Bugsy the Horsefly, by Joseph Barone

Bugsy the Horsefly was late for work one day.  “Bugsy, you’re late for work!” yelled his boss, Mugsy.
“I’m sorry, Mugsy,” said Bugsy.  “On my way here I stopped by Beekeeper Fred’s bees to have some honey with them.”
“Bees!  Honey!  You’re a horsefly, Bugsy, you should be bugging horses, not bees,” said Mugsy.
“I wasn’t bugging them!”  said Bugsy.  “They’re my friends.  And to be honest, I don’t really like bugging horses.  I don’t really like bugging anybody.”
“But it’s your job,” said Mugsy.  “Now get to it and bug all the horses in the stable.”
All of them?”  asked Bugsy.
“Yes,” replied Mugsy, counting his money.  “Now run along.”
Bugsy sadly did as he was told, and buzzed on over to the horses’ stable.
“Why hello Bugsy!” said Sam the Horse.  “You’re a little late today,” he said.
“I know, Sam, I’m sorry,” Bugsy replied.
“Well that’s okay,” said the Horse.  “I was waiting for you.  Now, make sure to buzz right around my ears.  That’s really annoying!”
“Okay,” said Bugsy, still sad about bugging anyone at all.
As he was flying around Sam’s head, first around the right ear, then around the left, he and Sam had a conversation.
“So where were you this morning, Bugsy?  I missed you, even though you bug me.”
“I was having honey with the bees,” answered Bugsy.
Sam shook his head because of the buzzing.  “How are the bees doing?”
“Not too good.  A honey badger keeps stealing their honey!  So they have to work even harder for Beekeeper Fred to have enough honey to sell at the market.”
“That’s too bad,” sad Sam, shaking his head again.  “If only there was a way to help them.”
There was a long silence between them until Bugsy sighed.  It was such a tiny sound but Sam has very good hearing.
“What’s the matter, Bugsy?” asked Sam.
“Well, to be honest I don’t really like bugging horses.  I don’t really like bugging anybody,” said Bugsy to Sam.
“Then why do you do it?” asked Sam, with another shake.
“Because it’s my job. I don’t want to bug anyone, I just want to be friendly and help.  But since I’m a horsefly, bugging is what I’m good at.”
There was another long silence between them.  Bugsy was just about to switch horses when Sam said, “Eureka!”
“What does that mean?” asked Bugsy.
“It means I have an idea!  Why don’t you tell Mugsy to get the horseflies to bug the honey badgers?  The horses will be less annoyed and the bees will get to keep all their honey!”
“That’s a great idea!” said Bugsy.  “At least our buggy nature will go to good use.”
Bugsy went to Mugsy with this wonderful idea.  “I don’t know, Bugsy,” said Mugsy.  “I guess we can try it.  But what do we get for our help?”
“Doing something nice is its own reward, Mugsy,” said Bugsy.  “But, I spoke to the Bee Queen and she’s willing to pay us in globs of honey.”
“Honey?  That’s a lot better than hay,” said Mugsy.  “Let’s do it!”
The next day all of the horseflies bugged the honey badger instead of the horses.  The badger tried to steal the bees’ honey, but to his surprise every time he tried, the flies buzzed
even harder.
The day after that the badger brought more badgers with him but the flies were simply too annoying.  They did this every day from morning to night until the badgers stopped badgering.  After that, the horses were happier, the honey was safe, and Bugsy finally felt good about bugging someone.
They all made a toast led by Sam the Horse and drank honey in honor of Bugsy, the very first Honey Badger Fly.

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