practicing for a role, while looking onto the ruins that used to be a theater.

“No”, the King Bee answered. “I am quite normal. I am not acting.”

“Well”, the expert clicked his tongue and felt pity for his confused brother, “I don’t believe that.”

“It matters not what you believe, because I know what I am, unattached from you believing in it or not. Therefore, your opinion does not tangle me.”

“Are you on medication?”

“No”, answered the King of Babylon.

“I know a doctor, maybe you should visit him sometime.”

“No, thank you. That is not necessary.”

“Well, I am not sure about that.” The fox inspected the so-called king and studied his facial expression. Suddenly, a genius insight struck him, an idea on how to expose the King Bee. He looked at him triumphantly and said, “If you were a King Bee, you should be able to fly.”

“Why do I need to be able to fly?”

The new-comer didn’t expect a return question of this kind, he thought about it shortly and continued, “Because a King Bee must feed the Queen Bee, otherwise there would be no reason for his existence. To feed her, you must fly around and collect nectar.”

“For that she does not need me. She can feed herself.”

“And what is it, then, that the King Bee does?”

“He protects her.”

“So, you protect the bees?”

“That is precisely what I am telling you. I am the King of the Babylonians.”

“Very well, if you must insist. I will go to my doctor friend and make an appointment for you. He specializes in lunatics. He can prescribe you something.”

“Where were you when the bees where wandering around homeless? In your den? Did you not hear the cries of their humming when they flew over burned soil? You did not know that their stable lay in ruins? You did not do anything to save them? And now you deny the King Bee, the guardian of the bees, even though he himself stands before you and speaks to you in vital spirit. You don’t believe in kings because a king you are not!”

Then the bees, who had overheard everything, came flying out of the den, took their King and lifted him up from the earth. Before the eyes of the disbeliever, he flew into the heavens and looked down upon the amazed fox. The bees synchronized their humming to enhance the effect.

“Do you believe it now?” the King Bee asked.

“No! I do not believe it!”, the fox answered with eyes wide open.

The guardian smiled and spoke, “There is no denial on earth that does not veil belief. You don’t believe in the King Bee? Say then, what do you believe?”


KAROLINE LEHNER was born in 1976 in West-Berlin, Germany. At the age of 16 she came to California as an exchange student, where she ended up living for 6 years before she returned home to a new united Berlin, where she still lives today with her two children. She earns her money as a therapist and professor and writes to survive the madness people call reality. For more information go to her blog under

Photo by ilya120.

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