Scientific Tales
Sweet Friendship

by Farid Alakbarov

In faraway Africa there lives a bird called Honeybird. You may think that this bird is very fond of honey. Not at all. Honeybird eats wax. Right, a regular wax. Don't be surprised. Honeybird is the only living being among all animals and birds that can eat wax. Honeybird is very fond of wax. But it's not so easy to get wax. Wax is found in beehives. But it's not easy to take it from there. There are thousands of angry bees guarding their hives from Honeybird.

One day having eaten wax the Honeybird was returning home. He had been badly bitten by bees. Poor bird's whole body had swollen because of bee poison. On his way he met an African Badger by chance. The Badger was in a cheerful mood. He was licking the honey that had stuck to his lips. The Badger greeted the Honeybird and asked:
­ Why has your face swollen? Are you sick?
The Honeybird sighed and replied:
­ Oh Badger. There is no healthy spot left on my body. Greedy bees didn't let me eat my wax.
And the Badger asked in surprise:
­ But why do you need wax? Who eats wax? I thought that you were looking for honey in beehives, just like me. And now I see that you've crippled yourself only because of wax! Hm!
The Honeybird answered:
­ Badger, you like honey and I like wax. You'd better explain me one thing. How do you manage to avoid bees while entering their hives?
The Badger said:
­ It's a very simple question. As you can see, my hair and skin are very thick. Poor bees do their best, but still can't bite me.
The Honeybird sighed very deeply and said:
­ You are lucky. I wish I had such thick hair and skin as well. Then I wouldn't be afraid of any bee. I would enter their hives and eat as much wax as I wanted.
­ God forbid! ­ said the Badger.
­ Why? ­ asked the Honeybird.
The Badger smiled and replied:
­ Then you would destroy all the hives in the forest and leave the badgers without honey. I have always been wondering looking at you­how you could find so many hives? I usually walk the whole day around the forest and find only one or two hives.
The Honeybird thought a little and then said:
­ Do you want me to help you?
­ Of course, I do­said the Badger.
­ Then listen to me. Let's do this way: I will find beehives and inform you. Then you'll come, enter that hive and eat the honey. And I will be standing in a distance waiting for you. As soon as I see that angry bees have calmed down a little, I'll collect the wax pieces from the ground and eat.
­ I agree, ­ said the Badger. ­ But I can't understand one thing. Why do you need wax? I recommend you to eat honey.
The Honeybird answered:
­ Dear Badger, I know that you wish me well. But you should understand that if all living beings eat honey like you, then there will be not a single honey drop left in the world. Someone should eat wax as well.

Since that time the African Badger and Honeybird have been collaborating with each other. The Honeybird usually finds a beehive. Then he flies to the Badger and lets him know. He jumps from one tree to another showing the Badger the way to a beehive. The Badger enters the hive and eats the honey. And the Honeybird quickly collects the wax pieces from the ground. As soon as each of them eats his share, they start looking for another hive.

Translated into English by Arzu Aghayeva
Web design: Farida Sadikhova

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