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WHY THE BEAR IS STUMPY-TAILED
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,
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.