The bees came to Rhino’s watering hole. “Go away!” he shouted.
“But we’re thirsty,” they said.
“Drink somewhere else!” snarled Rhino.
“Please, let us drink here today, just this once.”
Rhino agreed, and the bees drank.
Then the bees held a council.
“We’re stronger than Rhino!”
“We can take his water!”
“He can’t stop us!”
They went back the next day. When Rhino challenged them, they laughed. “You underestimate our strength!”
The bees fought with Rhino, stinging his nostrils until he bled, and Rhino couldn’t stop them.
“You win,” he groaned. “We are brothers now; drink here whenever you want.”
[a Chok story from Kenya]
Inspired by: "The Rhinoceros and the Mason Bees" in The Suk: Their Language and Folklore by Mervyn W. H. Beech, 1911.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The author says "mason bees," but there are not mason bees in Africa, but there are many varieties of African bees.