| Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans|
|by Edward Eggleston|
|Very simply told stories of warriors, statesmen, explorers, scientists, inventors, men and women of letters, and others. Featured are Marquette in Iowa, Penn and the Indians, Thomas Smith and the beginning of rice culture in South Carolina, Franklin and the ants, Putnam and the wolf, and dozens of other stories. Ages 7-9 |
KIT CARSON AND THE BEARS
GREAT men of one kind are known only in new countries like ours. These
men discover new regions. They know how to manage the Indians. They
show other people how to live in a wild country.
One of the most famous of such men was Kit
Carson. He knew all about
the wild animals. He was a great hunter. He learned the languages of
the Indians. The Indians liked him. He was a great guide. He showed
soldiers and settlers how to travel where they wished to go.
Once he was marching through the wild country with other men. Evening
came. He left the others, and went to shoot something to eat. It was
the only way to get meat for supper.
 When he had gone about a mile,
he saw the tracks of some elks. He followed these tracks. He came in
sight of the elks. They were eating grass on a hill, as cows do.
Kit Carson crept up behind some bushes. But elks are very timid
animals. Before the hunter got very near, they began to run away. So
Carson fired at one of them as it was running. The elk fell dead.
But just at that moment he heard a roar. He turned to see what made
this ugly noise. Two huge bears were running toward him. They wanted
some meat for supper, too.
Kit Carson's gun was empty. He threw it down. Then he ran as fast as
he could. He wanted to find a tree.
Just as the bears were about to seize him, he got to a tree. He caught
hold of a limb. He swung himself up into the tree. The bears just
missed getting him.
But bears know how to climb trees. Carson knew that they would soon be
after him. He pulled out his knife, and began to cut off a limb. He
wanted to make a club.
A bear is much larger and stronger than a man. He cannot be killed
with a club. But every bear has one tender spot. It is his nose. He
 not like to be hit on the nose. A sharp blow on the nose hurts
him a great deal.
Kit Carson got his club cut just in time. The bears were coming after
him. Kit got up into the very top of the tree. He drew up his feet,
and made himself as small as he could.
When the bears came near, one of them reached for Kit. Whack! went the
stick on the end of his nose. The bear drew back, and whined
First one bear tried to get him, and then the other. But
whichever one tried, Kit was ready. The bear was sure to get his nose hurt.
The bears grew tired, and rested awhile. But they kept up their
screeching and roaring. When their noses felt better, they tried
again. And then they tried again. But every time they came away with
 At last they both tried at once. But Carson pounded
faster than ever. One of the bears cried like a baby. The tears ran
out of his eyes. It hurt his feelings to have his nose treated in
this rude way.
After a long time one of the bears got tired. He went away. After
awhile the other went away too. Kit Carson staid in the tree a long
time. Then he came down. The first thing he did was to get his gun. He
loaded it. But the bears did not come back. They were too busy
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics