This story was inspired by an illustration from Yelena Wysling, a Swiss artist I follow on Instagram.
Her work is simply beautiful.
Bee and Flea and Me © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
We've been wearing masks over here in Vietnam pretty much constantly since February 2020. All our students from 3 year olds to 18 year olds have been wearing them in school without any problems because they understand it's not just for their safety, but that of their friends too. There's been much discussion, with the little ones especially, about emotions during this time, and they were the ones who came up with the idea that their eyes could show us how they were feeling. Out of the mouths of babes. . . . So here is the story sparked by those discussions with concept art by my very talented daughter Anisha.
Moon wears a unicorn mask because unicorns are unique and special just like Moon.
Hasib wears a puppy dog mask because puppies are playful and friendly just like Hasib.
Hai Lan wears a Spiderman mask because superheroes help protect people just like Hai Lan.
Andy wears a dragon mask because dragons are strong and brave just like Andy.
Katie wears a panda mask because pandas are thoughtful and gentle just like Katie.
We wear our special masks because they help stop us from sharing our sneezes and coughs.
But wearing our masks doesn’t mean we can’t share our feelings.
We do that through our eyes.
When Moon is happy, her eyes twinkle like the stars on a rainbow unicorn.
When Hasib is feeling playful, his eyes shine like a puppy waiting for a game of fetch.
When Hai Lan is surprised, her eyes open really wide, just like when a superhero saves you.
When Andy is brave, his eyes look fierce like a knight that has fought many dragons.
When Katie is gentle, her eyes sparkle with kindness.
Our masks help protect us, but our eyes will twinkle, shine, sparkle and smile to let you know that we are okay.
Through Our Eyes: A Pandemic Story © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Okay so you must know by now how much I love bees! My two favourites are the humble Bumblebee and the Australian native bee. Here's a story about two bumblebees just pitched in the February #PBPitch event. Artwork by my extremely talented friend Maryam Khalifah. You can follow Maryam on Instagram and Twitter.
‘Good point.’ Barry scratched his fuzzy, black and yellow chin. ‘Why not a beetle then? They also have wings like us, and they come in lots of different colours too!’ Boris looked stunned. ‘Really? A beetle? You want to roll dung all day instead of sipping nectar and gathering pollen? Uh-uh, not me!’ snorted Boris. ‘Okay, okay. I get it,’ Barry replied, a little miffed. ‘Ah-ha! I’ve got it! I want to be . . . wait for it,’ Barry grinned, and pretended to give a drumroll on his tiny, black knees. Boris rolled his eyes as he waited for Barry’s big revelation. ‘I want to be – a dragonfly!’ he announced.
Boris threw his hands in the air and shook his head. ‘A dragonfly?! That doesn’t even start with the letter B!’
Barry’s bottom lip started to quiver. He looked like he was about to cry. Boris put one of his arms around Barry. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘all those insects are wonderful. They are beautiful, useful and amazing in their own ways, but think about what we bumblebees can do! Instead of Superman, think Superbee!’ Barry looked at Boris, and wiped away a small tear.
We are Super-pollinaters!’ Boris cried excitedly, pulling Barry along as he buzzed up to a lavender stalk. ‘We gather lots of pollen from flowers and spread it around to help plants grow.’ ‘We are Super-see-ers! We have five eyes, which means we see yummy nectar before any of the other insects,’ he continued proudly, as they flew to a marigold. Barry followed along, nodding thoughtfully. ‘We are Super-royal! We have a majestic and beautiful queen,’ Boris bowed low as they paused on a snapdragon, and placed a makeshift crown on Barry’s head.
‘And you know what my two most favourite things are about being a Super-bee?’ They had stopped at a bunch of pansies. Barry shook his head. ‘We make yummy honey. . . aaaand we do the waggle dance!’ Boris laughed as he began circling around Barry, waggling his small bee bottom. Barry giggled. ‘You’re right,’ he grinned, as he joined Boris in his waggle dance. ‘Bee-ing a bee is SUPER-AMAZING! I never want to bee anything else!’
A Tale of Two Bees © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Barry and Boris © Maryam Khalifah 2021. All Rights Reserved.