Read by Anita Rodgers
Two young cubs were at play in the woods. The warmth of the sun was fading on Breakers Island.
Betsy and Buddy ran into their warm cave in Winter Wind Mountain. Mama Bear said, “There you are! It’s time for bed. Be quick and there will be time for a story.”
The brown bear cubs hurried to get ready for bed. Betsy was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open. Mama Bear opened their favorite book, “Honey Land.” Betsy and Buddy curled up close beside her.
Mama Bear started reading … “Once upon a time, a beautiful queen bee was caught in a spider’s web. She had lost all hope of escape. Then she saw a small bear cub in the woods. Queen Bee called to him, ‘Set me free and I will reward you.’”
A quick swing of his paw set the queen bee free. She asked, “Bear cub, what is your name?”
He said, “My name is Byron.”
“Name your reward,” said Queen Bee.
Byron said, “Queen Bee, I was happy to free you. There is no need for a reward.”
Queen Bee thought, “This kind little bear has a heart of gold. She said, “There must be something you want.”
Byron said, “Yes, I do have a wish. It’s for all bears, not just for me. I wish there was a special place that would be safe for bears to play and eat sweet honey all day.”
Queen Bee said, “It is because of you that I was saved from the spider’s web. I will grant your wish. You will see me again soon.”
After three months had passed, Queen Bee came back to the bear cub. She asked, “Byron, are you ready to see your wish come true?”
The bear cub was happy to follow her. Soon they were in the middle of a field with wild flowers and a golden oak tree. Queen Bee explained, “This special tree is the lock. A bear paw is the key to open it.”
Byron put his paw on the golden oak tree. A secret door opened for him. He walked inside and down a path with goldenrod flowers on each side. He stopped at a gold sign that read “Welcome to Honey Land.”
Queen Bee said, “You are the first bear to see the wonders of Honey Land. Come and see me later in the castle.”
Byron asked, “Queen Bee, how will I find you?” She flew in the air and said, “Take a map so you can find your way.”
He watched Queen Bee fly away and thought, “What an adventure!” Byron could not believe his eyes. Honey was everywhere he looked. He followed the path to a small town.
Everything was made with dried honey bricks. A fountain with flowing honey was in the town square. All the stores had free honey cakes, candy, and cookies. He ate his fill of honey butter spread on honey bread.
Byron followed his map out of town. Music was in the air. There he found a large park with games and rides. The games were so much fun. He won glass jars filled with honey.
Then he enjoyed the rides. His favorite ride was the Honey Bee Train that ran through the park. From the train he saw a bright yellow and black flag in the distance. It flew high above the Honey Land Castle.
Now it was time to find the Queen Bee. Byron walked across a small bridge to the castle. He wondered, “What is that buzzing sound?” The sound grew louder as he walked inside. A large bee hive was in the center of the castle. Hundreds of worker bees were busy making honey.
Queen Bee flew to meet him. She asked, “Has your wish come true?”
The bear cub was filled with joy. Byron said, “I couldn’t dream of a more perfect place for bears!”
Queen Bee said, “Then it’s time to spread the good news! Honey Land is now open for all bears.”
Mama Bear looked down at Betsy and Buddy as she said, “The End.” She smiled and closed the book. Her cubs were fast asleep with dreams of Honey Land.
Byron could not believe his eyes. Honey was everywhere he looked.