Adam looked out the window of the plane. From way up there, everything seemed so small.
He held up one hand so that the bees crawling on his glove could see out too.
“I suppose this is high even for you bees. Imagine how I feel. I have never even been off the ground before today!”
It was just a few weeks after his ninth birthday and Adam Obianu was going on a trip to another part of the world for the first time in his life.
Dr. Jonas had been staying at the Obianu Apiary for a couple weeks, helping Adam’s father learn to use his new prosthetic arm. But all the while Dr. Jonas had been getting messages from home saying that there was trouble back at his own farm. He offered to let the Obianu family stay at his place for a while so he could deal with the problems there. The Obianus agreed right away.
Luckily Dr. Jonas had his own private plane, so Adam was able to bring his favourite bees on the trip with him. Years ago he had customized his backpack by adding a metal thermos with holes. The bees could fly in and out as they pleased. He brought them everywhere he could.
And so Adam, his parents, and his bees were on their way to another continent altogether.
The sun had set just as the plane was landing, so it was dark during the car ride to the Jonas Honey Farm. Adam would have liked to get a better look at the local trees, but even in the bright light of the full moon he could only make out so much.
“There will be time to explore in the morning,” he assured his bees and himself.
The driveway to the farm was a long path through dense trees. It was especially dark here, because a power outage was one of the problems the farm had been having.
When the car finally stopped Adam was happy to get out and stretch his legs. He looked up at the moon again, noticing that it looked like it was tilted compared to how he was used to. He’d read about that. He was used to how it appeared when he was nearer to the equator, so the was seeing it from a new angle.
As the adults were getting out of the car, two people came out of the house to greet them. The taller of the two was waving for Dr. Jonas.
“Doc,” said the teenager who wore a beekeeper’s outfit, “it came back and got more honey!”
As Dr. Jonas talked to the teenager.
Adam’s mother opened the trunk of the car and began grabbing their luggage. Adam reached in to help, but suddenly, a bronze arm reached in front of him.
“Too slow!” Adam’s father said as he picked up the last suitcase. “What good is having a new arm if I can’t spare my son some work, eh? You just take your backpack and go introduce yourself to Roger.”
Roger was the other figure who had come out to meet them. He was about two years younger than Adam and quite small. He gave a friendly grin and wave, but looked sad as well.
“Hi Adam. I’m Roger. My dad told me about you.”
“Hello,” said Adam. “I have heard about you as well. Your father speaks of you often. I like your farm, from what I can see in this darkness.”
“Yeah, it’s been a rough time. Hopefully now that my dad’s back we can get things working again.”
Before Adam could ask any questions, his mother approached.
“Adam,” she said, “we are going into the woods. A bear has been stealing Dr. Jonas’s honey and your father and I are going to help him catch it. We will be leaving you and Roger here with Dr. Jonas’s assistant Shane.”
Shane was the teenager in the beekeeper suit. He was still talking to Dr. Jonas.
“Don’t stay awake too late,” she said as she gave him a hug. “And don’t worry about us,” his mother said. “Stay inside and you will be safe. We will be back soon.”
As soon as Adam’s father came back from bringing the luggage inside and gave Adam a hug, the three adults slipped silently into the woods.
Shane gestured for the kids to head inside. He said, “Adam, you’ll be staying with Roger in his room. Put your bag in there and you can have a snack before bed. But don’t take too long. I have to drive into town in the morning, so I’ll be getting up early.”
Roger had a flashlight and led Adam to his bedroom. The room was tidy, but was full of a lot of toys that had clearly been well loved for years. The younger kid had already set up a sleeping bag on the floor. Adam put his backpack down by it and his bees all went inside.
“It’s nice to meet you, Adam,” said Roger. “I just wish it was under better circumstances.”
“Tell me about these troubles your farm has been having.”
Roger sat on the edge of his bed and looked out his window to the dark outside. “Well, two weeks ago my father left to help your father and that same night we had a windstorm so bad it knocked out our electricity. And then when I woke up the next day, Shane told me that a bear had come into the farm and stolen a bunch of our honey. And apparently today it came back again and took some more. I should have done a better job looking after the farm.”
Adam looked out the window too. In the moonlight, Adam could just make out the Honey Farm’s many hives.
“You are too young to fight a bear, Roger! Anyway, is there not an electrical generator on the farm?”
“No. We never had a problem with the power before. Not even in the winter storms.”
When the kids went to the kitchen to get their snack, Shane was there with a gas lamp lit up. He offered them some muffins. “I wish we had ice cream for you guys, but when you don’t have power for two weeks, the ice cream goes quick.”
Taking his muffin, Adam said “I am worried about my parents. You have seen the bear, yes? Is it very large?”
“Yeah, I saw it that first time it came,” said Shane. “Don’t worry. It’s not too big. I’m sure you’re parents will be fine.”
“I am not familiar with the wildlife in this part of the world,” said Adam. “How were you able to tell in the darkness that the culprit was a bear, rather than a wolf or a raccoon or some other creature?”
“I could tell, kid,” said Shane as he gestured to the window. “I looked out the window. In the light of the full moon it was perfectly clear.”
Adam thought about what Shane said as he finished his muffin, then excused himself. He went to Roger’s room to get some bees from his backpack, then opened the window.
He said to his bees, “There is no bear. Or if there is, it is innocent. Go fast and tell my parents!”
The bees flew off into the forest to stop the hunt.
But how did Adam know this?
To find out the answer, check here.