Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Little Bear

O NCE upon a time, there was an Indian boy and he had a little sister. Now the little sister was not like a common child, for she was a bear.

Early one morning, the boy started out to seek his fortune, but Little Bear wished to go too.

"No, no, Little Bear, you cannot go. You must stay at home and watch the fire," said her brother. Then he tied Little Bear to the door posts that she might not run away.

He had not gone very far on his journey when he heard TRAMP, TRAMP, TRAMP, in the path behind him. There was Little Bear following with the door posts on her back.

"Oh, Little Bear, I told you to stay at home and watch the fire," said the boy.

He led Little Bear back, and this time he tied her to a pine tree.

He had not gone very far when he heard once more, TRAMP, TRAMP, TRAMP, in the path behind him. There was Little Bear following with the pine tree on her back.

"Oh, Little Bear, you must stay at home and watch the fire," said the boy.

He led Little Bear back, and this time he tied her to a rock.

He started on his journey again, but he had not gone a stone's throw, when he heard, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, in the path behind him. There was Little Bear following him with the rock on her back.

"What shall I do with you, Little Bear?" said the boy. But just then they came to a wide brook with no bridge to span it.

"How shall I cross?" said the little boy.

Little Bear pushed the rock into the water. She laid the pine tree across the rock for a bridge. They both walked across the brook in safety.

"Well, you may come with me, Little Bear," said the boy.

They journeyed for many days until they came, at last, to some very dark woods. In the woods they met Brother Wolf carrying a candle to light him on his way.

"The sun is lost from the sky," said Brother Wolf; "the old squaw pulled it down."

"Oho, I can find the sun," said Little Bear, "but you must first give me two lumps of maple sugar."

Brother Wolf gave Little Bear two lumps of maple sugar and she hurried along until she came to the old squaw's wigwam. The old squaw was stirring a kettle of rice over her fire. Little Bear crept up behind her. Little Bear dropped the two lumps of maple sugar into the kettle. As the old squaw stirred, she tasted her rice.

"It is too sweet," she said; "I must go to the fields for more."

While she was gone, Little Bear found the sun which the old squaw had hid in her wigwam. Little Bear tossed it back to the sky again.

When the old squaw came back from the rice fields and missed her sun, she was very angry. She looked for it many, many days, but the clouds hid it from her. Then, one night, she pulled the moon down, and hid that away in her wigwam.

So there was no light in the evening. Brother Wolf lighted his candle again, and he hurried after the boy and Little Bear, who had started on their journey again.

"The moon is gone from the sky," said Brother Wolf, "the old squaw has pulled it down."

"Oho, I can find the moon," said Little Bear; "give me two pinches of salt, Brother Wolf."

Brother Wolf gave Little Bear two pinches of salt, and Little Bear crept up to the old squaw again, and threw the salt in her kettle of rice.

"The rice is too salt," said the old squaw, tasting as she stirred; "I must go to the field for more."

While she was gone, Little Bear snatched the moon from the wigwam, where the old squaw had hid it, and tossed it up to the sky again.

Brother Wolf snuffed his candle, for he did not need it any more, but the old squaw was very angry. The old squaw ran after Little Bear. She caught her, and she put her in a bag, and tied the bag to a tree. Then she went for her spoon with which to beat Little Bear.

But while she was gone, Little Bear bit a hole in the bag with her teeth. She slipped out. Then she filled the bag with the old squaw's pots and pans. When the old squaw came back, and began beating the bag, she broke all her dishes.

Then the boy and Little Bear picked up enough sun gold and moon silver which had fallen by the road to make them rich for always. And Little Bear traveled with her brother wherever he went after that. Was she not a clever Little Bear?


 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: Why the Bear Sleeps All Winter  |  Next: Little Bee Trunkhosie
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2019   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.