It was a beautiful day in Fairwood Forest, the warmth of the sun peeking through the curtains tickled Suzanne Bear’s face causing her to roll over. The sound of Mrs. Bear singing could be heard downstairs along with the clanking of pots and pans as she made breakfast.
The smell of fresh pancakes crept up the stairs invading Suzanne’s dreams, dragging her slowly from her dreams. Her brother Gladly Bear came running in her room and shook her.
“Wake up Snoozy Suzy! Mom has breakfast ready and the pancakes are getting cold”, laughed Gladly.
“OK, OK, I’m up”, grumbled Suzanne.
Together they bounced down the stairs to find a humongous stack of pancakes waiting for them in the center of the table. Next to the pancakes were a bowl of fresh berries and a jar of honey. Mr. Bear set a jug of clear sparkling spring water on the other side of the pancakes and sat down at the table next to Mrs. Bear.
Mr. Bear said the blessing and then they started their meal. Gladly took a stack of pancakes smothering them in golden honey and sprinkling juicy red raspberries on top. Suzanne however placed her berries between each layer of pancakes and then dumped the thick rich honey over the whole stack creating a lake of the golden liquid around the bottom layer.
As they were finishing their meal Mrs. Bear said, “Gladly, Suzanne, Miss Rosie is coming over to have dinner with us tonight. Your father is heading down to the stream after breakfast to catch us some fish. I would like you two to gather some more honey so I can bake honey muffins for dinner.”
So Gladly and Suzanne grabbed their little red buckets and went out to gather some honey for their mother. They went to field and watched the bees as they danced from flower to flower. Following the bees to an old knotted oak tree, they discovered a large hole in one the knots where the bees were entering.
Gladly took his bucket and climbed up to the hole. Reaching in, he scooped out the thick honey into his bucket. When his bucket was full, Gladly climbed down to Suzanne. He handed her his bucket, then took hers and climbed back up to the hole.
While he was filling Suzanne’s bucket, a bee flew down to bottom of the tree and buzzed around Suzanne. Fearfully she ducked down under the bee and backed against the tree. The bee followed her and landed right in the middle of her nose.
Scrunching up her face, she blew from the side of her mouth at her nose. Harder and harder she blew, but that darn bee would just not move. Finally out of desperation she swatted at the bee with her paw. She managed to knock the bee off of her nose, but as it was leaving it stung her.
Ow! Ow! Ow! The stinger hurt so much, it felt like a shard fire sticking in poor little Suzanne’s nose. Tears welled up in her eyes and Suzanne began to cry. Gladly hearing her cry climbed down the tree to see what was wrong.
Edwin Buzzard was walking through the forest and heard Suzanne’s wailing. He came over to see what the noise was all about. When he saw Suzanne sitting there crying, he began laugh and tease her.
“Look at the little baby”, sneered Edwin. “Crying her eyes out over some little boo boo, did you fall down and hurt your wittle knees?”
Suzanne got angry when she heard this and wanted to hit Edwin so he would leave her alone. But Gladly stopped her, “Remember what Miss Rosie told us. We should forgive people, let’s take our honey home and forget about Edwin.”
So Gladly and Suzanne picked up their buckets and headed back towards home. Edwin Buzzard followed them, teasing Suzanne and Gladly. But when they paid no attention to him, it was no longer fun and he left them.
Miss Rosie the Wise Old Owl was there talking with their mother when they returned home. She looked at Suzanne’s nose and made appropriate tsk sounds while Mrs. Bear spread a cool soothing ointment on Suzanne’s injury.
“Miss Rosie, the bee hurt me so much it made me cry,” sniffled Suzanne. “Then that mean old Edwin Buzzard started picking on me, he made me so mad. Why I just wanted run over to him and yell at him or hit him. But then Gladly reminded me how Jesus would want us to forgive people so we left Edwin and came home.”
“That’s right Suzanne,” said Miss Rosie. “In fact Jesus had nine guidelines he gave people. They are called the beatitudes. They tell us how to treat others and how we should act. Let me tell you about them. I will tell you what he said and explain it as I go along.
Jesus was teaching in Galilee and everybody was coming to see him, bringing sick people to be healed. Why there were great big crowds following him. Well one day he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
This is what he taught them:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In other words trust in God, he will supply all your needs.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Share the joys and sorrows of others.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Be gentle with others. Don’t try to get your way by bullying.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Do the right things. Make sure people are treated the right way.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Forgive others and ask others for their forgiveness.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
.Be faithful to God and follow God’s ways.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Bring people together, encourage others to work together instead of fighting.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In difficult times trust in God, keep following Him.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When the bad people pick on you for following God, be happy because your reward in heaven will increase because of this.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Miss Rosie found this story in Matthew 5:1-16