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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–1885)

The Bumblebee

THE BUMBLEBEE iz a kind ov big fly who goes muttering and swareing around the lots, during the summer, looking after little boys to sting them, and stealing hunny out ov the dandylions and thissells. He iz mad all the time about sumthing, and don’t seem to kare a kuss what people think ov him. A skoolboy will studdy harder enny time to find a bumblebee’s nest than he will to get hiz lesson in arithmetik, and when he haz found it, and got the hunny out ov it, and got badly stung into the bargin, he finds thare ain’t mutch margin in it. Next to poor molassis, bumblebee hunny iz the poorest kind ov sweetmeats in market. Bumblebees hav allwuss been in fashion, and probably allwuss will be, but whare the fun or proffit lays in them i never could cypher out. The proffit don’t seem to be in the hunny, nor in the bumblebee neither. They bild their nest in the ground, or enny whare else they take a noshun to. It ain’t afrade to fite a whole distrikt skool if they meddle with them. I don’t blame the bumblebee, nor enny other fellow, for defending hiz sugar: it iz the fust and last Law ov natur, and i hope the law won’t never run out. The smartest thing about the bumblebee iz their stinger.