“Here’s a big blossom you haven’t tasted!” he called to her suddenly. And Peppery Polly—thinking that Freddie meant a clover blossom— hastened to a bloom that Freddie pointed out to her.
She settled upon it quickly. And the next moment Peppery Polly gave a sharp cry of mingled rage and pain.
“What’s the matter?” Freddie Firefly asked her.
“Matter!” she exclaimed. “It’s a thistle—and I’ve pricked myself badly.”
“Why, so it is a thistle blossom!” said Freddie Firefly. “It’s about the same color as a clover head; and I suppose you didn’t know the difference in the dark.”
“The question is, did you know the difference?” Peppery Polly screamed— for she was terribly angry.
“Really, I must decline to answer when you speak to me in such a tone,” said Freddie Firefly. And he was quite surprised that the furious honey-maker didn’t dart towards him and try to sink her sting into him.
But nothing of the sort happened. And Freddie soon saw that Peppery Polly was in some kind of trouble.
CAUGHT BY A THISTLE
“You’ll have to help me,” Peppery Polly Bumblebee said to Freddie Firefly through the darkness. “If you’d been a little less stingy with that light of yours I wouldn’t have made the mistake of thinking this thistle was a clover blossom.”
“Well, there’s nectar in it, isn’t there?” he inquired.
“I suppose so,” she answered. “But I can’t get it. And I’m so daubed with the sticky stuff that’s spread right where I put my feet that I can’t free myself.”
Freddie flew quite close to her and flashed his light upon her. And he saw that she had spoken truly.
“What a pity!” he exclaimed.
“Don’t stop to talk!” the honey-maker snapped. “Just help me to get away from this thistle. And then you can talk all you want to. In fact, I’ll give you something to talk about.”
Freddie Firefly was not so dull-witted but that he knew she intended to punish him for sending her to the thistle blossom.
“I’ll go back to your house and bring somebody to help you, if I can,” he said. “Don’t you see that it wouldn’t be safe for me to try to pull you loose? I might get stuck there myself. And we’d be prisoners for the rest of the night.”
Peppery Polly hadn’t thought of that. And she was inclined to believe that there might be some such danger.
“You may go for help,” she said at last. “But please remember that there’s no time to lose. The Queen won’t like it at all when she hears about this accident, for she expected me to fetch home a good deal of nectar before midnight.”
“I’ll hurry. And I’ll be back as soon as I can bring one of your fellow-workers with me,” Freddie Firefly promised.
Since he was a person of his word, he went straight back to the home of the Bumblebee family in the meadow. Being used to finding his way about after dark, Freddie had no trouble reaching the Bumblebees’ home. But rousing the household was an entirely different matter. Though he pounded his hardest at their door, none of the Bumblebee family heard him. Having always slept from sunset till dawn without once waking, they were wrapped in such heavy slumber that not one of them knew what was going on.