11. The Bees and the Honeyguide Bird

There was a Bird who had a son, but Bees killed him.
The mother vowed revenge on the Bees. She couldn't attack the Bees herself; she needed help. So, she followed the Bees to see where they lived, and then she found a human being. She flew around and around the person, singing and fluttering. She kept singing and fluttering until the person followed her to the Bees.
Seeing the Bees, the person built a fire, drove the Bees away with the smoke, and took their honey.
That is what the Honeyguide Bird does even now, forever avenging her son.
[a Tigray story from northern Ethiopia]

Inspired by: "Of the Bird Qerqer and her Son Hamed" in Tales, Customs, Names, and Dirges of the Tigre Tribes by Enno Littmann, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The story also mentions that the honeyguide is not always reliable (a motif that shows up in other stories): "But sometimes she cheats and leads to beasts of prey or to serpents." You can read more about the honeyguide bird at Wikipedia.

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