Royal Jelly

A while back, my friend (and former instructor) Jeffrey Smith gave me a few short stories that he really liked. One of those was the short story, “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff. One of the others was this story by Roald Dahl titled, “Royal Jelly”.

This story, and I’m really generalizing, is about a beekeeper and his wife who have a newborn baby. The baby won’t take take it’s mother’s milk and is starving to death. It’s kind of a dark story. Actually, the more I think of it, it’s a really twisted, slightly demented kind of story. That being said, I really liked it though.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but …SPOILER ALERT…

The father, not knowing what else to do, begins to feed his baby milk mixed with royal jelly. Royal jelly is the substance that bees give to their young, in order to help them grow and thrive. Most bees will only get a little bit of the royal jelly…just enough to let them grow to adult stage (sorry if I’m using layman’s terms). However, bees that continue to receive the royal jelly become queen bees. Being a beekeeper, the father uses what knowledge he has of beekeeping to try and nurse his daughter back to health.

The baby starts to really take to the royal jelly mix. She then starts to fatten up and even begins to develop fuzzy skin, like a bumble bee. By the end of the story, she resembles a giant grub- to the shock and horror of her mother…

About bill main

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2 Responses to Royal Jelly

  1. Mike Schultz Paintings says:

    I love your work, Bill! Did you hear that Roald Dahl was a British spy during WWII?

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