Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

The Queen Bee

The Queen Bee

Date: Feb 24 2008

Topic: Reading

Author: alshehri2005


The Queen Bee

by Brothers Grimm
from Grimm's Fairy Tales

This reading comprehension includes difficult vocabulary (in bold) defined at the end.

Two kings' sons once upon a time went into the world to seek their fortunes; but they soon fell into a wasteful foolish way of living, so that they could not return home again. Then their brother, who was a little insignificant dwarf, went out to seek for his brothers: but when he had found them they only laughed at him, to think that he, who was so young and simple, should try to travel through the world, when they, who were so much wiser, had been unable to get on. However, they all set out on their journey together, and came at last to an ant-hill. The two elder brothers would have pulled it down, in order to see how the poor ants in their fright would run about and carry off their eggs. But the little dwarf said, 'Let the poor things enjoy themselves, I will not suffer you to trouble them.'

So on they went, and came to a lake where many ducks were swimming about. The two brothers wanted to catch two, and roast them. But the dwarf said, 'Let the poor things enjoy themselves, you shall not kill them.' Next they came to a bees'-nest in a hollow tree, and there was so much honey that it ran down the trunk; and the two brothers wanted to light a fire under the tree and kill the bees, so as to get their honey. But the dwarf held them back, and said, 'Let the pretty insects enjoy themselves, I cannot let you burn them.'

At length the three brothers came to a castle: and as they passed by the stables they saw fine horses standing there, but all were of marble, and no man was to be seen. Then they went through all the rooms, till they came to a door on which were three locks: but in the middle of the door was a wicket, so that they could look into the next room. There they saw a little grey old man sitting at a table; and they called to him once or twice, but he did not hear: however, they called a third time, and then he rose and came out to them.

He said nothing, but took hold of them and led them to a beautiful table covered with all sorts of good things: and when they had eaten and drunk, he showed each of them to a bed-chamber.

The next morning he came to the eldest and took him to a marble table, where there were three tablets, containing an account of the means by which the castle might be disenchanted. The first tablet said: 'In the wood, under the moss, lie the thousand pearls belonging to the king's daughter; they must all be found: and if one be missing by set of sun, he who seeks them will be turned into marble.'

The eldest brother set out, and sought for the pearls the whole day: but the evening came, and he had not found the first hundred: so he was turned into stone as the tablet had foretold.

The next day the second brother undertook the task; but he succeeded no better than the first; for he could only find the second hundred of the pearls; and therefore he too was turned into stone.

At last came the little dwarf's turn; and he looked in the moss; but it was so hard to find the pearls, and the job was so tiresome!--so he sat down upon a stone and cried. And as he sat there, the king of the ants (whose life he had saved) came to help him, with five thousand ants; and it was not long before they had found all the pearls and laid them in a heap.

The second tablet said: 'The key of the princess's bed-chamber must be fished up out of the lake.' And as the dwarf came to the brink of it, he saw the two ducks whose lives he had saved swimming about; and they dived down and soon brought in the key from the bottom.

The third task was the hardest. It was to choose out the youngest and the best of the king's three daughters. Now they were all beautiful, and all exactly alike: but he was told that the eldest had eaten a piece of sugar, the next some sweet syrup, and the youngest a spoonful of honey; so he was to guess which it was that had eaten the honey.

Then came the queen of the bees, who had been saved by the little dwarf from the fire, and she tried the lips of all three; but at last she sat upon the lips of the one that had eaten the honey: and so the dwarf knew which was the youngest. Thus the spell was broken, and all who had been turned into stones awoke, and took their proper forms. And the dwarf married the youngest and the best of the princesses, and was king after her father's death; but his two brothers married the other two sisters.


wasteful - extravagant, not used in a thoughtful manner
dwarf - a little man
ant-hill - place where ants live (made of dirt)
to suffer someone - impose upon someone to do, or experience something
hollow - empty in the middle
trunk - base of tree
stables - structure that houses horses
marble - hard, decorative mineral that is often used in the construction of beautiful buildings
wicket - small door or gate
bed-chamber - bedroom
eldest - the oldest
tablet - slab of stone upon which something important is written
disenchanted - freed from a magic spell
moss - green plant growth often found on trees, in the grass, etc. usually found in damp places
foretold - something that has been predicted before
tiresome - very tiring
heap - mixed-up pile of things
brink - on the border
syrup - sweet, thick liquid
spell - magic charm


Log in to Comment




can we learn togather angle my mail

12:54 PM Mar 11 2008 |



hi how r u i m mak and wanna chat with u contact with u

12:01 PM Mar 11 2008 |

Mr T om

Mr T om



10:59 AM Mar 11 2008 |

Mr T om

Mr T om


I like it.

10:58 AM Mar 11 2008 |


Sri Lanka

nice,well done.

07:26 AM Mar 11 2008 |


Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

it’s a nice story and I enjoyed to read it, and it help me to improve my reading skill..thanks alot.

06:28 PM Mar 10 2008 |


Saudi Arabia



12:45 PM Mar 10 2008 |

mohammed alamoudi


thank you

10:12 AM Mar 10 2008 |



its a good lesson

10:03 AM Mar 10 2008 |




I like the stories of the brothers Grimm. I have read some of them when I went to primary school.

There are a few ones which have cruel contents, but the time they are playing was like that, in fact. 

09:07 AM Mar 10 2008 |



i wont girl frind am 19/m

05:58 AM Mar 10 2008 |




very nice story

04:52 AM Mar 10 2008 |

Oscar V

Oscar V


It’s a wonderful history and very useful to practice english. Thanks

02:43 AM Mar 10 2008 |



TO my way of thinking,this is a learning and wonderful story!

07:35 PM Mar 09 2008 |




a great story , i realy liked it alot and i have knew new words i didn’t know before. Thanks alot

02:15 PM Mar 09 2008 |



salut   haloo oride atara3ofe ralayki anisa  bikole ihtirame laki sayidati

02:03 PM Mar 09 2008 |

shruti kesari


This one is the very fandastic story i had read ever. it is very message giving story.

i love to read it.


01:49 PM Mar 09 2008 |



yaa this tory is very good but so far

07:35 AM Mar 09 2008 |

Rezon 邬

Rezon 邬


A wonderful story,though some words I can·t understand..

07:12 AM Mar 09 2008 |



i'll print it and read it carefully

12:50 AM Mar 09 2008 |

Likes (193):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast