the sunshine smells!”
“No,” replied her companion, who was rather out of breath, “it’s not the sunshine, it’s the flowers that smell.– But please, don’t go so fast, else I’ll drop behind. Besides, at this pace you won’t observe things and be able to find your way back.”
But little Maya transported by the sunshine and the joy of living, did not hear. She felt as though she were darting like an arrow through a green-shimmering sea of light, to greater and greater splendor. The bright flowers seemed to call to her, the still, sunlit distances lured her on, and the blue sky blessed her joyous young flight.
“Never again will it be as beautiful as it is to-day,” she thought. “I can’t turn back. I can’t think of anything except the sun.”
Beneath her the gay pictures kept changing, the peaceful landscape slid by slowly, in broad stretches.
“The sun must be all of gold,” thought the baby-bee.
Coming to a large garden, which seemed to rest in blossoming clouds of cherry-tree, hawthorn, and lilacs, she let herself down to earth, dead-tired, and dropped in a bed of red tulips, where she held on to one of the big flowers. With a great sigh of bliss she pressed herself against the blossom-wall and looked up to the deep blue of the sky through the gleaming edges of the flowers.
“Oh, how beautiful it is out here in the great world, a thousand times more beautiful than in the dark hive. I’ll never go back there again to carry honey or make wax. No, indeed, I’ll never do that. I want to see and know the world in bloom. I am not like the other bees, my heart is meant for pleasure and surprises, experiences and adventures. I will not be afraid of any dangers. Haven’t I got strength and courage and a sting?”
She laughed, bubbling over with delight, and took a deep draught of nectar out of the flower of the tulip.
“Grand,” she thought. “It’s glorious to be alive.”
Ah, if little Maya had had an inkling of the many dangers and hardships that lay ahead of her, she would certainly have thought twice. But never dreamin