I Was Upset That My Grandfather Only Left Me an Old Apiary until I Looked into the Beehives — Story of the Day

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My late Grandpa, the man who spun tales of buried treasure and promised me the world, had left me with the biggest letdown: a dusty, old apiary. Who leaves their grandchild an insect-infested shack? This cruel joke of an inheritance was a slap in the face until the day I peered into the beehives.

It was a regular morning. Aunt Daphne peered over her glasses at the mess on my bed. “Robyn, have you packed your bag yet?”

“I’m texting Chloe,” I groaned, hiding my phone.

“It’s almost bus time! Get ready!” Aunt Daphne said, stuffing books into my bag.

I saw the time. 7:58 A.M. “Ugh, fine,” I sighed, getting up from the bed.

She held out a shirt for me, ironed and ready. “This isn’t what your Grandpa hoped for you, you know. He believed you’d be strong, independent. And those beehives he left? They’re not going to tend to themselves.”

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I recalled the times with Grandpa, the honey, the bees. But now, my mind was on the upcoming school dance and my crush, Scott.

“I’ll check them, maybe tomorrow,” I said, fixing my hair.

“Tomorrow never comes for you. Grandpa believed in you, Robyn. He wanted you to take care of the apiary,” she insisted.

“Look, Aunt Daphne,” I said sharply. “I’ve got better things to do than take care of Grandpa’s bees!”

I saw Aunt Daphne’s face fall and tears spring in her eyes. But the school bus honked right then, and I rushed out, ignoring her sad expression.

On the bus, my thoughts were focused on Scott, not the apiary I inherited from Grandpa Archie. “Who wants an apiary?” I thought, annoyed at the responsibility.

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But the next day, Aunt Daphne brought it up again. She scolded me for neglecting chores and spending too much time on my phone.

“You’re grounded, young lady!” she declared suddenly, and it was then I finally looked up from my phone.

“Grounded? For what?” I protested.

“For shirking responsibility,” she replied, mentioning the neglected apiary.

“The apiary? That useless bee farm?” I scoffed.

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“It’s about responsibility, Robyn. It’s what Grandpa wanted for you,” Aunt Daphne said, her voice strained with emotion.

“Look, Aunt Daphne,” I protested, “I’m scared of getting stung!”

“You’ll be wearing protective gear,” she countered. “A little fear is normal, but you can’t let it stop you.”

Reluctantly, I headed to the apiary. As I approached the hive, I was both scared and curious. Donning heavy gloves, I opened the hive and began harvesting honey, my heart pounding.

Suddenly, a bee stung my glove. I nearly gave up, but a surge of determination hit me. I had to finish this. I had to prove to Aunt Daphne that I wasn’t the reckless, irresponsible 14-year-old she thought I was.

While harvesting honey, I discovered a weather-beaten plastic bag inside the hive containing a faded map with strange markings. It seemed like a treasure map left by Grandpa Archie.

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Excited, I tucked the map into my pocket and pedaled home. Leaving the half-filled jar of honey on the kitchen counter, I sneaked out and followed the map into the woods.

Navigating the familiar woods, I remembered Grandpa’s stories and laughed about his encounters.

As I stepped into a clearing that seemed to leap straight out of Grandpa’s stories, I couldn’t help but shiver. This was the exact place he’d talk about the legendary White Walker of the forest, making my imagination run wild as a kid.

And there it was, just like in his tales – the old gamekeeper’s house, looking forgotten by time with its chipped paint and sagging porch. “Grandpa used to sit us down here, munching on sandwiches and pie after collecting honey, and weave his incredible stories,” I thought, a bittersweet nostalgia washing over me.

Touching the ancient dwarf tree near the porch, I could almost hear Grandpa’s playful warning, “Watch out, kiddo. Let’s not disturb the grouchy little gnomes,” as if we were back in those carefree afternoons.

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I found the hidden old key and unlocked the cabin, stepping into a world that time had forgotten. The air was heavy with a musty smell, and specks of dust glimmered in the stray beams of sunlight.

There, catching my eye, was a beautifully carved metal box on a dusty table. Inside was a note from Grandpa, just for me:

“To my dear Robyn, inside this box is a special treasure for you, but it’s not to be opened until your journey’s true end. You’ll know when the time is right. All my love, Grandpa.”

I was dying to see what was inside, but Grandpa’s last instruction echoed in my head, “Only at the end of your journey.”

I couldn’t just ignore his last wish.

I continued my journey through the forest, but after a while, I felt like I was lost.

“This map is no good,” I realized, not being able to spot a way out of the woods. I didn’t know when I started crying.

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But then, I remembered something important. “Grandpa always said to stay calm,” I told myself. “I can’t give up.”

Then, I heard a sound like a small branch breaking far off, and it made me think of scary stories from when I was little. “Maybe Aunt Daphne was right to warn me,” I thought, looking around at the huge forest. But thinking of Grandpa’s advice made me brave enough to keep going, guiding me through the enveloping wilderness.

I took a big, nervous breath and tried to think clearly. Going back seemed like a good idea, but it would be hard to see clearly in the forest when it got dark. There was a bridge, the one Grandpa always talked about… that might help, I thought.

Wiping away a tear, I straightened my backpack. “Okay, Robyn,” I whispered to myself. “Let’s find that bridge.”

But that confidence didn’t last long. The sun was setting, making the woods menacing. Exhausted, I slumped under a tree, longing for Aunt Daphne’s cozy kitchen.

My backpack offered no comfort, just reminders of my unpreparedness. Desperately searching for food, I found nothing but stale cracker crumbs. “Focus, Robyn. Find the bridge. Find water,” I urged myself, ignoring the hunger.

Then, remembering Grandpa’s advice again, I used heal-all leaves for my wounds and pushed on, driven by the sound of rushing water. But the river wasn’t the gentle stream I remembered; it was a dangerous, fast-moving torrent.

Ignoring the treacherous path, I scrambled down the rocky bank, driven by a desperate thirst. Reaching the water’s edge, I knelt, cupping my hands to scoop up the cool liquid. It tasted faintly metallic, but it was life-giving nectar at that moment.

As I rose, the precarious footing betrayed me. Slipping, I tumbled into the icy current, screaming for help. My backpack dragged me down. “Grandpa,” I whispered helplessly. Thinking of him, a sliver of clarity cut through the panic. He wouldn’t have wanted me to give up. He’d taught me to fight, to be brave.

I decided to ditch the backpack but kept Grandpa’s metal box. Fighting the current, I struggled towards the shore, refusing to give up.

My fingers brushed a solid log, a lifeline in the churning chaos. I clung to it with every ounce of strength, the current tossing me like a ragdoll. Then, with a final shove, it deposited me, sputtering and bruised, onto the muddy bank.

I peeled off my soaking clothes and hung them up on a tree to dry. My eyes then fell on a metal box that might help me find my way back.

Grandpa had told me to wait until the end of my journey to open it, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. Inside, I found no treasure, just a jar of honey and a photo of us together. It hit me then—this journey and the real treasure was about the value of hard work, just like Grandpa always said.

Tears welled up as I thought about how I’d ignored all the wisdom Grandpa had shared with me. I’d been chasing adventures, forgetting the important things he’d tried to teach me.

Wiping my snotty nose, I told myself it was time to get moving, to make Grandpa proud. I started building a shelter from branches and leaves under a big oak tree. It was rough, but it was enough for the night.

The next morning, the bright sun woke me up. I pushed through the woods, holding onto that metal box like a lifeline, thinking about Grandpa.

Remembering the times we went fishing together warmed me up a bit. “Slow and steady,” I could almost hear him say. I even started humming one of his favorite tunes, feeling like he was right there with me.

When I saw a bridge in the distance, hope bubbled up inside me. With Grandpa’s lessons in my heart, I wasn’t alone. But then, the forest turned into a confusing maze, and I started to panic. Just when I thought I couldn’t go on, I stumbled into a clearing and collapsed, totally exhausted.

That’s when a dog found me, and I heard a chorus of muffled voices: “There she is!”

Waking up in a hospital bed, I saw Aunt Daphne by my side. “I’m sorry,” I managed, overwhelmed by regret. “I’m so sorry, Aunt Daphne.”

“Hush, dear. You’re safe now,” she said softly.

“I messed up,” I cried out. “Grandpa was right about everything!”

Aunt Daphne held my hand and smiled. “He always loved you, sweetie. Even when you were mad at him, even when you didn’t get why. Remember how upset you were about not getting that smartwatch just weeks before he passed?”

“I never appreciated him or anything he did for me. He was always there for me. Grandpa was both my Mom and Dad after their passing. But I—”

“He knew you’d come around, sweetie. He always believed in you, even when you didn’t believe in yourself.”

At that point, she reached into a bag beside her chair, pulling out a brightly colored box. My breath hitched as I recognized the familiar blue wrapping paper: the same kind Grandpa always used for gifts.

“This is for you,” Aunt Daphne said gently, placing the box on my lap. The Xbox I wanted.

“Grandpa wanted you to have this,” Aunt Daphne continued. “He said when you learned the value of hard work and understood the importance of patience and perseverance, it would be yours.”

“I’ll be good, Aunt Daphne,” I promised. “I don’t need this anymore. I have learned my lesson.”

Aunt Daphne’s smile, this time brighter and filled with genuine joy, was all the reassurance I needed. Reaching to the bedside, I pulled out the small honey jar.

“Would you like some honey, Aunt Daphne?” I asked, offering the sticky jar.

Taking the jar, she dipped a finger in and tasted the honey. “It’s sweet,” she said, her voice soft. “Just like you, Robyn. Just like you!”

Years have flown by since then. Now, at 28, a million miles from that grumbling teenager to a bee boss with two little terrors of my own (who thankfully love honey!), I learned a thing or two about responsibility.

Thanks, Grandpa! Thank you for everything you taught me! I whisper every single time I see the happiness on my kids’ faces when they enjoy honey.

That delicious honey is a reminder of the beautiful bond Grandpa and I shared.

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