The Bee-Team – „We need to get started fast!“

Speechless! Everyone present was just speechless. They were all looking at a white horse’s bottom standing directly under the old lime tree. The bottom wasn’t completely white, though. They could see clearly that it was covered in rainbow-coloured stripes and spots. But, fortunately, the horse didn’t seem to have noticed the kids as yet. „Pssst.“ Romy put her finger to her mouth and immediately turned to her Pink Princess Gang. The horse swished its colourful tail. If the girls‘ mothers had been here, they would have looked on with their eyes wide in amazement, as instead of going mad with excitement and joy, Romy, Sophie, Paula, Isabella, Elena, Emma and Jules managed to stay calm. The sisters Sophie and Paula as well as Isabella and Elena grasped each other’s hands, thinking their Christmas wishes had finally come true! They had been given their own horse! But the Fantastic Ninja Ten also managed to stay calm. The Fantastic Ninja Ten hadn’t had their Christmas wishes granted, but they now had an additional puzzle to solve. Had the horse escaped from a farm? If this was the case, they would obviously have to arrange a rescue bid as quickly as possible. This was a proper boys‘ job. But they didn’t have long to make their plans. The electric blue fireflies tore them out of their dreams about the mission back to reality, whatever that actually was. The horse swished its tail heavily. Then came the shock: „Stupid horseflies, dirty beasts, all of you should die or be eaten alive by dark dragons!“ Silence! Stillness! Nothing, not a sound, not a murmur, not a sob. Who on earth was that? Even the crickets seemed to have stopped chirping. All human observers were completely stunned. Now, only one question remained: who was standing on the other side of the horse, swearing so much that the children’s parents would not have approved? Oskar immediately took charge and gave a classic Ninja signal. He signalled to his friends to take cover and immediately, they all threw themselves to the ground. The Pink Princess Gang saw what was happening but calmly stood their ground. They weren’t going to lie down in the dirt. Absolutely not! The boys at the front could do that but there was no way they would. „Achoo!“ came so loudly from the old lime tree, that the four- and five-year old girls got the fright of their lives. Gosh, what was that? Three, two, one, and then they disappeared behind the little rock and crouched in a safe but still good position and watched what happened next. Special Agent Ninja-Nick looked at Special Agent Ninja-Oskar. What now? Oskar didn’t even notice that. He was spellbound. His jaw dropped; he was speechless. He was now looking to the front, into the dust, where an army of wood ants marched past him. „Left, right, left, right, left, right,“ their drill sergeant called out. Oskar couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. Were they actually speaking? „Left, right, left, right, left, right,“ they continued, just a few centimetres in front of his eyes. As far as they were concerned, he didn’t even exist. But they were definitely real and they were carrying small water pistols, filled with ant-acid. Danger level: extra painful! „Left turn!“ their boss now ordered and they turned, like clockwork, perfectly on point in front of him. They were wearing little helmets with medals on the sides. Wow! The moving snake now formed an L-shape and marched off in front of him, towards the old lime tree. Thomas and Olivia, Jonathan and Dominic, Steven and Freddie were just as speechless as Oskar. At first, they had remained silent so as not to shock the horse or its owner, but now they were speechless in amazement.

This is a reading sample. If you like the story, the butterflies would be happy if you bought the book!

That was magic. Definitely magic! In front of them, they could see life to the full, but in miniature form, just all around them. Awesome, just awesome! „Survival of the fittest!“ roared one raccoon. Oops, they hadn’t seen them at all! Dozens of crickets, rabbits, salamanders, lizards, turtles and more creatures were doing push-ups, cheered on by a raccoon who had recently been appointed temporary Drill Commander. „I give up,“ a young field hamster collapsed. The kids from the Tumbawunda Valley could not get over their amazement. This was the most fantastic, the most magical, the most phenomenal thing they had ever seen! The old lime tree was teeming with life everywhere, but there were also worrying noises. The children could clearly hear animals and insects with coughs and colds. Two wild geese, with red crosses painted on their wings as if that was completely normal, waddled to their aid. They examined their ‚patients‘ and had two possible courses of action. If it was something minor, they gave their ‚patients‘ honey and candy floss from a rainbow-coloured pot and some TLC and then whispered quietly, but loud enough so that Oskar and the Fantastic Ninja Ten were able to hear „they are here now, everything will be ok.“ That hit the patients like a bolt of lightning. This sentence was like balm for the soul. Magically, strength returned to the patients, no-one had seen anything like this before. Eyes lit up; hearts pounded. Full of joy, the animal or insect was able to start training again. But not only that: with smiles on their faces, they even allowed Washi, the Drill Commander to shout at them again. But for those whose treatment wasn’t quite so easy, the wild geese with the red crosses grabbed stretchers and took their patients to the field hospital. Field hospital? Oskar and his friends couldn’t believe their eyes. What on earth?! Suddenly Oskar felt something brush past his upper body. „Is this really happening, Oskar?“ It was Romy. She carefully placed her hand on her brother’s shoulder. She and her Pink Princess Gang had now lain down on the ground and had crawled over to be with the others. Never mind the princess dresses! It was obvious that they were all full of beans. This was like TV; it couldn’t all be real. Because, animals were speaking, right in front of them! Almost everything from the Tumbawunda Valley which could crawl or fly seemed to be here, taking part in some kind of training camp. „Just like the seagulls, we do it just like the seagulls! Now, all together, when I say go!“ a voice croaked from high up above the trees. „One, two, three!“ Splish, splash, splosh, bird poo rained down onto the ground. Splash, another delayed release followed. There was an immediate telling off for that. „We’ll have to practice that properly, Birdy!“ The kids looked up. On the left, above the golden bees‘ nest, blackbirds, tits, sparrows, robins, pigeons and some more bird species were sitting on a branch listening to commands from a golden eagle. He stopped mid-air in front of the youngest member of his unit: a boy wren. He had released his ammunition too late. „It’s a bird’s special skill, first to hit its target and second, to do it at exactly the right time! Or how else are you going to hit a moving car?!“ Birdy, the boy wren, blushed. The eagle noticed that and toned it down a gear. „It’s all right … “ He flew up to the little recruit and then spoke so softly that the others did not hear. „That was your first exercise. If the rest of us can do it, then so can you!“ he said, turned around and then murmured quietly, shaking his head, „sooner or later.“ Oskar, Romy and the other kids could only now see that small circles had been painted on the floor. In the middle of them there were small, big and really big bird hits, and the smallest one had not only been too late, but had also completely missed the target. „Birdy really should practice a bit more,“ whispered Ninja-Noah to Ninja-Nick giggling, but there was no answer. Nick was still much too baffled, as he was now watching the hedgehog unit. They were in the process of sharpening their spines using pencil sharpeners. They had apparently only just polished them. Speers from a Roman Legion couldn’t have glistened any brighter in the moonlight. And the squirrels were behaving even more strangely. One shot past them with a whoosh, followed by a second whoosh as another one tore around. Within seconds a small bush exploded at the back, then an old chair blew up on the opposite side. „Hey!“ Ninja-Steven now complained quietly. „That was ours!“ Kevin gave him a slight slap to the head. Oskar looked at him sternly. „Keep your mouth shut,“ they hissed at him with fiery glances. And „whoosh,“ another squirrel shot past them. They were so fast, all the children could hear was the tapping, all they could see was a brown stripe and the dust in front of them.

Just as they were about to watch and follow the next squirrel, their attention was drawn back into the air. The real aviators appeared: buzzards, hawks and eagles were flying around with their flying caps on and had just set their sights on a scarecrow. With their mouths still wide-open, Oskar, Romy and the others looked on as they changed over to the nosedive, by then the scarecrow had already been completely bombarded with bright colours, the fighter squadron had already shot off into the distance. They were now merely black dots in the sky. The rainbow-coloured scarecrow wobbled back and forwards in confusion. That’s when it happened. „There’s quite a lot going on here,“ an old pond turtle now crawled into their field of vision. Slowly, very slowly. It looked Oskar and Romy in the eyes and then winked boldly. The two were magically spellbound. The entire universe seemed to be hidden in and behind these wise old eyes.

An infinity of love and goodness, of greatness and mildness. Romy and Oskar were overcome by a magical trembling, their little hearts wanted to take a leap in the air. It was the greatest thing they had ever seen in their lives! The pond turtle’s head turned back to the front and everyone could see that she was heading towards the food tent. And there was also a lot of activity over there. Wild bees of all kinds queued up in an endless line at the honey counter, and all the animals from the Tumbawunda Valley ran around in between, grabbing the fruit skewers, but also passing the sign saying ‚First Aid Sweets‘. Chocolate, cotton candy, glazed strawberries – everything the heart desired was on offer here. And they all tucked in: two frogs already had very red heads, because of the bright red candy apples, which they were licking with their long tongues. „Um,“ Ninja-Thomas and Ninja-Olivia were scratching their heads. The others were also simply stunned. What on earth was going on here? What the Fantastic Ninja Ten and the Pink Princess Gang hadn’t realised was that their arms and legs had started moving all by themselves! They were following the pond turtle. It was only when Oskar noticed that he was slowly but surely moving forward that the spell was broken. „Hey!“ he whispered quickly to his left and right. With this exclamation, all the other children also stopped. Goodness!! Whatever was that? They were only a few metres away from the trunk of the old lime tree. The horse with the coloured bottom didn’t seem to have noticed them yet anyway. „Excuse me, do you mind if I pass by?“ a small raccoon staggered around Oskar. He had grabbed so much fruit and chocolate that he just about managed not to bump into him. Oskar moved back a little. „This way, darling,“ a male cricket now shouted to his wife and their 23 children. He pointed to Romy’s upper arm, who didn’t know what was happening to her. Mummy Cricket smiled and with one leap the whole family was sitting on Romy’s upper arm using her as a grandstand. That princess dress was lovely and soft!



They had small bowls of honey with them and now they were filling their bellies with delight. „I hope you don’t mind,“ Daddy Cricket looked down to Romy. Uh … She didn’t know what to say. But the cricket family pretended it was the most normal thing in the world. „Darling, how tall did you say they were again?“ Mummy Cricket now wanted to know; the cricket children also hung on his words. „Johnny says they’re at least three metres tall and can fight anything that gets in their way.“ „Whoa,“ said all 23 cricket children in unison immediately. „Whoa,“ gulped Oskar, too. All eyes of the Fantastic Ninja Ten and the Pink Princess Gang were now on Romy. What they didn’t see, however, was, that the training exercises around them had come to a halt; all the insects and animals had slowly assembled in a circle around the human children. It was hardly surprising that this had gone unnoticed, since all insects and animals had continued talking ’normally‘, the human children were still all staring at Romy’s arm. Until a voice announced, „Showtime!“ Oops, the Fantastic Ninja Ten, Romy and her Pink Princess Gang were startled. They quickly looked forward again. At the food tent, two particularly greedy mice were still filling their bellies, and two field hares who had eaten way too much, rolled into the circle surrounding the kids from the Tumbawunda Valley. The mice had also eaten too much, their feet were no longer able to carry them, they too could only roll to their allocated places. And they also saw electric blue fireflies hissing around like crazy. There were now even more of them than before! And leaning there on the trunk of the old lime tree, directly under the nest of the golden wild bees, was that the panda, snoozing again? The children sensed that something was happening here, and that they were right in the middle of it. Suddenly it happened … it felt as if the air was beginning to magically tremble. Were those little shooting stars flying around? Whoa! The children got goose bumps. What was happening? What exactly was going on?

„If you’re going to shout out ‚Showtime‘, Bee-Eye, let’s get started.“ „Good idea, Sonja, sorry, Honeyball.“ Beneath the children, the ground began to shake a little and then everything started to get going. They all stared ahead now. Behind the colourful horse’s bottom, there seemed to be not only one owner, but several people. And suddenly, the horse turned around, with a coloured horn on its forehead! „Well, I don’t believe it!“ said Ninja-Dominic. A unicorn! And next to it, there was a butterfly, and another, and another, and another. Four altogether. Boss Sonja, also called Honeyball, the rather crazy Darfo Murbutt, the beautiful Martha Butterface and the rough and tumble Bee-Eye Johnny. Sonja Honeyball was sporting aviator sunglasses and had a bubble-gum cigar in her mouth. „Bee-Eye Johnny was wearing a Mohawk wig, had a bling gold chain borrowed from Unicorn Pinki with a US dollar sign around his neck and a shiny sheriff’s badge on his chest. They walked up to the kids, and presented themselves, first with a grin, then with a cooooooool look on their faces: „Somebody called the Bee-Team?“ Magical silence.

No one breathed a single word. Ninja-Olivia and Ninja-Jonathan, like everyone else, were unable to utter a single syllable. This was probably the most magical moment that had ever happened on the blue planet. As if guided by magic, a church bell suddenly rang. It seemed as if all eyes of the Tumbawunda Valley were focussing on the area under the old lime tree. “ Did someone here call for the Bee-Team?“ A cold shiver ran down Oskar and Romy’s spines. Yes, um … they both looked into each other’s eyes, trembling. „Was it us? Did we do that?“ they wondered. „Somebody definitely called the Bee-Team!“ But they didn’t even get a chance to answer, a voice from the circle around them took over, full of hope, full of energy. „Somebody did call the Bee-Team!“ A massive celebration broke out around them. All the wild animals and insects hugged each other, clapping, they were thrilled that their rescuers had arrived. „And it happened just in time too! All of our lives were at stake!“ another voice called out now. Here and there, they heard sobbing. Yes, they were all suffering. And badly! It had turned out to be a terrible, deadly world. By now, there wasn’t an insect or an animal that hadn’t already suffered a loss in its family or close circle of friends. Most of them had suffered several losses. Some even thousands. Friends and relatives had starved or died of thirst or had been too weak to escape from a predator or to avoid being run over by a car. Some had gone to sleep at night, never to wake the next morning. They had simply died in their sleep. In addition, there were also eerie diseases, some suspected they had been poisoned. But by whom? The poison seemed to be coming from the fields. But now their saviours had arrived. Brownie, the female brown bear, had tears running down her cheeks … and she wasn’t alone. But now, her heroes were here, now everything would go back to what it used to be: full of animals and insects, full of blooming landscapes and front gardens, in the most vibrant colours, with scents that hadn’t been smelled for a long time. With bubbling brooks and filled ponds.

A cheerful buzzing and roaring would fill the air again. Hares and field hamsters would fight and squabble in the fields, then once again enjoy the golden-red sunset followed by the night sky with shooting stars, together, sitting arm in arm on a small mound of earth, everyone was sure of that. Their rescuers were here now! „Now, who called for the Bee-Team?“ squeaked Birdy the Wren boy who was sitting on a blade of grass. As he asked, the blade of grass bent only slightly under his barely existing weight. The grasshopper next to him agreed with a nod. So, who was it? Three electric blue fireflies hissed to the female butterfly with the aviator sunglasses and chewing gum cigar at the front, whispering something into her ear. She nodded. All the animals and insects now looked at the butterflies and held their breath. The unicorn with the rainbow-coloured spots and stripes looked down with great interest. Everyone could guess the question. Yes, who had called for the Bee-Team? Butterfly boss Sonja, or rather, Honeyball, took a few cool steps forward, until she was standing just in front of the Fantastic Ninja Ten and the Pink Princess Gang, who were still lying on the floor. The butterflies Bee-Eye Johnny, known for his more robust approach, smart Martha Butterface and the somewhat crazy looking Darfo Murbutt followed her. Only the unicorn was just dreaming of those red candy apples, which the frogs had been eating, until it realised that it should be stepping forward now too. „Oops, wait for Pinki!“ she quickly took a few steps forward. Now they stood together in front of the children and their leader Sonja inspected the army of children. „Very good attitude here!“ she praised the Ninja troop in their finest, special agent uniforms!

Beautiful Martha Butterface whispered to her slightly crazy twitching friend Darfo Murbutt, „We can use girls and boys like that in our ranks.“ Then Butterfly Chief Honeyball flew up to Noah and Nick and inspected their teeth. Of course, they already had their mouths open. „And they’re healthy too,“ she giggled, then bent down a little and also whispered: „You can close up now, otherwise the flies will fly in!“ Oops, they closed their mouths immediately. Sonja’s gaze also wandered along the Ninjas and secret agent equipment. She could also see that their pockets were filled with flashlights, compasses, cords and much more. She saw the walkie-talkies, the magnifying glass and the binoculars and grinned. „You’ve come well prepared … “ Then she flew in the other direction and inspected the Pink Princess Gang. The girls‘ eyes were glued to her and she addressed them directly. „So, are you ready for the biggest heroic actions of your lives?“ Whoa! Everybody nodded sincerely. No one would believe any of this when they told them about it later! Then Sonja Honeyball took another step back and re-joined Darfo Murbutt, Pinki the colourful Unicorn, Martha Butterface and Bee-Eye Johnny. The fireflies couldn’t stand it any longer. They danced around Sonja in excitement, glittering blue, the little mini shooting stars were dashing around. Just ask! Honeyball winked at them. Okay. Three, two, one. „Romy and Oskar, are they here?“ They opened their eyes wide in shock. All eyes, whether human, insect or animal, were now focussed on them in fascination. No question, everyone knew it now. It was very clear who Romy and Oskar were. „Okay, it’s you two!“ the butterflies giggled and walked towards them with Unicorn Pinki. „You called the Bee-Team, and we must act quickly or this beautiful blue planet will be lost forever!“


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