The bumble bee did not know that winter had begun until he woke in the mouth of a tulip, her petals glossed over with ice. He bumbled around on the inside, tried to shake the ice off of her so he could escape. He did somersaults and spins, and tickled her many tongues with his wings in hopes she would sneeze. But he was not strong enough, and the tulip was sleeping – no, the tulip was dying – with the bumble bee her unwilling companion into oblivion. That she had survived this long was a miracle, but winter was not known for its mercy, and the tulip would not survive. The bumble bee would not surrender. He plucked the tulip’s tongues out one by one and wrapped them about his body until he was a flower-scented mummy. For the next several months, the bumble bee sucked the pollen slowly from the tube-like tongues that kept him warm, and he wept and slumbered and wished that the sun would warm him despite the snow; he dreamt of apricity. He did this as the tulip’s tongues grew straw-like and brittle, as she slowly shrunk around him. One day, the sun loitered right above the tulip that held the bumble bee. She reached down and bopped the tulip with her finger, and the bumble bee came tumbling out. The sun’s warmth made him fuzzy and drunk on glee. The bumble bee thanked her with a spin and said goodbye to the tulip.
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