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J. H. Stickney

The Bear and the Two Travelers

T WO men were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly crossed their path.

One of the men climbed quickly into a tree, and tried to conceal himself in its branches.

Seeing that he must be attacked, the other one fell flat upon the ground; and when the Bear came up, felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, the man held his breath, feigning death.

The Bear soon left him, for it is said a Bear will not touch a dead body.

When the Bear had gone, the man in the tree came down to join his companion, and, as a pleasant joke, inquired, "What was it that the Bear whispered in your ear when he bent over you for so long?"

His friend replied very gravely: "He gave me this bit of advice, 'Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.' "