Characters: Beulah Bumblebee, Greta Grouse, Wilbur Walkingstick, Farley Fawn, Benny Bagworm, Eddy Eft.
How nice to be a bumblebee,
Flying along as free as free.
Gathering nectar from flowers I see,
To feed my bumble-y sisters and me!
(grouse enters) Oh! Hello! Who are you?
Greta Grouse I’m Greta Grouse.
Bumblebee I’m Beulah Bumblebee. This is my first day out of the nest. I have to gather nectar for honey. It feels grand!
Grouse Well, that’s good, Beulah, but you’d better watch out. There are lots of animals that would love to eat a nice plump insect like you.
Bumblebee Really? What kind of animals? Animals like you?
Grouse Oh no. We grouse like buds and seeds. But lots of animals do like to eat insects – toads, skunks, foxes…
Bumblebee Oh dear! And do they eat grouse, too?
Grouse Some of them do! We have to look out for hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes…
Bumblebee Well, then, how do you keep from being eaten?
Grouse Oh, that’s easy. My feathers are colored to match the forest floor, so it’s easy to hide here if I stay still. That’s my secret to staying alive!
Bumblebee You’re lucky! With my black and yellow colors, I stand out anywhere. I think I need a different way of fooling those insect-eaters.
Grouse I guess you do. Well, good luck. Time for me to do my disappearing act. So long. (exits)
Bumblebee Bye, Greta.
How Oh, how nice to be a bumblebee
Flying along as free as free.
But I wish I weren’t so easy to see,
By things that want to eat me!
(Walkingstick enters) Uh oh! Who are you? And wh-wh-what do you eat?
Wilbur Walkingstick Wilbur Walkingstick’s my name; eating plants is my game! Stick with me and you’ll be safe.
Bumblebee That’s a relief. I’m worried about all those animals that might want to eat me. I can’t blend in like a grouse. How do you stay safe?
Walkingstick That’s easy. Turn your back a minute, and when you turn around again, try to find me. (Bee turns away, Walkingstick moves in front of branch).
Bumblebee (turns back) Now where’d he go? Wilbur, where are you? (Walkingstick moves). Why, there you are! You look just like a twig!
Walkingstick There’s nothing to it, Beulah. I’m shaped like a twig, so if I stand still, everyone thinks I’m just part of the branch.
Bumblebee That’s a great way for you to stay safe, Wilbur, but I sure don’t look like a twig. I’m as plump as a blackberry!
Walkingstick You are kind of plump. And fuzzy too. No, you don’t look anything like a twig! Guess you can’t stick with me after all. So long! (exits)
Bumblebee Bye, Wilbur.
Oh woe to be a bumblebee,
I hope no one is after me!
I better collect some nectar and hurry home. (fawn enters) Why, here’s a patch of white flowers.
Farley Fawn Hey, those aren’t flowers. They’re my spots!
Bumblebee A fawn! I couldn’t see you!
Fawn I’m Farley Fawn and I’m pretty hard to spot! Get it?
Bumblebee I do, but it’s surprising because your spots are very bright.
Fawn Even so, they make it hard for a predator to see my shape – as long as I stay very still and don’t make a sound…Oops! I’m not supposed to talk!
Bumblebee Well, I won’t give you away. I’ve got to find some flowers and get back home before I get eaten! So long, Farley. (fawn exits)
How sad to be a bumbling bee
With no white spots disguising me.
Benny Bagworm Psst. You could hide like me.
Bumblebee Who’s there? I can hear you, but I can’t see you – unless you’re inside that bundle of sticks.
Bagworm That’s just where I am. Here, I’ll show you. (pokes head out of case) Benny Bagworm, at your service.
Bumblebee Wow! You’ve got a cover made of tiny sticks!
Bagworm That’s right, I made this case from bits of plants glued together. It’s very safe.
Bumblebee I couldn’t fly with all those sticks on my back.
Bagworm I guess that would be hard for you with those wings. I’m a larva – so I don’t have wings yet.
Bumblebee I guess a case won’t work for me.
Bagworm I guess not. Well, good luck, Beulah! And in case you need my help, I’ll be hanging around somewhere nearby. So long. (exits)
Bumblebee G’bye, Benny Bagworm.
Gee it’s sad to be a bee.
Wish I could hide more easily!
Eddy Eft But you don’t have to hide Beulah, and neither do I!
Bumblebee Why, hello Eddy Eft. What do you mean we don’t have to hide?
Eft I mean we don’t have to worry about being eaten. You have a stinger, don’t you? And I taste very bad. No one dares to eat us.
Bumblebee But my stinger’s so tiny, no one can see it. And how would any animal know that you taste bad until they take a bite of you?
Eft If an animal tastes an orange eft once, it will never, ever want to eat an orange animal again.
Bumblebee Oh, I get it! If something tries to eat a bee, it will get stung and then it will never, ever eat a black and yellow insect again!
Eft That’s right! We have warning colors that tell other animals to stay away.
Bumblebee So I don’t have to hide or look like something else or make a case to live in?
Eft That’s right, Beulah. Hiding works for other animals, but our bright colors help us to be safe.
Bumblebee Gee, thanks, Eddy Eft!
Oh joy to be a bumblebee
Buzzing very busily,
Flying along as free as free,
My warning colors protecting me!