Cuffy Bear Grows Sleepy
AR up Blue Mountain, and down in the valley too, the
leaves had long ago fallen off the trees. And for some
time the ground had been white with snow; for winter
had come again. And Cuffy Bear's sister Silkie had had
a birthday-party the very first day it snowed. Cuffy
and Silkie shouted with glee each morning now, when
they went out of doors, where the earth was covered
with a snow-blanket.
And they played and played and had
just as good a time as little boys and girls have when
winter comes. As they scampered about in the door-yard
their feet left tracks that looked exactly
foot-prints of barefooted girls and boys. They played
tag, and hide-and-seek, and turned somersaults. And one
day, when Mrs. Bear called them into the house, they
ate, each of them, several quarts of chestnuts which
Mr. Bear had gathered and brought home. In fact, before
Mrs. Bear knew it they had eaten a great many more
chestnuts than were good for them. And Cuffy, who had
eaten the most, soon began to have a pain in his
"That's what you get for being greedy," his mother told
"I didn't eat many chestnuts," Cuffy said.
Mrs. Bear pointed to the floor.
"What do you call those?" she asked.
"Chestnut-shells," Cuffy replied, hanging his head.
There was a great heap of shells on the floor where
Cuffy had sat.
"Pick them all up—every one of them," his mother
ordered. "And when you have finished you may take a
nap—both of you."
"What do you say?" Mrs. Bear asked severely.
"Excuse me!" Cuffy said hastily.
"That's better!" said Mrs. Bear. "Now do as I say.
You'll be asleep before you know it. And I don't intend
to have those chestnut shells lying on the floor all
You may think that that was a queer thing for Mrs. Bear
to say. But when you see what happened, you'll
understand what Mrs. Bear meant.
As Cuffy and Silkie sat down on the floor and began
gathering up the chestnut-shells they both yawned and
yawned. And since Mrs. Bear had left the room they
didn't bother to say "Excuse me!"
They were so sleepy!
And before little Silkie had finished picking up her
shells she just rolled herself up into a round ball and
fell fast asleep. As for Cuffy, being a little older,
he managed to stay awake just long enough to get the
floor all nice and clean. And then
he rolled himself
into a ball and he went to sleep,
right there on the floor.
So Mrs. Bear found them when she came back into the
room. She smiled as she saw them. And picking up first
one and then the other she carried them into their
little bed-chamber and put them down gently and covered
them over with leaves, so they would be snug and warm.
Yes, Mrs. Bear wanted her children to be warm, for she
knew that they would not wake up again until spring.
She had noticed for several days that Cuffy and
were growing sleepy. And to tell the truth, Mrs. Bear
was becoming sleepy herself. That very night she and
Mr. Bear went to bed a whole hour earlier than usual.
And the next day they never minded at all how cold it
grew outside or how much the wind howled. For not one
of Mr. Bear's family waked up at all! They just slept
and slept and slept, the whole winter long.