Buster Bear's Big Cousins
USTER BEAR had been right about the coming of Farmer Brown. It
was only a few minutes after Buster's disappearance that Farmer
Brown's footsteps were heard coming down the Lone Little Path,
and of course that ended school for that morning. But the next
morning all were on hand again at
"Way out in the mountains of the Far West, where Whistler the
"He is larger than Buster and possessed of tremendous strength. Instead of a black coat, he has a coat which varies from yellowish-brown to almost black. The tips of the hairs usually are lighter, giving him a frosted appearance, and this is what has given him his name. His claws are longer and more curved than those of Buster; in fact those claws are so big that they look very terrible. Because they are so long, Silvertip cannot climb trees. But if they prevent him climbing trees they are the finest kind of tools for digging out Marmots and ground Squirrels. Even when Whistler the Marmot makes his home down in among the rocks, he is not safe. Silvertip's strength is so great that he can pull over and roll aside great rocks.
"He is a great traveler and covers a wide range of country in his
search for food. Sometimes he visits the Cattle ranges and kills
Cattle. So great is his strength that he can kill a Cow with ease.
Clumsy looking as he is, he is a very fast runner, and only a fast
Horse can outrun him. Like Buster, he lives on anything he can
find that is eatable. He has been so hunted by man that he has
become very cunning, and in all the great mountains where he lives
there is no one with quicker wits. At certain seasons of the year
great numbers of a fish called Salmon come up the rivers in that
country, and then Silvertip lives high. He watches beside a pool
until a Salmon swims within
reach; then, with a swift movement of
one paw, he scoops the fish on to the bank. Or he finds a place
where the water is so shallow that the fish have difficulty in
getting across, and there he seizes them as they struggle up the
river. In winter he sleeps just as Buster does, usually in a
"Mrs. Silvertip is a splendid mother. Usually the cubs, of which as a rule there are two, remain with her until they are a year old. Both Buster Bear and Silvertip have a queer habit of standing up against a tree and biting it as high up as they can reach. The next Bear who comes along that way sees the mark and makes his own on the same tree. Silvertip knows every inch of that part of the country in which he lives and always picks out the best way of getting from one place to another. He is one of the finest animals in this country, and it is a matter for sadness that his splendid race will soon come to an end unless man makes laws to protect him from the hunters. In very many places where he used to be found he lives no longer.
"Silvertip is not so good-natured as Buster, but all he asks is to be left alone. Of course when he turns Cattle killer he is getting into the worst possible kind of mischief and man cannot be blamed for hunting him. But it is only now and then that one of Silvertip's family turns Cattle killer. The others do no harm.
"I told you yesterday that Buster Bear has one cousin beside whom he would look small. This is Bigfoot the Alaska or Great Brown Bear, who lives in the extreme northwest part of the continent. Even Silvertip would look small beside him. He is a giant, the largest flesh-eating animal in all the great world. His coat is dark brown. When he stands up on his hind legs, he is almost half again as tall as a tall man. He stands very high at the shoulders and his head is very large. Like the other members of the Bear family, he eats all sorts of things. He hunts for Mice and other small animals, digs up roots, stuffs himself with berries, and at times grazes on a kind of wild grass, just as Cattle might do. He is a great fish eater, for fish are very plentiful in the streams in the country where he lives. Big as he is, he has learned to fear man just as Silvertip has. Occasionally when surprised he has been known to attack man and kill him, but as a rule he will run at the first hint of man's approach.
"The last of the Bear cousins is
"More than any other member of the Bear family,
"Up there there are great fields of floating ice, and Snow King
swims from one to another in search of Seals, for they often
climb out on these ice fields, just as they do on shore.
"Snow King's babies are born in a house of snow. Early in the
"Snow King is fearless and has not yet learned to dread man, as
have his cousins. He will not hesitate to attack man and is
terrible to meet at close quarters. Because he lives in that far,
cold country, he is not hunted as much as other bears are. Besides
the Seals and fish, he sometimes catches an Arctic Hare. In the
summer great numbers of Ducks and other sea birds nest in that
far northern country, and their eggs and young add to
"Now this is all about the Bears, and also it is all about the order of flesh eaters, or Carnivora. I think that next we will see what we can find out about a certain little friend of yours, who, though he eats flesh, is not a member of the flesh-eating order at all, but belongs to an order of which he is the only member in this country. I will leave you to guess who it is."