A Long Walk to Water

by Linda Sue Park

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In A Long Walk to Water, how is the honey for Salva and the other group worth it, and what is the cost?

The honey is worth it for Salva and the group in that it allows them to have a feast the likes of which they haven't had for some time. The cost is that a lot of the men get stung by angry bees.

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Salva and the men accompanying him on his long walk across the desert are amazed and delighted to come across a large beehive full of honey. They were led to this fortunate discovery by a bird called the "honey guide." Salva has heard that the Jur-chol tribe often finds honey after being led to beehives by the bird, but he's never actually seen it before.

The men can now look forward to a feast the likes of which they haven't had in a long time, if ever. The beehive is positively stuffed with honey, certainly more than enough to go around. By the time this sumptuous feast is over, and everyone's eaten their fill, Salva's tummy is full with honey and beeswax.

The feast, however, has come at a cost. As one can imagine, the bees inside the hive were not exactly thrilled at having their home dismantled. So they attacked Salva and the other men, stinging them all over their bodies, inflicting unpleasant-looking injuries.

For his part, Salva has a swollen eye as a result of his encounter with the angry bees. But he still thinks that it was worth it to get all lovely honey. Nothing has ever tasted so good as all those luscious pieces of honeycomb dripping with sweetness.

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