A Little Pot of Honey by Brennan Frank
In the late nineteenth century, there were many foreigners in China. In some areas of the country, they seemed to rule almost every part of Chinese society. Some Chinese people were very unhappy about this and started a special group or society to fight the foreigners. The people in this society were called Boxers because some of them studied Chinese martial arts. Martial arts were their special ways of fighting. They fought against the foreigners from 1899 to 1901. This time in history is known as the Boxer Rebellion.
Place: A temple in Shandong province, China
The old man walked into his room. The door was already open. Immediately, he saw the small broken pots on the floor and tears of sadness and anger filled his eyes. He was too late.
The pots were not worth anything, of course. But they had contained the last of his honey. His special honey, made by his own bees. It was the honey that had given his students – the Boxers – their strength. If a student ate some of this special honey, he became really strong for a short time. But no amount of strength could stop the guns. His students were now all dead. Now the foreigners took what they wanted.
But the old man would not let them take everything. He had saved one very small pot of honey in his pocket. One day he would give it as a present to the Emperor of China. Now he had to hide it.
The old man heard heavy footsteps outside. It was the foreign soldiers. He put his little pot into a wooden box of small presents that he had saved for the Emperor. He hid the box in the corner of his room and then turned towards the door. He walked into the bright morning sunshine for the last time.
Time: the present
Place: Sweetbourne, a small town in Kansas, USA
Jack Rawlins put his hand up to his black eye as he walked into the kitchen of his home. He knew his eye looked bad.
‘Another black eye, son?’ asked Evan Rawlins, Jacks dad. He expected Jack to get a few injuries in a school football match, but it had happened too many times lately. He knew why: it was Rex Coulter, the college bully. He was the only one who would want to give Jack a black eye…