|WHY THE BEAR IS STUMPY-TAILED
By Sir George Webbe Dasent
ONE day the Bear met the Fox, who came slinking along with a
fish he had stolen.
"Whence did you get these from?" asked the Bear.
"Oh! My Lord Bruin, I've been out fishing and caught them,"
So the Bear had a mind to learn to fish too, and bade the Fox
how he was to set about it.
"Oh! It's an easy craft for you", answered the Fox,
"and soon learned.
You've only got to go upon the ice, and cut a hole and stick your
down into it; and so you must go on holding it there as long as
can. You're not to mind if your tail smarts a little; that's when
fish bite. The longer you hold it there the more fish you'll get;
then all at once out with it, with a cross pull sideways, and
strong pull too."
Yes; the Bear did as the Fox had said, and held his tail a long,
the down in the hole, till it was fast frozen in. Then he pulled
out with a cross pull, and it snapped short off. That's why Bruin
about with a stumpy tail this very day.