Have you heard the story of the Hare and the Bee?
There once was a hare who everyone called Cowardice. She was afraid of everything: the rustling of the leaves, the trickle of the stream, the hoot of the owl… Cowardice would run and hide from the tiniest sound, and all the other Hares mocked her.
One day, while Cowardice was tentatively nibbling at grass in a Poppy meadow,
she heard a gentle buzzing by one of her long ears. Nervously, with her heart pounding, she turned and was greeted by a small Honeybee.
“Hello!” buzzed the honeybee, “My name is Bravery, what’s yours?”
“C- Cow- Cowardice”, stumbled the hare, blushing through her dark coat.
The bee appeared to frown. “Cowardice? Why, that’s not a very good name! Why do they call you that?”
Cowardice, who was beginning to feel a bit braver, replied, “Well, they say I’m frightened of everything – they call me names.”
Bravery puffed up her chest. “Let me show you something, Cowardice.”
The bee and the hare travelled through many lands together. Through dark, creaking forests; across swirling streams; underneath the sun and the moon and the stars, and sometimes nothing at all. They fought against beasts that you and I would recognise, and beasts that blurred the lines of myth and legend.
A few years later, they returned to the hare’s home. The other hares peered out of their homes, surprised to see a bee and a hare travelling together.
“Who are you?” they asked, appearing wary.
“This is Bravery the bee,” replied the hare, “and I am Courage.”
This short story was written to accompany my newest art piece, inspired by my love of hares and bees.