A Tiger and a Killer Bee whose Home was a Cedar

A cat flying with a honeybee under a palm tree in the sunshine.

Once upon a time, there was a tall, majestic Cedar. Except it wasn’t really a cedar, and it wasn’t really very tall or majestic; it was more of a middle-sized palm tree. But this palm tree was named Cedar. Under this palm tree named Cedar lived a ferocious Tiger. Except it was not so much a tiger, and not so ferocious; it was more of a middle-sized cat, some kind of house-cat of indeterminate breed. But this house-cat who lived under a tree was named Tiger. There, again, in this palm tree named Cedar, lived a fierce, stinging Killer Bee. Except it wasn’t exactly a killer bee, and it wasn’t very fierce; it was actually a honeybee, and it was kind of pleasant, smiled most of the time, and didn’t sting very often.1 But this honeybee was named Killer Bee.

So one fine day, while this palm tree Cedar was standing in the bright sunlight (not that it had any choice in the matter, since palm trees can’t just walk around in-and-out-of-doors at will), along came the house-cat named Tiger, because he lived there under the tree. And all at once, he did something he had never done before, that is, he looked up into this tree named Cedar. Since he had never looked up into the tree he lived under before,2 he had never noticed what he might have noticed if he had ever thought to look up and notice what would have been noticeable to anyone who looked up into this tree he lived under. And all at once, he noticed it. And it was a tiny knothole in the tree, a sort of doorway to another creature’s home. And he knew it was someone’s home, because of the sign over it that said “WELCOME.” But he couldn’t quite figure out how he was welcome there, since this tiny knothole of a door was much too small for him to fit even his left paw into. And so, he began to wonder . . . .

By and by, this house-cat named Tiger, who lived under the palm tree named Cedar, had an idea. He decided he would climb the six feet or so of trunk that he needed to climb to get at this tiny knothole of a door, and he would rap one of his paws upon the tree just under the doorway and see if anyone was home. And so—he did. And once he had climbed and knocked upon the door, he waited. By and by, the little honeybee named Killer Bee came out of the hole, and smiled the way a honeybee smiles when it meets a stranger tapping at her chamber door.3

“Why,” said Tiger, “I thought you weren’t home.”
“Why,” said Killer Bee, “would I Knot Bee home?”
“Because,” said Tiger, “the door said ‘welcome.’ And I think you spelled ‘not be’ wrong.”
“Thank you,” said Killer Bee, “and you’re welcome.”
“Indeed I am,” said Tiger, “for so says the door.”
“But why don’t you come in?” said Killer Bee, with the same smile she always smiled when she met a visitor at her door.
“Because the doorway, that is, this knothole, is too small,” said Tiger. And he frowned with the same frown he always frowned when he couldn’t fit through a door.
“Then I shall have to come out,” said Killer Bee.

And all at once, as if she had awaited this moment for years, or at least days, or at least a few minutes, Killer Bee spread her little killer wings and flew, and buzzed right out in front of the cat into the sunshiny air outside her little knothole of a home in this palm tree named Cedar. She was feeling rather wispy, as honeybees often do, and felt like showing off her ability to fly to her new friend Tiger.

“My,” said Tiger, “how you fly!”
“My,” said Killer Bee, “my wings do well today!”
“And why,” said Tiger, “should I not try?”
“Why not?” said Killer Bee. “Just flap your wings, like you’re making a buzzing sound.”

And so Tiger began to flap his wings, just as if he were trying to make a buzzing sound. Except, his wings were paws, and he had never tried to make a buzzing sound before, but only little “meows” and “purrs” and occasional “trills” and “growls,” and once or twice he had even had cause to “hiss.” So while he flapped his paws and tried to buzz, he ended up looking like a Flailer on ice. But, as if defying the laws of Physics, and of Nature, and of Great Britain (or Britannia, as we used to call it), our cat named Tiger began to fly right alongside our honeybee named Killer Bee, under our palm tree named Cedar. And all at once, the world was at peace, as Tiger learned how to fly with his new friend Killer Bee, both of them under their collective home Cedar.

And they all lived happily ever after. Until they died.

  1. Because, as you know, when a honeybee stings, she dies. So she pretty much only gets one chance. Also, while this was not a drone, you may be interested to know that a drone does not have a stinger. Why was this honey bee living all alone? Good question: go consult an entomologist.
  2. He wasn’t much for dusting the corners or ceilings of his home, or really any other housework (despite his house-cat status), so he never bothered looking for cobwebs or any other such things.
  3. Lucky for her, it wasn’t a woodpecker tapping at her chamber door.

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