A long, long time ago there lived a bed bug. He had a huge family. There were children, grandchildren, and great grand children. They all lived together on a beautiful bed. They lived in the corners and crevices of the bed. And the huge, beautiful bed belonged to the king of the country.

When the king slept, the bug and his entire family used to crawl out of their home. They would wait for the king to drift off to deep sleep and then feast on the king’s blood. The king’s blood was sweet, as sweet can be and they relished their meal.

One day a mosquito came in to the room. He saw the lovely bedspread and the soft, plush mattress. He sat on the mattress and thought aloud, “What a soft bed and how comfortable!”

The bug heard the mosquito’s voice and came out to check the intruder.

“Who are you and where have you come from? the bug asked with a tone of authority, “This is the king’s bed and I live here. You are not allowed to trespass and you can leave now, " the bed bug said with an air of finality.

The Bed Bug and the Mosquito [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik
The Bed Bug and the Mosquito [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik

“Is this the way you treat your visitors”, the mosquito asked. “I am a traveler. I have traveled far and wide and tasted different kinds of blood. But I haven’t had the fortune of tasting a king’s blood. I have heard that it tastes like honey. Would you be kind enough to allow this visitor one sip of the king’s blood”, implored the mosquito.

“No, definitely no”, thundered the bug.

“Why not”, asked the mosquito.

The bed bug said, ‘If you bite the king, it will hurt him. As a result he will wake up and investigate as to what bit him and kill all of us.”

However the mosquito did not want to leave without accomplishing his mission. He begged with folded hands, “take pity on me, let me stay here for one single night. I promise you that I shall be out of this place in the morning. All I need is one sip of the king’s blood.”

The bug finally relented. “It’s true that the king’s blood is very tasty”, the bug said, “but I shall allow you to stay only for one night”.

The mosquito was thrilled.

However the bug warned the mosquito, " Please exercise caution. Do not come out during the wrong time to bite the king. And do not bite in the wrong places.

“Pray, please tell me about the right time and the right places to bite”, the mosquito pleaded.

The bug replied softly, “After consuming liquor, the king will have his dinner. After dinner the king will come to sleep. The right time to bite is when he slips into deep slumber.”

And what’s the right spot to bite? questioned the mosquito.

“The legs”, the bug said, “When he is fast asleep he won’t feel the bite.”

The mosquito agreed to abide by the rules.

And the bug crept back to his cosy home.

The mosquito kept waiting for the king. He waited anxiously. Finally the king came and lay down on the bed. The mosquito was very excited. He thought about the blood that tasted like honey and soon forgot about the bug’s warnings.

The mosquito couldn’t control his temptations anymore. He went ahead and bit the king on his neck before the king could drift off to deep sleep. The king felt the bite and jumped off the bed. Angry that his sleep had been disturbed, he hollered for his servants, “Something has bitten me. Look for it and kill it. Turn the bed upside down and find the creature”.

Meanwhile the mosquito after tasting the blood had already flown away. The servants upturned the mattress, looked all over. The servants found the bug and his big family. They killed each one of them. Not even a single bug managed to escape.

670 words | 7 minutes
Readability: Grade 5 (10-11 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #mosquito, #honey, #sleep

You may also be interested in these:
Getting Bored – Read This
The Red Flower