Short Story – SweetTweet Finds The Honey Seekers – Maretha Botha

SweetTweet is a honeyguide – a small, extraordinary African bird who loves eating beeswax. He finds nests easily, but how to get inside, is more difficult. So, being a clever bird, he loudly ‘tirr-tirr-tirr-tirrs’ whenever he sees humans looking for honey.  When they notice his odd frolics, fluttering from tree to tree in a certain direction, they follow him.2016-08-02honeyguide and manThroughout Africa, the honey seekers know that SweetTweet will never mislead them. When they reach the nest, the humans calm the bees, using simmering wood chunks. Then, they break away pieces of the tree trunk or rocks to get to the delicious honey. As a ‘thank you’, they always leave honeycomb bits behind for SweetTweet.

One day, SweetTweet’s beak is longing for honey, but there are no humans in the vicinity. However, he spots a strange-looking creature jog-trotting through the low shrubs and thinks, What a curious creature is this then? Its body is long; it has short and sturdy legs, hmmm … and five toes on each foot; strong claws and a long, thick-set broad back. SweetTweet flutters closer and notices the creature’s small flat head, short muzzle and small eyes.

He thinks some more. Could it be a honey badger? There’s no other bush creature who has long white bristle hairs on his back and head – just like the wig of a judge giving his decision – and almost no ears; a honey badger!






‘Good morning . . . Oops! Please don’t try to catch me, Honey Badger.  Don’t you prefer honey to me? I can help you to find some.  Come, follow me as I dart from tree to tree.’ 

‘Okay, but your odd frolics won’t fool me,’ Honey Badgers says, grinding his stubby teeth.  Yet, he follows SweetTweet through the grass as fast as his short legs can trot.






When they reach the honey spot, Honey Badger immediately dives head first into the cave.  Soon, the bees are in a buzz.  Now and then, Honey Badger comes out when the bees are too troublesome, rolls around in the dust and goes straight back for more digging.

Meanwhile, SweetTweet is flitting about, hardly able to wait for the big feast to begin.  He’s not bothered that poor Honey Badger has problems with the bees.

Thank you for reading our story today!  Please visit the original post and help the dear children in your life to join Astro’s Adventures Book Club.  Don’t forget to comment and follow, as well as like and share our post if you wish.

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  1. Thank you for an interesting short story. I’ll be reading it to my grandson next week. I think it is very useful for educational purposes, teaching young children about other cultures and interesting lesser known smaller animals like the honey badger.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fascinating story! I love how you introduce readers to Africa through the wildlife. Thank you, Maretha.


    • Thanks so much, Gwen! This is a new venture for me – lots of research – and using the information to write a story, but I’m hoping to write initially about smaller animals and birds, which we don’t always think about as being endangered. Next week’s feature will be about one of Africa’s most vulnerable anteaters. I appreciate your support very much!


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