John Larrysson's Column: Summer Story Chapter 10 Part 10 How Her Father Got The Honey Away From The Bear
The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Her father told Laura and Mary how he found the bee tree. "I didn't take my gun," he said, "because I wasn't hunting, and now it's summer there wasn't much danger of meeting trouble. Panthers and bears are so fat, this time of year that they're lazy and good-natured.

"Well, I took a short cut through the forest, and I nearly ran into a big black bear. I came around an undergrowth area full of small trees and bushes, and there he was, not as far from me as across this room.

"He looked around at me, and I guess he saw I didn't have a gun. Anyway, he didn't pay any more attention to me.

[audio 1]

"He was standing at the foot of a big tree, and bees were buzzing all around him. They couldn't sting through his thick fur, and he kept brushing them away from his head with one paw.

"I stood there watching him, and he put the other paw into a hole in the tree and drew it out all dripping with honey. He licked the honey off his paw and reached in for more. But by that time I had found a big tree branch. I wanted that honey myself.

[audio 2]

"So I made a great racket, banging the club against a tree and yelling. The bear was so fat and so full of honey that he just dropped to his feet and walked away among the trees. I chased him some distance and got him going running fast, away from the bee tree. Then I came back for the wagon."

Laura asked her father how he got the honey away from the bees. 

"That was easy," her father said. "I left the horses back in the forest, where they wouldn't get stung, and then I chopped the tree down and cut it open."

"Didn't the bees sting you?"

"No," said her father. "Bees never sting me. I just started a little campfire and put green tree branches on it. The bees get very tired in the smoke.”

[audio 3]

"The whole tree was hollow or empty inside, and filled from top to bottom with honey. The bees must have been storing honey there for years. Some of it was old and dark, but I guess I got enough good clean honey to last us a long time."

Laura was sorry for the poor bees. She said, "They worked so hard, and now they won't have any honey."

But her father said that there was lots of spilt honey and old honey left for the bees. Nearby there was also another large, hollow tree into which they could move. He said it was time they had a clean, new home. 

They would take the old honey he had left in the old tree, make it into fresh, new honey, and store it in their new house. They would save every drop of the spilled honey and put it away, and they would have plenty of honey again, long before winter came.

[audio 4]

Little House in the Big Woods

Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night

Chapter 1 - Part 3: Venison

Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat

Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 8: Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night

Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book

Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights

Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost

Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework

Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday

Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All

Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing

Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories

Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther

Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)

Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets

Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1

Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2

Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest

Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife

Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming

Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow

Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning

Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children

Chapter 5 - Part 1: Sundays

Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath

Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet

Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music

Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking

Chapter 6 - Part 1 - Introduction (Two Big Bears)

Chapter 6 - Part 2 - Getting Ready to Go

Chapter 6 - Part 3 - Milking Sukey the Cow (1 of 2)

Chapter 6 - Part 4a - Milking Sukey the Cow (2 of 2)

Chapter 6 - Part 4b - Review Questions: Milking Sukey

Chapter 6 - Part 4c - Answers for Review Questions

Chapter 6 - Part 5 - Her Father Has Not Come Home

Chapter 6 - Part 6 - The Story Of Her Father And The Bear In The Way (1 of 2)

Chapter 6 Part 7a - The Story of Her Father and the Bear in the Way (2 of 2)

Chapter 6 Part 7b - Review Questions: The Bear in the Way

Chapter 6 Part 7c - Answers for Review Questions

Chapter 6 Part 8 - Evening with Father

Chapter 6 Part 9 - When idiots see a bear: Hey let's feed the real live teddy bear!

Chapter 7 Part 1 Introduction - Maple Syrup

Chapter 7 Part 2 - The snow is melting

Chapter 7 Part 3 - Sugar Snow

Chapter 7 Part 4 - Grandfather prepares to make maple syrup

Chapter 7 Part 5 - Grandfather harvests maple syrup

Chapter 7 Part 6 - Why is it called a sugar snow?

Chapter 7 Part 7 - Delaine Dress

Chapter 8 Part 1 - Going to Grandmother and Grandfather's House

Chapter 8 Part 2 - Grandmother and Grandfather's House

Chapter 8 Part 3 - The Wildman

Chapter 8 Part 4a: Made themselves pretty – Hair

Chapter 8 Part 4b: Made themselves pretty - Corsets

Chapter 8 Part 5: Made themselves pretty – Dresses

Chapter 8 Part 6: Competition - The Babies on the Bed

Chapter 8 Part 7: Dancing

Chapter 8 Part 8: Grandmother is the Best Dancer

Chapter 8 Part 9: The Syrup is Ready

Chapter 8 Part 10: Maple Sugar

Chapter 9 Part 1: Spring Has Come

Chapter 9 Part 2: Baby Animals

Chapter 9 Part 3: How to Curl Your Hair and Get Ready to Go to Town

Chapter 9 Part 4: Riding to Town

Chapter 9 Part 5 - What a Town Looks Like

Chapter 9 Part 6 - The Store

Chapter 9 Part 7 - Shopping

Chapter 9 Part 8 - Lunch Beside the Lake

Chapter 9 Part 9 - Going Home

Chapter 10 Part 1 SUMMERTIME


Chapter 10 Part 3 Curls and Aunt Lotty

Chapter 10 Part 4 You Must Never Hit Your Sister

Chapter 10 Part 5 Summer Work

Chapter 10 Part 6 Making Cheese

Chapter 10 Part 7 Green Cheese

Chapter 10 Part 8 Old Grimes

Chapter 10 Part 9 Honey Tree

by John Larrysson

[email protected]

A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.


General Enquiry: We welcome enquiries and feedback. Please contact us through [email protected]