Worry Bees


It was the beginning of a showery April and Squarehead was with his little cousin, Square Harry, who had come to stay. They had spent the day riding bicycles, playing squareball and running around like happy lunatics. Now, with the moon high in a velvety sky, it was time to snuggle up in their warm beds and dream their way through to breakfast.

Squarehead’s eyes felt so heavy he could barely keep them open. He could already hear Hairy Scary snoring under his bed. He felt very relaxed and let out a long contented sigh.

“Night Square Harry…”

“Night Squarehead.” Said Harry.

A few minutes passed. Outside an owl hooted.  A dog barked.  A mouse squeaked. The wind gently rustled the trees…

“I can’t sleep…” Said Harry.

“Why not?” Yawned Squarehead.

“I’m worried.”

“What are you worrying about? Asked Squarehead, blinking himself awake.

“Everything!” said Harry, “Will both my shoes be here in the morning?  Will I pass my maths test?  Will my parents be there when I get home?… Everything!”

“Have you tried just…not worrying?” Asked Squarehead.

“The more I try to stop, the more worried I feel.” Replied Square Harry – looking worried.

“I’m worried too…” said a deep voice from under the bed.

“What are you worried about?” Squarehead asked the Hairy Scary.

“All sorts of stuff,” Said Hairy, “but most of all I’m worried about what will happen if the sun doesn’t get up in the morning. Will there still be breakfast?”

“Oh!” Said Square Harry. “I hadn’t even thought of that!”

Squarehead found that he was worrying too.  What if the sun didn’t come up?  What if it never stopped raining?  What if it was always dark?  What if…what if…what if…

There were so many What ifs? swarming around his head like angry bees, that he felt quite dizzy.  Suddenly, the cosy room was full to bursting with worry bees. What could they do?

“Let’s just ignore them! Perhaps they’ll go away.” Suggested Hairy Scary – closing his eyes as tightly as he could.

But you can’t ignore worry bees. They buzz all the louder if you try to ignore them. They buzzed, and buzzed until Squarehead, Square Harry and Hairy Scary were all waving their hands in the air, frantically trying to bat them away.

When Squarehead’s dad came by to say goodnight, he was very surprised.  He couldn’t see the worry bees (because grownups often can’t).  All he could see was the three of them, with their eyes tight shut, waving their hands at nothing.  It looked very strange!

“Time you lot went to sleep!” He said.

“We can’t sleep!” Said Squarehead. “The room is full of worry bees.”

“Ah…” Said Squarehead’s dad. “Have you been ignoring them?”

They nodded.

“You shouldn’t ignore worry bees, that just annoys them.  All they need is a bit of attention.  They especially like it if you talk about them.”

And with that, he left them to it.

“Shall we try talking about our worries?” Asked Squarehead.

So, the three of them began to talk – with their eyes shut.  Square Harry said he often worried about things that he was embarrassed to talk about – like whether his shoes would run away in the night.  But Squarehead and Hairy Scary assured him that they wouldn’t laugh…well not too much.

Funnily enough, as soon as they said that, they all started laughing.  Quite a lot of the things they worried about were funny when you looked at them with other people.  And even the serious things became less worrisome once you talked them over.

“Can anyone hear buzzing?”  Asked Hairy Scary when there was a pause in the conversation.

They all listened.

Then they opened their eyes – and to their surprise, the worry bees had vanished.

Squarehead yawned.  Hairy Scary yawned.  Square Harry yawned.

And the next they knew, it was time for breakfast.

And guess what? The sun had come up.

You can download an illustrated pdf of this story with the link below:

Worry Bees – SH STORIES

You can hear a reading of this story by Chris Mousicos (many thanks Chris – we love it!).
Just click the player below…