Telling the Truth about Bees by William Davidson

‘What sound does a bee make?’ Mr Scholes asked the class, who sat cross-legged on the grass. He held the book open in front of him.

‘Buzz,’ chorused the children.

‘Quack,’ said Richard.

‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Richard,’ said Mr Scholes. ‘What sound does a bee make?’

‘Quack,’ said Richard.

‘I’m going to give you one last chance, Richard,’ said Mr Scholes.

‘But they do,’ said Richard. ‘We’ve got bees in our garden and they go quack.’

‘Are you feeling tired, Richard?’ asked Mr Scholes.

‘No,’ said Richard. ‘The bees live in a double bass in our garden.’

‘We need to get on,’ said Mr Scholes.

‘My dad got the idea from a man who made a cello home for bees.’

‘A cello,’ said Mr Scholes, ‘is for music, not for bees.’

‘A cello’s for bees too. And a double bass,’ said Richard. ‘My mum said it was typical of my dad to go one up. He had to have bigger f holes.’

‘I beg your pardon,’ said Mr Scholes.

‘I’m telling the truth about bees,’ said Richard. ‘My dad poured honey and lemongrass into the double bass and the bees came.’

‘But they don’t go quack,’ said Mr Scholes, ‘do they, Richard?’

‘Yes, they do,’ said Richard. ‘And toot. They go toot too.’

‘That’s the train book, isn’t it, Richard?’ said Mr Scholes. ‘Maybe you need some time in the thinking corner.’

‘They quack and toot,’ said Richard. ‘But they need lots of wildflowers and hedgerows too. They help all the plants and all the animals and all the people so we should help them as well and…’

‘Slow down, Richard,’ said Mr Scholes.

‘…and we should listen to the bees,’ said Richard.

‘And what sound do the bees make?’ asked Mr Scholes.

‘Quack,’ said Richard.

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