The Forest Fire
T was quite late in the fall. And Blue Mountain looked
very different from the way it had looked all summer.
The leaves had turned to brown and yellow and scarlet,
except where there were clumps of
"For goodness' sake, don't say that!" she exclaimed. "Don't mention fire to me. The very thought of it makes me nervous. Everything's so dry! I shall be glad when it rains again."
"It is dry," Mr. Bear agreed. "But don't worry. It's like this every fall." And he went slowly down the mountain.
Cuffy and Silkie were playing together that morning. Cuffy was teaching Silkie to box, though, to be sure, he knew very little about boxing. But he found it easy to tap Silkie on the nose. And he had tapped her so hard that Mrs. Bear heard a sound very much like quarreling; and she came to the door to see what was the trouble.
Mrs. Bear was just going to call to her children, when
she noticed a peculiar odor in the air. And she stood
quite still, and sniffed, just as Cuffy had when he
smelled the haymakers' lunch. You remember that the
more Cuffy sniffed, the less
alarmed he had been. But
it was different with
It was something white that Mrs. Bear saw, and it hung
It was exactly what Mrs. Bear had feared—it was smoke!
The forest was afire! And
Several deer came bounding past, and a great number of
rabbits and squirrels. And then followed other animals
that couldn't run so fast—such as raccoons, and skunks,
and woodchucks. Not for years had
"Where are they going, Mother?" It was Cuffy who asked the question. He had crept up behind his mother and had been looking at the strange sight for some time.
"They're going over to the lake, on the other side of
"Are they going fishing?" Cuffy inquired.
Mrs. Bear shook her head. And then Cuffy squeezed past her and saw what was happening.
"Oh-h, hurrah! hurrah!" he shouted.
His mother looked at him in astonishment.
"It's father's birthday!" he cried. You remember that
Cuffy's mother had told him that