The Tale of Jeb Myth in The Cradle of Worlds | World Anvil

The Tale of Jeb

In a seaside village lived a young man named Jeb. He was well thought of by all the villagers and was always kind. One day he found a beehive being attacked by the youth of the village. They were throwing rocks repeatedly at it, when Jeb asked them to stop. They responded by laughing at him, saying they were going to knock it down and use fire to drive off the bees and take all the honey. Jeb offered them some of his daily catch of fish to leave it alone. They reluctantly agreed, and Jeb left the hive alone.   The next day he found a piece of honeycomb on his table in the early morning hours. He did not know where it came from, but graciously ate it. This continued once a week for a few months, when Jeb remembered having saved the beehive. To give thanks he planted a garden of flowers near the beehive.   In his dreams the night he finished the garden a bee spoke to him. "Your hard-work and benevolence has not gone unnoticed, we thank you and would invite you to meet the queen of the golden apiary." Jeb agreed.   He then woke up in a land of giant honeycomb plateaus, crystalized honey hills, mounds of pollen, lakes of mead and spires of wax. The bee there said "You will need to cross the dark mead lake, climb the hill of amber honey and approach the Wax palace to meet the queen. I shall be your guide, but as you are unable to fly it may be a difficult journey."   Jeb looked around and found he could cut a slice of honeycomb to use as a raft. His bee guide brought him a discarded flower stamen to paddle with. Embarking out on the lake he was overwhelmed with the great sweetness of the smells around him. Halfway through the lake a dragonfly descended to eat Jeb. Jeb hit it three times with his makeshift paddle and drove it off, but broke his paddle to do so. His progress was slowed and he had to paddle with his hands until he was exhausted.   Falling asleep as Jeb climbed to the shore, he awoke in the golden dawn of the next day. He took a bite of the honeycomb for breakfast and proceeded onward to climb the hill of crystalized honey. By midday he found himself in an avalanche. His bee guide, dodged the falling rock candy but Jeb was unable to do so. HE found himself pinned under a mountain of honey tasting shale. His bee companion swore at the wasps who had caused the avalanche. "I shall seek out help."   The bee was gone for almost two days and Jeb was dying of thirst when finally he was rescued by a team of worker bees. "Thank you for you help, I might have died there. Is there water nearby as only honey is not enough to sustain me?"   His guide replied, "there is little water here, but dew does form at the tops of hills, when we reach the top there should be some water in a pool from the condensation." So Jeb preceded up the hill. He eventually made it to the top and drank his fill of the collected dew.   Grateful the wasps had not returned and things were now downhill, he raced down the hillside to the Wax palace. Upon reaching the gates his guide announced him and he was presented to the Queen of the Golden Apiary. "Your hard work and selfless service are most appreciated and we would that all of the two-legs had such dedication and perhaps they would not suffer so much."   Turning to her guards, she pronounced "To encourage such we shall give you a gift, so that others may know that kindness to creatures will be rewarded. Here is the sword named stinger, to defend yourself from foes. And to sustain you this box of endless honey."   Jeb replied, "My great thanks, as this shall be a boon to my village. I shall always be reminded of the hard work of the bees and try to emulate that as best I can."   With that Jeb awoke in his home, with sword and honey box in hand.


This children's story focuses on hard work and kindness and it's rewards. The story is generally not specific as to the race of Jeb, which likely aids in it's spread as renditions fill in other details specific to the local culture.

Cover image: by Markus Dehning (vertixico)


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