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A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens

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WHY THE BEAR IS STUMPY-TAILED

[330]

O
NE day the Bear met the Fox, who came slinking along with a string of fish he had stolen.

"Whence did you get those?" asked the Bear.

"Oh! my Lord Bruin, I've been out fishing and caught them," said the Fox.

So the Bear had a mind to learn to fish, too, and bade the Fox tell him how to set about it.

"Oh! it's an easy thing for you," answered the Fox, "and soon learned. You've only got to go upon the ice, and cut a hole and stick your tail down into it; and so you must go on holding it there as long as you can. You're not to mind if your tail smarts a little; that's when the fish bite. The longer you hold it there the more fish you'll get; and then all at once out with it, with a cross pull sideways, and with a strong pull, too."

Yes; the Bear did as the Fox had said, and held his tail a long, long time down in the hole, till it was fast frozen in. Then he pulled it out with a cross pull, and it snapped off short. That's why Bruin goes about with a stumpy tail to this very day.


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