Citation
The Life of a bear

Material Information

Title:
The Life of a bear : his birth, education, and adventures
Creator:
Eardley-Wilmot, S., Sir, 1852-1929 ( Author, Primary )
Pannemaker, Adolphe François, b. 1822 ( Engraver )
Lançon, Auguste André, 1836-1887 ( Illustrator )
Seeley Jackson & Halliday ( Publisher )
Billing and Sons ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday
Manufacturer:
Billing and Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
186 p., [2] leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bears -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Animal welfare -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Menageries -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Zoos -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Baldwin -- 1883
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
England -- Guildford
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Pann (Pannemaker) after A. Lançon.
Funding:
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
with twenty-four illustrations.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026846254 ( ALEPH )
ALH3405 ( NOTIS )
59820784 ( OCLC )

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A PROUD MOTHER.



THE LIFE OF A BEAR

HIS BIRTH,

EDUCATION, AND ADVENTURES

WITH TWENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

FIFTH THOUSAND

SEELEY, JACKSON, & HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET
LONDON. MDCCCLXXXIII



THE LIFE OF A BEAR.

—~OESOS

CHAPTER I.

A MOUNTAIN HOME.




FU Sx HERE are no bears in England now,
Sap although many hundred years ago they
7) +~ were to be found in great numbers, and
people used to hunt them and make
warm coats of their fur. But there are other coun-
tries where bears still live in the forests and among
the mountains. The bears I am going to tell you
about lived high up in the Alps, and their home
was a large cavern in the rocks very nearly at the
top of a steep mountain. Mr. and Mrs. Bear had
lived there for a very long time, and hoped to spend
the rest of their lives in their mountain home.

They could not believe that any other cavern was
to be found so snug and warm and pleasantly situated
as this one, and when sometimes a friendly bear came

I



2 The Life of a Bear.
to visit them from a distance he would be sure to
admire the large size and convenient situation of Mr.
Bear's house. It was so high up and hidden among
the trees and rocks, that they had very little fear of
man ever finding them out. And then it was a most
convenient place: quite near on one side of the
mountain grew a large forest, where the trees in
autumn were covered with berries and fruits of all
kinds, and where there were many fit-trees, the
leaves of which they loved so well. Lower down
in the valleys, if they felt inclined to venture further
from home, were gardens and vineyards and orchards,
all planted and filled with fruits, and vegetables, on
purpose, they felt sure, for their pleasure and enjoy-
ment. There was but one drawback to all this : near
‘the gardens men were often lurking about, armed
with all kinds of terrible sticks, and might kill a too
venturesome bear, or at all events make him a captive.
A very old bear had once told them how he had lost
a friend when they were both enjoying a most
delightful meal off a stack of oats in a farmer's
yard ; some men suddenly caught sight of them, and
ran towards them, and though he was fortunate
enough to make his escape, he never saw his friend
again.

It had been a long hot summer, and during the
autumn the bears had spent most of their time
feasting and rambling about, till at last they grew



A Mountain Flome. 2

very tired and lazy, and began to think of getting
their house ready for their winter’s sleep. First of
all, they collected by degrees a great quantity of
dried leaves and moss to make their bed. It was
slow work, however, and they thought themselves
very lucky when one day they found a field full of
late peas ripening in the sun. It did not take them
very long to pull them out of the ground, and beat
out the peas, which served them for a good meal.
And then they carried off the bines by degrees to
their cavern. They made many journeys up and
down before it was all carried in, and Mrs. Bear
got so tired at last, that she left Mr. Bear to carry
the last few bundles alone. He grumbled a good
deal at this, calling her lazy, though he himself was
half asleep all the time. At length the work was
done ; the floor of their cave was thoroughly covered
with nice soft dried stuff; they managed to throw
up a large heap at the entrance, but it was a great
exertion to them, and then, crawling slowly into the
farthest corner of their cave, they rolled themselves
up into two hairy balls, and were soon sound asleep.

It was not long before winter set in; the leaves
fell, and the trees began to look black and bare.
Then came the snow, covering the mountains all
over with its soft white flakes, that look so pure,
and fall so gently to the earth, as if they were think-
ing all the time of the little flowers, and were trying

I—2



4 The Life of a Bear.



not to crush their tender roots, but to wrap them
up and keep them warm till the days of sunshine
came again.

Mr. Bear’s house was thickly covered with snow,
but he knew very little about it, or indeed about
any of the changes that had been going on out-of-
doors. He had been almost too drowsy to notice
how short the days were getting while they pre-
pared their house for the winter, and now he
was sleeping as soundly as if he never meant
to wake up again. Rolled up in his corner,
with Mrs. Bear as close to him as possible, what
did he care for the snow or frost? After they had
slept so for a very long time, Mrs. Bear, who seemed
to be getting restless, disturbed him to ask him
what o'clock it was, and he was obliged to rouse
himself a little, just to say in rather a surly tone,
“About three o'clock ;? and this was the only
answer he would ever give, which she knew was as
much as to say he did not like being disturbed, and
did not consider she need want to know the time in
winter, when all respectable, well-conditioned bears
were fast asleep. So she shook herself and sat up
and looked round about her a little bit, and not
being quite so fat and lazy as her husband, she felt
hungry sooner, and wished it was time to get up.

But it was no use wishing ; she was far too affec-
tionate and dutiful a wife to disturb Mr. Bear’s



A Mountain FHlome. 5



slumber by more questions ; all she could do was to
sit still and suck her own paws, satisfying her hunger
as best she could in this way till she fell asleep again
for a few weeks.

The winter was gone at last; the sun shone
brightly once more, and soon melted the thick snow,
which ran down on all sides of the mountains in
little streams and torrents, filling up rivers and
lakes, and flowing over the meadows, refreshing the
trees and grass, and helping them to bud and grow.
Sweet wild-flowers sprang up everywhere, and soon
the hard-working people who lived in the valleys
were busy digging and tending their gardens and
vineyards, and large flocks of cattle and sheep might
be seen feeding on the rich pastures that extended
far up the hills.

Even lazy Mr. Bear now began to think of
waking up again, and how delighted Mrs. Bear was
you will easily guess. She waited till she thought
he had had time to get wide awake, and then she
pointed with her paw to two baby-bears that she
had by her side. _He grunted once or twice and
rubbed his eyes, and stared at the small round
things, and at last gave one of them a good tap to
see if it was alive. The little thing pricked up his
ears and opened his eyes, and looked up at his papa
in astonishment at such rough treatment. Then
Mr. Bear felt pleased indeed, and giving himself a



6 The Life of a Bear.

good shake, set to work to clear out the doorway
and let in a little more light.

Though he could be a little surly at times, Mr.
Bear was naturally good humoured and affectionate,
and he was very proud of his two little bears, when
he could see them lying beside their mother; he
praised their dark silky coats, and small bright eyes,
and mamma-bear was thoroughly satisfied with them
too. She knew very well they were larger and
stronger, as well as prettier, than young bears at
their age generally were, and they made such a
compact little family, just enough to play together
and amuse each other without getting in everyone's
way.

The old bears turned the young ones round and
round and over and over to make sure they were
perfect and well-proportioned creatures, and after
this Mrs. Bear mildly suggested that she felt rather
hungry, “and,” she added, “the trees in the forest
will be full of those young green shoots that are so
sweet at this time of year: do fetch some before the
sun gets hot.” This reminded Mr. Bear that he
was hungry too; but of course, like the good bear
that he was, he forgot himself to think of his dear
wife, and bidding her to stay at home that day and
teach the young ones to crawl about and get accus-
tomed to the daylight, he started off in search of
food.



CHAPTER II. oe
A FAMILY PARTY.

92 HEN she was left alone, Mrs. Bear em-
Y ployed some time in well licking the
young ones all over several times.
Certainly they could not want it, for she
had already brushed them up more than once that
morning, and they were as smooth and sleek as any
young bears that ever were seen ; but no doubt she
hoped by giving so much care to their coats while
they were young, that she should make them take a
pride in their appearance, and grow up tidy and
well-conducted bears. - She felt quite contented with
them at last, and getting up, walked round the cave
several times, and sat down near the door. It was
not long before the biggest and strongest young
bear, whose name was Martin, missed his mother,
and set up a dismal howl, and when she answered
him from a distance he did his best to follow her ;
and what a funny little thing he looked, tumbling





8 The Life of a Bear.



over every two steps he took, and making himself
quite tired with his efforts to run and jump; and the
little one, called Basil, looked just as queer. At
last they found their mother, and tired out with so
much exertion, were soon fast asleep. ‘ Ah,” said
Mrs. Bear to herself, ‘they will want enough teach-
ing before they can climb mountains.” And watching
them stretched at full length by her side, she almost
forgot she was hungry. The sound of the rustling
trees and a bright sunbeam that came in on her
through the door reminded her of Mr. Bear, and she
went out to look if she could see him coming. And
how lovely all the mountain looked on that bright
spring morning. Below her the trees so green, and
many of them covered with sweet-scented blossom,
and above all the snow still unmelted and glittering
in the morning sunlight, so that the glare almost
blinded her.

She sat looking for him a long while, but Mr.
Bear did not appear, and hungry and disappointed
at having to wait so long for her breakfast, she began
to feel very cross, and to walk slowly up and down
the flat ledge of rock that served them for dining,
parlour, and drawing-room ; just as you may have
seen your papa walk up and down the room, if
anyone kept him waiting for his dinner. At last,
emerging from the forest a long way down the
mountain, she saw Mr. Bear slowly walking along,





























THE MOUNTAIN HOME.







A Family Party. II



seeming to be quite loaded with something he was
carrying in his arms, and which he was afraid of
losing. She watched him as he carefully stepped
from rock to rock, and climbed up the steep path
that led to their home, and not till he was safe beside
her did she discover that it was a splendid piece of
honeycomb he had brought, holding it tightly under
one paw, while his other arm was employed in carry-
ing the young green shoots for her breakfast. © Mrs.
Bear was indeed delighted at the sight of such a
feast, and forgot all her impatience and discontent.
She would not even wait to ask him how he was so
fortunate as to find honey so early in the spring, but
began her meal at once by devouring the leaves and
sweet green boughs that good Mr. Bear put before her.

He watched her with delight ; he had satisfied his
own hunger in the forest, and could wait quietly
for her to share the honeycomb with him. He had
ample time to take a long look at the sleeping babies
before Mrs. Bear called him to dessert, and asked
him to tell her all his adventures in the forest. Mr.
Bear took a nice lump of honeycomb in his paw, and
sucking out the dainty food, began his story.

“You know, my dear,” he said, speaking slowly
and deliberately, as a dignified father-bear must,
‘the bees have only just begun to work, and have
not yet done more than begin to fill the combs with
honey, and it was only by a lucky accident that I



12 The Life of a Bear.



got you this unlooked-for treat. As I was sitting
on a big bough half-way up a large old ash-tree, |
heard an unusual buzzing and whirring below, so I
came down to see what was going on, and there
I saw bees of all sorts and sizes going in and out of
a round hole in the tree; and what puzzled me not
a little was, that instead of going in heavily with
their legs all over pollen, as you know, my dear, we
have often seen them do, they went in busily and
quickly and came out looking heavy and tired; so
then I knew they must have found a store of honey
in the tree, and the bees that made it must have
died of the cold in winter. You will be sure I
would not leave them to enjoy such a feast alone.
I soon tore down the bark, and found that lovely
piece of comb you are enjoying so much; and oh,
the trouble and time it cost me to bring it home to
you! If you only knew it you would not wonder at
my being late.”

They kept a little piece of honeycomb to see what
the babies would think of it, and as soon as they
woke up Mr. Bear gave each of them a good push,
which brought them out into the daylight without
much tumbling over, and he sat and purred with
delight when he saw their rough little tongues licking
their mother’s paws, and then watched them enjoying
their first taste of food as much as young babies
always do.



A Family Party. 13



After their meal he made them crawl about, and
tumbled them over and over with his paw; while
Mrs. Bear, satisfied with her delicious meal, sat
nodding in the corner.

You know, bears never stay out in the hot mid-day
sun, but keep in their caves nearly all day, and prowl
about when it is cool of an evening to look for food.
And our bears were too well-educated and correct in
their behaviour to make any mistake on this point,
even on their first day of waking up. When, there-
fore, Mr. Bear saw his wife dozing in the sunshine,
he pushed and rolled the young ones first inside, and
then, touching Mrs. Bear as gently as he could with
the soft part of his paw, said, “Come, my dear, it is
time we should take a little rest.” So she opened
her eyes, and looking first to make sure her babies
were not left behind, followed Mr. Bear indoors.

And thus they passed many days quietly and
harmlessly, sleeping most of their time, and living
on the food they could find near home; for Mr. and
Mrs, Bear were getting rather old, and did not care
for adventures so much as they once did.

They spent a great deal of time in training the
young ones to crawl about up and down the steep
sides of the mountain, and after a little while Mrs.
Bear would leave them quite alone to go with Mr. Bear
for his walks in the forest. By degrees Martin and
Basil began to take a great deal of notice, and to ask



14 The Life of a Bear.

so many questions that Mrs. Bear had enough to do
to answer them. They wanted to learn all that a
bear could know, that was plain, and Mrs. Bear had
to put her thinking-cap on and tell them long stories
about all the bears she had ever seen or known or
heard of. It was a pleasant sightto Mr. Bear, as he
came slowly home up the rough steps that served
for a pathway to his house. There was dear old
Mrs. Bear, with young Martin, as upright and stout
a young bear as could be, close to her side, and little
Basil asleep at their feet. They had each a ring of
white fur around their necks, which Mr. Bear could
see when he was quite a long way off. No wonder
their mother was proud of them.



CHAPTER III.
MR. BEAR’S RELATIONS.

» VERY old bear had once appeared upon
the mountains; he seemed quite hot and
tired, and was wandering about as if he
had no home or friends. Mrs. Bear was
young then, and she felt very sorry for poor old
Bruin, and brought him home to her mother’s cave,
and found some food for him.
Bruin stayed with them for about a year, and
became a great favourite with all the bears, and
especially the young ones, he had so much to tell
about his eventful life; for he had been a captive
bear, and had travelled in many countries, and had
at last managed to escape from his master, when he
found himself near to his native mountains. He
told them how he had to run by night and hide up
in trees or under hedges during the day, and what
narrow escapes he had of being caught again.

And then all the young bears would make him





16 The Life of a Bear.



tell of the other animals he had seen when he lived
in a cart, that went from place to place with a great
many other carts, full of wild beasts and birds and
snakes. There were several different members of
Mr. Bear’s family, he said—Russian bears, and
Syrian bears, and a black bear who came from
America. These were quiet animals, and lived on
fruits and vegetables as he did, and only ate flesh
occasionally. And besides these, there were a polar
bear and a grizzly bear, and both these were flesh-
eating creatures, and very fierce and savage at times
if they were hungry, or if the people who came to
stare at them in their cages tormented them, as they
often did.

It was a dismal life in spite of so much company :
the carts were small and hot, and the food was very
bad, and there was not much of it, and the other
creatures howled and roared in such a doleful way.
Of a night, when all their visitors were gone and
their keepers were asleep, sometimes he and the
other bears could enjoy a little quiet chat, and tell
each other of old times, and how they lived before
they were caught.

Many a long story did old Bruin tell of the won-
derful things the foreign bears had howled to him in
the menagerie, and Mrs. Bear had a capital memory,
and could repeat everything she had heard to young
Martin and Basil ; and how they wished they could



Mr: Bears Relations. 17



have seen the old bear, and heard his marvellous
history !

Mrs. Bear would tell of her North-country cousin,
who was always dressed in white, and lived in the
coldest countries, and fed on the fish he caught by
diving under the water of the arctic seas.

But it was grave Mr. Bear who told them so
many dreadful things about the grizzly bear, and his
prodigious size and strength.

On the whole, Martin and Basil liked the white
bear best. They thought it must be so grand to
live among the icebergs and float about on them for
miles and miles without meeting a living thing ; and
to dive under the water and hunt the slippery seals
must be fine sport, they knew.

Sometimes they played at seal-hunting, and young
Martin was the white bear, and little Basil always
had to be the seal; or sometimes he had to bea
sailor all alone upon the ice, and Martin would
spring upon him and pretend to devour him as the
bear in old Bruin’s story did. It was very odd, they
thought, that the polar bear should have such a
thick hairy covering under his feet, but it must keep
them nice and warm when he treads on the ice and
snow, and help him not to slip.

Martin asked his mother if she thought the white
bear would ever come and see them, but she shook
her head, and said she feared they lived too far

2



18 he Life of a eer

away; at all events, she had never seen one in all
her long life. But Martin still wished to see the
white bear, and hear more about the seals and fish
of the frozen seas; and you will see he had his
wish.

The black bear: of meee is a very handsome
creature ; his fur is much smoother and more glossy
than even Martin’s was, in spite of all the care his
mother spent on him. And yet it is so thick and
warm that his skin is very valuable to make coats
and warm rugs of, and many a black bear has been
hunted and shot for the sake of his nice fur coat.

The hunters, after stripping the poor bear of his
skin, make his legs into hams, and call their friends
together for a feast of bear-meat. And when the
guests have come, they first of all put the head care-
fully in a new blanket, ard after dressing it up in
beads and all the finery they can spare, they bury it
with much ceremony, and then sit down and enjoy
their feast.

The black bear’s babies are very pretty; their
coats at first are such a pretty light grey colour you
might almost think they were kittens; but when
they get to be a year old they change their coats,
and are soon as black as all the old ones.

The Indian bear is almost as black as the
American, but he is a much shaggier fellow, and
has rusty brown hairs on him in places and a bar of













A DISTANT RELATION IN AMERICA,







Mr. Bears Relations. 21

white across his chest; but though he is not so
handsome as the black bears in America, he is a
very kind affectionate animal, and can play some
very funny tricks, and make most curious noises
with his mouth and lips.

The Indians often catch these bears, and teach
them to play funny antics to amuse the people; and
the Indian or sloth bear, as he is sometimes called,
is very quiet and easily taught, and can be made
quite tame.

A very different creature is the ferocious grizzly
bear. His tremendous strength and courage make
him more than a match for the bravest hunter, and
if he gets wounded and hurt, but not killed, he will
rush at the man who has hurt him, and, standing on
his hind-legs, will hit out with his strong heavy
paws and sharp talons, showing all the time a row
of great strong teeth ready to finish the work that
he has begun with his paws. It is lucky then for
the hunter if he can take swift aim before the angry
bear is upon him, and wound him in the head or
heart. The grizzly bear is himself a hunter, and so
great is the terror that all other animals have of him,
that they do not like even to touch his skin after he
is dead, and horses cannot easily be made to carry
it upon their backs unless they are trained to do so.
Mr. Bear told many stories about his cousin the
grizzly bear, and of the fights he had with bulls and



22 The Life of a Bear.

buffaloes, and even with the powerful bison; and
little Martin and Basil would listen and think of it
all, and play it all over again when they were left
alone in the morning and evening, while good
Father and Mother Bear were foraging in the
woods.

“So,” said Basil, “if you go to Greenland to see
the polar bear, I shall go to America and live with
the grizzly bear.”

“Well,” said Martin, “I might go with you fora
time, but I should not stay among such ignorant and
savage people, and I do not want to be hunted for
my skin.”

‘‘T wonder,” said Martin one day, “when they
will let us go with them to the woods? If they
don’t take us very soon, I shall start off alone.”
And so he tried to one day, and got safely just a
little way down the first steep bit of rock, but the
steps were very narrow and far apart, and soon he
felt so giddy and frightened that he was glad to get
safely back to his more cautious brother, and wait
for the time when Mrs. Bear would help him on.

But this was not for some time yet ; another long
cold winter came, and Martin and Basil slept it all
away in a snug little hole that their mother found
for them close to her own cave. She strewed the
floor with nice dry moss, and, bidding them good-
night, filled up their doorway and left them cosy and













INDIA

N UNCLE IN

A







Myr. Bear's Relations. 25

warm. And there they stayed till the spring-time,
and when she came to help them out, they had
grown such fine tall bears she hardly knew them
again ; they had no longer those pretty white bands
round their necks, but were brown and rough all
over, just like old Mr. Bear.

And Mrs. Bear had got four little bears now with
her in the large old cave, so Martin and Basil plainly
saw that the time had come when they must shift for
themselves.



CHAP TE Rave
THE FIRST DAY IN THE WOODS.

TO Martin’s delight, Mr. Bear told him that
¢ he should go with him to the woods that
very day.

Martin capered about, and danced
round and round on his hind-legs, till his mother
and little Basil quite laughed at him. He cared
very little for that. ‘“ They shall soon see,” he said
to himself, “what I cando. Now I shall have fine
fun, and see a little of the world.” And he started
off down the steep mountain side as if he had been
used to it all his lifee Mr. Bear followed more
slowly, while Mrs. Bear, Basil, and the four young
ones, watched them from their home.

Mrs. Bear thought he must slip as he jumped from
rock to rock, and stepped firmly down the steepest
places. But no, Martin was stronger than she
thought. He kept in front of Mr. Bear all the time,
for he had watched his father so often on his way up





The First Day in the Woods. ay

and down the mountain that he knew where to go
perfectly well.

At length the wood was reached, and then all
was new to him, and very wonderful it seemed.
As he looked under the shade of the tall pine trees
he felt just a little frightened, and, looking round for
old Father Bear, he waited for him to go in first.

“What, afraid of the trees, Martin ?” said Mr.
Bear; “we are lords of this forest, and have nothing
to fear while we are among the trees: let us see
what we can find for breakfast.”

And first they walked a long way down a narrow
glade, under the shade of the tall trees. Martin
thought it was very dark, but Mr. Bear went very
quickly now, and Martin walked close beside him,
and did not feel so frightened as at first.

Presently Mr. Bear stopped, and Martin saw a
little heap of earth at his feet, and was just wonder-
ing what it could be, when Mr. Bear touched it
lightly with his paw, and hundreds of tiny creatures
ran in all directions. ‘“ Now be sharp,” said Mr.
Bear ; but Martin had lost no time, and was eating
them up as fast as he could, and very soon the whole
colony of ants, their eggs and store of food, were
gone, and Martin and Mr. Bear were on their way
again. Martin thought ants very good, and he began
to feel quite old and experienced as he looked about
him on all sides. They found no more ants just



28 The Life of a Bear.



then, and soon they came to a more open part of the
forest, where the oak and ash trees grew, and where
the ground was thickly covered with beautiful wild-
flowers.

Martin loved flowers very much; there were a
few that grew high up among the rocks near their
home, and he and Basil had watched them as they
grew from buds to flowers and then to seeds; and
when they looked so tired and hot on a sunny day,
when the earth was so dry, and there was no rain,
Basil used to say he wished they could go into the
cave with them and stay in the cool shade till the
evening came. And if it rained, they would run to
see their flowers hold up their heads and drink the
fresh cool drops.

Martin would have liked to sit down and watch
all these new flowers to-day, but now he must learn
to climb trees, Mr. Bear said, and bade him try first
a fine old oak tree. Some of the lower boughs were
broken off, so that he could climb up till he came to
a strong thick branch, where he could sit and enjoy
a hearty meal of young leaves and twigs.

Mr. Bear sat high up in another tree close by,
and when they had both made a good breakfast, he
said, as he helped Martin down again, ‘“ And what
shall we take to Mother Bear ?”

« Ants,” suggested Martin; “she must like them,
I’m sure, they are so delicious.”



Wg is First Day in the Woods. 29



i ne Hey are, seid Martin,” an i ae “but
ants are such fidgety things to carry, I think she
must wait for them till Sioa comes with us; we will
take her a good bunch of leaves to-day.”

Mr. Bear was soon at the top of a big ash tree,
and throwing down twigs and leaves, which Martin
rolled into two bundles; and when each had picked
his bundle up, they started off on the journey home.

The sun by this time was high up in the sky, and
Martin felt tired and hot, and wondered why it
seemed such a long way home ; he thought he could
not climb that steep place with his bundle of leaves,
and very glad he was when he saw Basil coming
down to meet him. He was picking his way from
rock to rock, and coming so carefully and slowly,
that when they met Martin was very glad to sit
down in a shady nook and watch his brother hungrily
devouring his breakfast, while he told him about all
he had seen in the forest. Martin made a great
deal of catching the ants. ‘It is almost as good as
seal-hunting,” he said; “ you must be so quick, or
they will all get away.”

But Basil wished most to see the flowers and
climb the oak trees; he determined to climb every
one in the forest, and find all the bees’ nests. He
hoped his father would let him go with them to-
morrow ; it was stupid work playing with such tiny



26. The Life of a Bear.

babies ; he wanted to see the world, and would not
be left at home another day.

So next day they all went off together, and Mrs.
Bear went too; and they found ants’ nests and
climbed trees, eating everything that came in their
way, and never missing a single slug or snail that
was within reach.

Every day they wandered in different directions ;
sometimes the young ones went off together, and
sometimes Martin went quite alone.

He was getting very bold now, and ventured
farther and farther down the mountain, and nearer
and nearer to the gardens and orchards.

Once or twice he saw men walking in the woods,
and then he made off as fast as he could, thinking
all the time of poor old Bruin, who had been a
captive so long.

But as time went on he got less timid; he felt
sure the fruit in those orchards must be delicious, and
worth risking something for. So he started off one
morning much earlier than usual, without even wait-
ing for Basil, and ran almost all the way to the
nearest garden he knew of.



CEL Act

THE ORCHARD.

lower down in sehie valley.

Martin had often sat up in a tree, just
inside the wood, and looked down into the valley
below. The little cottages were scattered about
among the trees, and the gardens and orchards
stretched up the hill onall sides. Then, lower down,
quite in the valley, were vineyards, with long straight
rows of vines just growing up. Martin had tasted
some grapes last year, and he watched the vines
growing, determined to find some quiet path to the
vineyards before the grapes were ripe.

He had watched the gardens so often, that he had
found out all the habits of the men in the valley
before he ventured nearer to them than the edge of
the wood. He saw that they worked in their gardens
very early in the morning, and then went home to





32 The Life of a Bear.



their cottages ; and once, when he had stayed rather
later than usual, he had seen all the men come out
again and go down a broad road, quite out of the
village ; and he watched them a long time, till they
disappeared in the direction of some tall smoking
chimneys, that he could see a very long way off.

It puzzled him a good deal to think why they
always went the same way ; he supposed they must
go in search for food, and wondered what they found
so far off, and when they would come back, for though
he stayed a long time, he saw none of them return.

He came again and again to the same spot, but
always found the men already at work ; they seemed
to get up very early to dig and plant their gardens,
before they went to their work at the factory.

But at last he got up much earlier than he had
ever done before; the sun was only just peeping
above the trees, and had not yet put out all the
stars, for one very big one was still shining with a
faint silvery light, as Martin dressed himself more
quickly than usual, and ran off down the mountain,
without even waking the sleepy Basil. How fresh
and cool it was ; he stopped one minute at the edge
of the forest to eat a delicious snail that lay just in
his path, and he saw the big sun just start on his
day’s journey, and shine all round on the trees and
hills, and the last star could be seen no more; but
Martin knew he was only waiting till the sun had



The Orchard. a3



travelled round and gone down in the west, and then
he would shine out again as pretty and bright as
ever.

Martin was at the orchard first to-day, and oh the
delight of feasting on cherries, and raspberries, and
currants! He thought he had never enjoyed a
breakfast so much ; and determined next morning
to bring his brother with him, if he could tempt him
to venture so far from home.

After his meal it was still early, and he could not
turn homewards without going a little way down into
the neat, pretty garden that was all round the cottage.
He wondered if everything growing there was fit to
eat, and began to root up some carrots that grew
farthest from the house, and had just taken a great
bite at a pretty red root, when he heard the sound of
barking dogs and lowing cattle, and a minute later a
jingling of milk-pails, and he knew it would be
dangerous to stay any longer. Run, Martin, to your
forest; those gardeners will not love you for robbing
their orchard, and if they catch you in their garden,
they will do their best to keep you longer than you
would wish.

Much as he would have liked to stay and finish off
the bed of carrots, he knew he must not ; as it was,
he only just managed to get away before the men
were out, and he had to run very fast till he got
among the thick trees.

a
J



a4 The Life oe Bear.



ae. noe Wound the other ae eho ‘Had beet
wondering where Martin had gone off so slily all
alone.

When Mr. Bear heard about the orchard and
garden, he felt quite proud of having such a bold,
venturesome young bear for his son, and. they all
laughed at little Basil, because’ he said he should
never dare to go near a house ; he knew he should
be caught.

“Those babies at home will be grown up before
you, then, I think,” said Mr. Bear.

Basil changed his mind, however, by-and-by, and
thought that next morning he would go as far as the
orchard, if not to the garden; but the next day, and
the next, and the next, the men were up before
them. I think those peasants must have missed
their fruit, and have got up early to catch the thief.
When at last the two young bears succeeded in ~
getting to the orchard first, all the cherries were
gone, and nothing was left but very small apples,
and they were hard and so sour. Martin was quite
disgusted, and tried to persuade Basil to go down to
the garden and look for roots; but Basil only said,
very likely the roots would be gone too; he would
stay in the woods, where he could take things more
easily. Martin called him “booby,” and. said he *
cared nothing for those men; he rather hoped they
would attack him.







fm

eh
a

nth

oh i

“nye
alt

i





A GRAND DISCOVERY.







The Orchard. 37

oO



You see, Martin was very much like some other
young people I have known; he felt very bold and
courageous when he could not see the danger; but
I must say he ran very fast if ever a man appeared
in the forest, or if he even heard the barking of their
dogs.

He used to watch some very large birds that
always went down to the forest or valley every day,
and then flew back with their prey clasped tightly
in their talons; and he wandered one day quite
round the side of the mountain, where it was more
shady and much more bare and rocky than it was
near their home. He had seen the eagles fly this
way, and he thought he should like to find out where
they lived. This was a very wild place; there were
not many trees and not much grass growing, and
soon he came to a very large cave. It seemed to
be very much like their own, and he felt sure it
must be the home of some other bears who were
out for their evening walk. Martin had seen some
bears in his forest, and had heard his mother and
father speak of having met them. So now he had
found their home.

He was full of curiosity to see what it was like ;
but after examining every corner of it he could find
nothing unusual, only two very little bears asleep in
their leafy bed, and he was going off again in pursuit
of the eagles, when he smelt what he thought must



38 The Life of a Bear.



be some roots like those which grew in the garden.
By scratching a little he soon found the place where
they were, buried under the earth, and dug up about
a dozen large turnips and a few carrots too; and
without stopping to think of the trouble his friends
must have taken to bring them there and store them
up, he ate and ate till they were every one gone.
It was lucky for him that the bears stayed out rather
late that day ; they might not have been pleased to
find Martin feeding at their expense, without an
invitation.

I am afraid our Martin was a dishonest fellow,
but perhaps Mother Nature has not taught bears
that proverb which we have all written in our copy-
books: ‘“ Honesty is the best policy.”



CHAPTER VI.
THE eee NEST.

2ARTIN had lost so much time while he
was enjoying his supper of roots, that it
was too late to hope to find the eagle’s
nest, that, mieht,. But the nextday. he
began to think about it again, and making a hurried
visit to the forest, he contented himself with a plain
breakfast of leaves and slugs, and then sat quietly
at home for the rest of the day, considering how he
could best make sure of finding the nest. He
fancied the bird must have got a store of food some-
where, for often it went down several times in one
day, and he could see that it carried quite large
things sometimes. Surely, said he to himself, some
of it must be good and nice ; and he was resolved at
all events to see the. young eagles, if he did not
share their supper.

After he had been thinking a long time, and sleeping
a little between his thoughts to refresh himself (for,





40 The Life of a Bear.

you on: ae deep thinking is very fae work,
and is apt to make one sleepy), he quite decided to
start off that very afternoon, as soon as he saw the
eagle fly across over the valley ; he would not wait
to see him swoop down on whatever he fancied for
his supper, but he would go round to the place
where the eagle first appeared, and quietly wait till
it came back with its prey, and then he thought, by
running a little, he should be able to trace it to its
lofty home. No doubt the creature would be terrified
at his size and important appearance, and would
perhaps drop its prey, or, if not, it would fly off toa
respectful distance, while he made the acquaintance
of the eaglets or eggs, whichever there might be in
the nest.

When he had turned this plan over and over in
his mind, he felt quite satisfied with it, and very
pleased with himself for his cleverness; and feeling
sure of an easy victory, even if the eagle did attempt
to defend its nest, he rolled himself up for a good
sleep before starting on his expedition.

He was too much excited, however, by his antici-
pations of sport to sleep as soundly as usual, and he
awoke quite early in the afternoon. But he was not
much too soon, for before he was thoroughly awake
he saw the magnificent bird sailing along in the air
high up above him, and flying straight to a spot far
away at the other end of the valley.





int
ial

ee
Ly











CATCHING A TARTAR.







The Eagle's Nest. 43

He was soon on his way to his watching post. It
was a hot, sultry afternoon, but Martin was too much
occupied to think of the weather. He stationed
himself on a very high place where he could see all
round him to a great distance; and he had not
very long to wait. Soon the eagle came towards
him, flying rapidly in the air, carrying what looked
to him like a good-sized bird. He followed on
higher and higher up the mountain, till it got so
difficult to climb that he almost lost his footing once
or twice, and thought he should have to give up the
pursuit. He had seen the eagle alight above him
on a narrow ledge of rock, and before Martin could
reach the spot he had flown off again to a high pro-
jecting piece of rock at a distance, and sat there
quietly dressing his feathers after his long flight.

“Now,” thought Martin, “I must get to his nest
before he comes back ;” and he managed to climb on
to a flat piece of rock that was just under the hollow
place where he had seen the eagle leave his prey,
and, standing on his hind legs, he was able to peep
in and see what was going on in the nest.

But Martin was not prepared for the warm recep-
tion he met with. Mrs. Eagle was a much larger
bird than her husband, and she was sitting in her
nest with her two downy eaglets, comfortably em-
ployed in tearing up the large fowl that Mr. Eagle
had brought, and feeding herself and the hungry



44 The Life of a Bear.



eaglets with the morsels. When she found herself
disturbed in her maternal cares, and saw a rough
shagey face, with two very small bright eyes, peeping
up at her young ones, and looking into her well-
stocked larder close by, she fell upon the intruder,
and beat him about the head with her powerful talons
and beak. Martin was very glad to escape with his
life from such a violent bird, and howling with pain
and disappointment, dispirited and crestfallen, he -
crawled back to his home, leaving the eagles un-
disputed masters of the position.

Poor Martin’s eyes and ears smarted with the
blows Mrs. Eagle had dealt out to him so unspar-
ingly, and when Mrs. Bear saw him coming home
in this unwonted manner, she felt sure there must be
something wrong with him. But as he did not seem
disposed to talk, but went quietly to his corner and
settled himself as if for sleep, she would not disturb
him by asking any questions. Only she wondered
very much what could ail her bonny Martin, who
was such a sprightly, jovial animal, and always
looked so courageous when he set out, and so
satisfied and victorious when he came home, and
had never been seen in the doleful dumps before.



CHAFIER VIL
AMONG THE BEES,

HEN he woke up the next morning,
Martin could not think at first what had
happened to him; his head felt too heavy,
and he could hardly open his eyes.

After a few minutes he remembered it all, and
shuddered when he thought of Mrs. Eagle; cer-
tainly he could never forget how fierce and savage
she looked when she first caught sight of him so
near her nest. Her hooked beak and large eyes,
with their overhanging brows of golden feathers,
gave her such a determined expression ; and as she
spread and flapped her wings, what an enormous
creature she was!

Martin had often robbed the birds’ nests in the
forest, and had never found the birds capable of
making any resistance worth thinking of; but an
eagle was a bird to be respected—so he thought
now, while he was still aching from the beating he
had had.





46 The Life of a Bear.



He did not go down to the forest that day. Basil
brought him some food home, and when they were
quite alone, Martin told his brother a little of what
had made him so ill; and when, presently, they saw
the eagle pass by, Basil trembled, and said how he
pitied the poor chicken, or hare, or pussy-cat, who
should happen to be in Mr. Eagle’s way.

They did not know that eagles are really kind
birds, and never cruelly torment their prey. On the ,
contrary, one sharp grip of an eagle’s claw is quite
enough to kill a bird or fowl, or any small animal, in
a moment, before it even has time to cry out. He
is a noble creature, and kills nothing for sport only,
but when he has filled his larder—which he always
keeps somewhere near his nest—he will not touch
any creature until more food is needed for himself,
his wife, or their little eaglets.

Martin told his baby brothers and sister about the
eagle’s nest, and they all opened their eyes, and
crept close to him while he warned them to beware —
of the king of birds.

When he had dressed himself the next day, he
felt better, and determined to go with the others to .
the woods as usual; but he did not make any excur-
sions beyond the old haunts for many a day.

After a little time, he found life rather dull with
the old folks, and said he must take an early walk
into the village again, and see what sort of crops



Among the Bees. 47



were growing now, and how the grapes were getting
on.

He had discovered a narrow path out of the
wood, that seemed to lead in a different direction to
any he had yet taken. He thought it might bring
him to some gardens where he would find ripe fruit ;
so one day he tried it.

It was a pretty little path, very narrow in places,
and sometimes more wide and open; the ground
was covered with tall grass and red poppies, and all
kinds of meadow flowers; on one side there was a
sort of rocky wall, which indeed was part of the
mountain, and on the other a green hedge, full of
wild roses and woodbine, and here and there a wild
raspberry-bush covered with delicious fruit.

Martin thought this lane was the prettiest place he
had ever seen, and wondered how he had been so
long finding it out. He kept sitting down and rest-
ing in the long cool grass, watching the poppies flap
about on their tall delicate stems as the gentle summer
breeze blew round them. There seemed to be more
bees than usual about, but that was no doubt because
this was such a quiet flowery lane.

Presently the path wound round the hill a little,
and he could see a part of the village that was quite
new to him. There was the church, and several
large cottages near it, and beyond he could see the
vineyards. Whilst he was looking about and wonder-



48 The Life of a Bear.



ing which way he should go, suddenly he heard a
buzz, and a great swarm of bees flew past him, and
settled on a tree at a little distance. He had never
seen bees fly in a swarm like this before. He knew
well enough how to find a wild bees’ nest, and how
to scratch out and eat the honey, and he did not care
much if they stung him a little; his hair was very
long, and his skin thick ; it only hurt him when they
got in his mouth or ears, as one or two sometimes
did. But wild bees seldom swarm, and such a scene
filled him with amazement.

He must find out where they had come from, he said
to himself, and see if they had left any honey behind ;
so he crawled through a gap in the hedge, and found
himself in a small paddock where there were some
cows grazing, and in the farthest corner was a barn,
where he thought the bees might live. But when
he had crept slowly round to it, keeping close to
the hedge to avoid being noticed, he found it con-
tained only a store of hay and corn, and there was a
place for poultry, and close by a yard, full of fowls
of all sorts.

He was too intent on getting honey to stop for
the corn to-day, and he-did not much care to talk to
the fowls ; so on he went through the yard into the
garden. When he saw no one there, he strolled
about till he came to a low stone wall, and on it a
row of curious things that looked like very tiny hay-









































































THE BITTER SWEET,







Among the Bees. 51

stacks, and there were the bees going in and out of
a small hole in each of them. Then his walk had
not been invain. Of all treats, honey is the greatest
toa bear. Over went the hives one after another,
and out rushed the infuriated bees. He was not
afraid of bees, and this honey was most of it new
and white, and more delicious than any he had tasted
yet. He would soon have finished off the whole
apiary if he had been left undisturbed.

But the bees, when they found they could not
drive off their enemy with the only weapon they
possessed, flew high in the air, making such a buzz
and commotion that their master and another man,
who were just returning with the newly captured
swarm, accompanied by two ugly terriers, and armed
with hay-forks, came upon the scene of action.

Martin was so busily engaged just then with the
largest of the hives, which he had thrown down,
that he did not see nor hear them coming, and as he
stopped a minute to rub a number of bees off his face
and ears, he heard the yelping of the terriers, who
were over the wall first, and had caught sight of him
on their premises.

The dogs were soon rolled over with two strokes
of his heavy paws, but he did not much care to face
two men and those ugly forks, so he took to his
heels, and, running faster than he ever did before,
had just regained his path, and managed to climb

4—2



52 The Life of a Bear.



the first tall tree he came to, when he heard the men
coming. They were running too, so fast that they
did not stop to look up in the tree, and were soon
out of sight in the wood. When he thought they
were far enough away, he descended from the tree,
and ran as fast as he could in an opposite direction,
till he came to an open place, where he could climb
up the mountain another way. Once more among
the pine trees, he felt quite safe, and sat down to rest
after his run.

Now he began to feel the effects of a quarrel with
the bees ; his mouth, and eyes, and ears were swelled
and burning, and he much enjoyed rolling his head
in the cool soft earth. He knew there was always
a little pain to be borne after a feast of honey, and
he was so well satisfied with his morning’s work
that he soon forgot the smart, and resolved to
return another day and see if any more of the
cottagers kept hives of bees.



Char eee ved.
A WARM RECEPTION.

HAT grassy lane had many attractions,
and Martin often came down to look for
bee-hives, and he used to lie down close
to the hedge, and watch the cows feeding

in the meadows. He thought they must be con-

tented creatures to be able to live happily in a small
field shut in with hedges and gates on all sides ;
they must be ignorant things, and most likely had
never even seen the forest. It would be a kindness

to make acquaintance with them, and tell them a

little about the mountain, and about the: habits of

slugs and ants, and to show them how to climb
trees, which would make some variety in their lives.

With a little trouble he could learn their language,

no doubt, and then he would get them to tell him

what were their notions on things in general, and
how they could find occupation for their time in such

a small place; and perhaps they would tell him, too,

what they did when they felt dull or cross.





54 The Life of a Bear.



Accordingly he pushed his way through the hedge
again, and sat down just inside, waiting to see if the
cows would notice him. But they would not look
that way; they seemed half asleep ; some were slowly
nibbling at the short grass, and some were lying
down with their eyes nearly shut, and munching
away at nothing. There were a few larger beasts
at the far side of the field, and Martin thought he
would go and see whether these were more lively.

Apparently they were. One of them evidently
saw Martin creeping along, for he held his head
down near the ground as if he were looking to see
what brown thing it could be that dared to approach
him unasked ; and he began to walk slowly towards
him, one or two of the others following at a distance.
Martin was delighted ; they saw him, and he turned
and walked a little way into the field, giving at the
same time a grunt by way of opening the conversa-
tion. The bulls made no answer, and he thought
they looked sulky, but he would not be daunted ; it
might be only their way of looking dignified.

All in a minute, before he had taken three steps
towards them, the foremost bull shook his head in
the air, and then suddenly lowering it almost to the
ground, rushed wildly at the astonished Martin, who
had no time to escape, even if he could have guessed
what was going to happen.

In an instant he felt a dreadful blow in his side,







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































VEZ



A ROUGH PLAYFELLOW.

*







A Warm Reception. 57



and, roaring with pain and fright, he went spinning
through the air at a great height, and fell giddy and
almost stunned to the earth, not very far from the
place where he had come into the field. He could
just hear the tramping of the heavy feet as he lay
panting on the ground, and he felt that if he did not
get up and escape, he would have to bear a repetition
of the bull’s greeting; so he crawled to the grassy
lane, and as he lay down once more on the other
side of the hedge, he could hear the excited bulls
come up to the place, and stand as if wondering
what had become of their victim.

Another defeat! Poor Martin, sore at heart, and
aching from the fall and the two bruises in his side,
where the horns of the angry bull had struck him,
could not move at first, but lay in the long grass till
he felt the heat of the sun scorching him; and,
parched with thirst, he crawled slowly along where
so lately he had run, merry and triumphant.

Why were the creatures so unsociable ? He won-
dered they were not as anxious for his friendship as
he was for theirs. All they seemed to think of was
keeping their homes to themselves, and if anyone
they did not know came to call on them, they imme-
diately set him down as an impostor, and did their
best to kill him.

This was not as it should be, he thought; he
wished he was strong enough to teach them better



58 The Life of a Bear.



manners, but he supposed they would be too con-
ceited to learn, and perhaps it would be wiser to
follow what seemed to be the rule, and the next
creature he met to spring upon it and tear it to
pieces. He would take care to avoid animals armed
with talons or horns in future, and with this deter-
mination he crept homewards.

It was very hot and sultry that morning, and
Martin was very glad when he saw the mountain
stream that ran through the forest; he took a deep
draught of the cool fresh water, and bathed his
aching limbs, and a little refreshed after this, he
managed to climb to his home.

It was late, and he found the whole family asleep;
and lying down in his vacant corner, he tried to
sleep too. But he could not rest, and rolled over
and over, groaning sometimes, and soon disturbed
Mrs. Bear.

She always slept lightly, and could hear every
little grunt her babies gave, and often woke up to
lick them, and turn them over. When she heard
Martin moaning in his painful sleep she got up, and,
taking a good look at him, could plainly see that he
was ill and hurt. Then she softly left the cave, and
went to the forest for some leaves she knew of that
grew in a shady place near the water.

You must have thought before this what a
thoughtful, clever animal Mrs. Bear was, but you



A Warm Reception. 59
cannot guess half her wisdom. She had lived so
many years, and had stored up so much information
about things she had heard or found out for herself,
that there were very few things a bear could know
that she was ignorant of. Of course she knew all
about that shrubby plant which grows in moist
shady places, and is so useful for healing and sooth-
ing bruises and aching limbs. Many a time in their
young days she had had to fetch it for Mr. Bear,
who had been just as adventurous as our Martin
was now.

She quickly gathered a large bunch of leaves, and
dipping them in the running water, carried them
home to heal her favourite son.

And Martin felt refreshed directly his mother put
the cool leaves on him. The pain was better, and
he fell into a quiet sleep, and slept for many hours.



Cr AP Ties
THE REAPERS.

$F he had not had such a wise, careful
? mother, I think Martin would have been
much longer than he was before he could
walk about again. He was all over
bruises, and his limbs were so stiff he could neither
stand nor sit.

Mrs. Bear stayed with him all the day, only
going to the forest now and then for the medicine
leaves; and in the evening he had revived enough
to tell them all about his encounter with the bull.
He did not feel.so much ashamed of being beaten
by a bull as by a bird, for everyone knows that a
bull is a large and powerful beast, and his horns are
most dangerous weapons. Mr. Bear warned him
not to be too rash in disturbing animals without
knowing more about them.

“They are only half educated,” he said, “and
have lived among creatures like themselves, shut





The Reapers. 61



up in meadows and feeding upon the grass, so long
that they have come to think themselves wiser and
bigger, and altogether superior to the rest of the
world; and I do not think it is much use to try and
be friendly with them.” Mr. Bear, you see, was
a philosopher, and Martin respected his father very
much, and though he despised the cattle for their
stupid ignorance, he decided not to attempt to teach
them better.

After some time, when he had quite recovered,
his father told them one day that he had a great
treat in store for them: the next day they should all
go to a cornfield he would show them. He had
kept his eyes on it for a long while, and the corn was
now ripe, though he did not fancy the reapers would
be there for some days. He said they would be
able to go in the evening, for he noticed that the
men generally went to the field at dusk, and turned
out any stray children or dogs that might happen
to be there, and then, bolting the gates, left the
field; and he did not believe they ever went again

till the morning. ‘The moon will give us light
enough,” he said, “and we shall not care for a bolted
gate.”

Just after sunset they set off down the hill and
through the forest, which looked darker than ever
before. There was such a thick mist coming up
from the valley that they could hardly see which



62 The Life of a Bear.



way they were going, but presently the full moon
rose over the opposite hill; it looked large and red
at first, but soon it was bright, and shining with more
than its usual light, for it was the harvest moon, and
in a few days it would be giving light to the people
of the valley, who would go out reaping in the fields
after their day’s work was done.

Mr. Bear and his family began the reaping for
them this time.

They did not go very far into the forest, but
across it, near the top, and then down the hill
beyond. Here they found a footpath which grew
into a rough road, and brought them to the edge of
the farm. They had to pass several fields which
Mr. Bear said were not ripe enough yet, till they
came to one that looked all white in the moonlight ;
here he stopped, and took a good look round to
make sure they were alone, before he climbed the
cate. It was allright. The rest followed him, and
by the time Basil was helped over, they saw Mr.
Bear already sitting on his haunches in a corner of
the field, and they took a lesson in reaping. It was
simple work. Martin almost thought he could have
found it out for himself, but of course it was necessary
to teach Basil, who knew so little about foraging.
You only had to sit upright and catch in your arms
as large a number of stalks of wheat as you could,
and take care to hold them tight till you had eaten



\

The Reapers. 63



all the ears off, which was not long if you were full-
sized, like Mr. and Mrs. Bear; but of course
Martin’s arms were not long enough to grasp so
many at once, and Basil’s were still shorter.

They did not take very long to finish a field of
corn, and all pronounced it to be in excellent con-
dition.

“We can take each of these fields in order,” said
simple Basil, ‘and finish all off by degrees.”

‘That only shows how little you know about it,”
said Martin, ‘Why, to-morrow, when they miss
this corn, there will be such a stir; we had better
not leave our cave all day. And they will be sure
to set a watchman and dog in the other fields of a
night now. It is a good thing we have made such
a feast to-night without being disturbed.” You see,
Martin was gaining experience by degrees.

They were quite tired out by this time, but Mrs.
Bear would not let them go home without carrying
each a bundle of straw to help make the winter
beds. ;

“ There are so many of us now,” she said, “ we
shall want three beds this winter, and must begin to
make them early. We always had a rule at a corn-
feast when I was young—

“« When you’ve eaten the heads,
Take the straw for your beds.”



64 The Life of a Bear.



“Ves” said Mir Bear, “cand

‘“¢ When the corn is down
Acorns soon get brown.
Nuts are fit to eat,
Grapes grow ripe and sweet.’ ”

And Martin, who had by this time learnt a few
things, went on:
“The morning sun looks hazy,
The leaves are dry and dead,

And bears are getting lazy,
They must make their winter bed.”

Basil knew no proverbs. To tell you the truth, I
think he was a stupid bear, compared to Martin ;
more fond of sleep than anything else. I do not
think he liked coming out of a night at all, and he
made a great fuss about having to carry home a
bundle of straw. At the word “bed,” he said, “ If
you all talk in that sing-song sort of way, I shall be
asleep before long, and you will have to carry me
home.”

“The fact is, you have eaten too much supper,”
said his father. And so it seemed; he rolled about,
and walked so slowly, that the others had to wait
several times for him to come up to them.

Martin, on the contrary, would not own to being
tired. He was always in front, leading the party,
and presently he proposed that they should sit down
a little in an open part of the wood, where they



The Reapers. 65



could see the sleeping village below, all white in the
moonlight. He wanted his father, he said, to tell
him how he could get to the vineyards without
interfering with the bulls.

So they all sat down, and Basil took the oppor-
tunity of having a quiet doze, while Mr. Bear
pointed out to Martin a way round the opposite
side of the hill, without going through the forest at
all.
~ “You'll find it a very rocky, barren place till you
get quite down in the village,” he said ; “only a few
stunted fir-trees will grow there, and the ground is
covered with heath and moss. You will not meet
anything, unless it is a deer or a few sheep or goats
browsing, and they will be too timid to touch you.”
This was just right, Martin thought; he hoped he
should meet some of them—he could try the plan of
punishing them first, and making their acquaintance
afterwards.

Mr. Bear pointed out that large field behind the
church that Martin had seen once before. They
could see the rows of vines quite plainly now.
Martin said he knew if it was daylight he could see
the bunches of red grapes, only the moonlight turned
everything black or white. Even the wildflowers at
their feet had lost all their colour, and looked like
phantom flowers, in the rays of the full moon.
Martin wondered what became of their colours in

5



66 The Life of a Bear.



the night, and when they woke up Basil, he asked
him what he thought about it; as he had made such
friends with the flowers, perhaps he had found out
more about them. But Basil was too tired and cross
to talk much, and only said he supposed they were
afraid the heavy dews would spoil their pretty
colours, so they kept them to wear in daylight,
when more people could see them; of course they
did not expect any visitors in the middle of: the
night, and for his part he thought they were quite
right.

It was nearly day when the bears reached the
cave. The moon had gone down, and the pale
morning star was shining all alone in the grey east,
but none of them noticed it. They were too sleepy,
and were soon each in his corner, enjoying their rest
as much as they had théir expedition, and it took all
that day and the next night for them to recover from
the effects of such a heavy supper.



CHAPTER 2X.
AM) BASY VICTORY,

‘HEN the theft was found out next day,
there was indeed a stir in the farmyard.

Two labourers, on their way to work,
were the first to discover it. They
carried the news to the farm kitchen, and many
were the conjectures as to who or what had been
among the corn. Soon it reached the ears of
Farmer Jacques himself, who was quietly dressing,
and counting up the price he should get for his ripe
corn when it was all reaped.

They told him how strange the field looked, and
how the ears were gone, but the stalks left, except in
one corner, where some of the straws had been
pulled up by the roots.

“Ah!” he said, “it is the bears, then, and it is
not the first time they have had it.” And then he
wished he had left a man, with his trusty Beppo, to
watch the fields at night. He had been there him-

52






68 The Life of a Bear.



self last evening, and left all so safe and quiet, and
who would have thought of bears just then ? It is true
he had heard the village gossips lately talking about
a young bear robbing Victor’s hives, and getting the
worst of it among the cattle, but he had too much to
do to listen to idle tales, he said; he hardly believed
it was a bear, though Victor and his man both said
so. He thought very likely it was nothing more
than a large dog. But dogs do not eat all the ears
off a field of corn. No, it must be bears this time ;
and they must be caught.

That day nothing else was talked of in the village.
A great many people declared they had seen the
bear at dusk of an evening, prowling about under
the hedges. The strange thing was, nobody had
managed to catch him.

And neighbour Pierre said he believed now that
it must have been the bear who had robbed his
orchard when the cherries were ripe, though at the
time he had felt sure it must be a boy, and had
thrashed several he found playing near his orchard,
so as to make sure of not missing the thief.

Some of the men proposed a bear-hunt, and one
said there was a fellow-workman of his at the silk
factory who had been a great traveller, and had
hunted bears in North America. So it was decided to
invite him to the village as soon as the crops were
all in and the vintage over, and the bear should be



An Easy Victory. 69



caught or killed. A party of hunters could easily be
got together, and with such an experienced man at
their head, they might catch more than one while
they were about it.

They knew they could sell a young bear for a
good sum in the town, for there was a bear-garden
kept at the public expense; and if they killed him,
his skin was worth something, and his hams were
reckoned very good eating; and if he were fat, as
bears generally are at the end of summer, his fat
could be converted into bear’s-grease, which every-
one knew was so useful for many things.

It was agreed that a reward should be offered to
anyone who would trace the bear to his haunt, and
a further reward if he were captured, dead or alive.

It was lucky for Martin that his way to the vine-
yard lay round the far side of the village, where he
had never been seen before, and people would not
think of looking for him.

He knew nothing of his danger, and was delighted
with a walk that was quite new to him: that barren,
rocky place was so different to their own green
woods and grassy slopes! And when he came to
he heathy pasture-land he was delighted to find
there were really sheep upon the hillside, and no
shepherd with them, not even a dog to guard them,
that Martin could see. Here was his opportunity,
and without giving the sheep any warning of his



70 The Life of a Bear.

design, he sprang upon the nearest one, and had him
by the throat, with a strong paw on his chest, before
the terrified creature could even think of making his
escape. He gave a few cries, and the rest of the
flock ran bleating in all directions. At this moment
the shepherd, who had been soundly sleeping, hidden
by the long grass, heard the bleating of his sheep,
and starting from his grassy bed, gave Martin some
severe strokes with a thick stick he carried in his
hand; and Martin, whose courage always fled when
men attacked him, let his victim go, and taking to
his heels, ran as fast as he could among the rocks.
The shepherd was still sleepy, or did not care to
pursue Martin, and finding the sheep was not much
hurt, continued his sleep, that had been so suddenly
disturbed.

As Martin walked on his way to the vineyard he
felt a little ashamed of having run away at the first
strokes of a stick, and he tried to persuade himself
that he ran away because he had not time then to
stay and fight it out with the man. He could not
help thinking he was strong enough to knock one
man down almost as easily as a sheep, and if he had
another chance, he did not think he should be so
chicken-hearted.

And now he was near the vineyard, but he must
make sure of having it to himself, and for this pur-
pose he mounted a tall tree by the roadside. Then









































































































































































































































































































\
ACY iN
IAN







POOR OLD SHEEP!







An Easy Victory. a3,
he saw that the vineyard was full of people busily
employed tending the vines and weeding the ground.
He saw, too, that the grapes were ripe, but he must
go no further to-day ; and it was well he did not go,
for the whole party were discussing the bear-hunt
and the reward that was offered for his capture, and
he would have found it hard to escape if he had
been seen among them.



CHAPTER d:

Aj ATE “DT NINGEER:

Martin felt very cross at having to leave
them without tasting one.

On his way home he decided it would
be wise to make his visits to the vineyard in the
night, or at all events to go down very late in the
evening, and wait in some convenient hiding-place
till all was quiet. That expedition to the corn-field
in the night had been the best feast they had had ©
this summer, but then it was wise Mr. Bear who
had arranged all that, and his plans were always so
well considered and safe.

The other bears were all very much amused with
Martin’s account of his victory over the sheep. Mr.
Bear said he remembered when he was young, he
and another strong bear about his own age had
chased some deer from rock to rock, up and down
the mountain, for several hours, till they all came to





A Late Dinner. 75

a tremendous chasm in the hill, and the deer leapt
across, but it was too wide a leap for a bear, and
they had to content themselves with a stray goat
they found on the way home.

Mr. Bear said he did not much care for flesh, it
always made him more hungry than he was before ;
but he had known bears who, when they had once
tasted flesh, would eat nothing else; and they all
remembered the stories about the grizzly bear, who
would kill and eat an ox or reindeer.

When evening came, Basil tried to persuade

Martin to go with them to the woods. “Nuts are
very sweet and good now,” he said.
“(Grapes are dbetter;” replied Martin’, “i Sam

resolved to dine off grapes to-night, even if I have
to wait rather late for my dinner.”

He stayed after the others had gone for more than
an hour, watching the sun go down, and the sky
turn from blue to gold and red and purple, till the
hills far away that looked so faint and grey in the
morning sunshine seemed to come nearer and nearer,
and to take fantastic shapes as they grew purple
and black against the setting sun. And all his own
mountain, and the pine forest below him, were bathed
in the ruddy glow ; even Martin’s old coat, that was
beginning to get so rough and shaggy, looked quite
gay, lit up with sunset light. Martin had been
getting a little ashamed of his coat lately. No



76 The Life of a Bear.



matter how much time he spent in dressing and
brushing himself, he could not make himself look
respectable ; he had outgrown it, he said, and must
have a new one.

His father had long ago promised him one before
winter, and it was time he should have it. He
could not see why he should not have a sky-blue,
or red, or purple coat; it would be much more
becoming than such a dingy colour as_ brown ;
but he knew Mr. and Mrs. Bear had always
worn brown, so he supposed they would expect him
to be contented with what was good enough for
them.

When the sun had quite gone, and the biggest of
the stars were trying to shine here and there in the
sky, Martin knew that it was time for him to start.
He would go, he thought, by the new path, though
it was a long way round, and then he could come
home by the village and through the forest when all
the villagers were asleep.

As he came near he heard voices in the vineyard,
and waited up ina tall tree till the people had all
passed to their homes, little thinking that the robber-
bear was so near them.

Martin stayed a long time in the tree, but he heard
no more voices, and gradually everything became
very still and calm in the little village, so still that
the sound of the church clock striking the hour quite





































AFTER DINNER,







A Late Dinner. 79



startled Martin, who had never been so near it
before.

You should have seen him eat grapes. I am sure
you would have thought him very greedy. He did
not stop to look if they were ripe, or to take off the
skins, but gobbled up all he could find, little and
big, skins and stones, and sometimes stalks as
well.

No one came to interfere with his enjoyment, and
it was not till he could really eat no more that he
made up his mind to leave the vineyard.

‘‘What a bother it is to have to go home,” he
thought, “just when one is getting tired and sleepy!
It is all very well to say it is healthy to take a walk
before going to bed, but that must depend on what
you have eaten. Grapes are such curious things
when you come to make a whole meal off them.”

Martin grumbled to himself all the way through
the village that it was a stupid thing to live so high
up, and have all the worst of the walking to do when
you were wanting to take it easily.

He was getting a big bear now, and he would
find out a home for himself nearer to the vineyards
and orchards.

He went so slowly through the wood, and stopped
so many times to rest, that it was very late when he
got to the pine forest, and he was almost asleep.
Rolling along with his eyes half shut, and his head



80 The Life of a Bear.



hanging first on one side, then on the other, it was
as much as he could do to keep from falling over
every little rough place he came to. His ragged
coat looked shabbier than ever, and if you had met
him just then for the first time, you would have
shunned him for a disreputable vagabond.



CHAP RE TT.
THE BEAR-HUNT.

OR two or three nights Martin went
regularly to dine in the vineyards, and
came home later and later every night,
and found more difficulty in getting home

as the grapes grew more juicy and sweet.

The nights were getting chilly too, and as Martin
passed the village he longed to turn into some nice
cosy shed, instead of going such a distance through
the misty damp wood. The early mornings were
still very pleasant, and Mr. Bear’s advice was that
they should get up at daybreak, and all go to a
vineyard he could show them at a greater distance
from home, where the grapes were not yet gathered.
He said he did not approve of dining so late; grapes
always got into your head of an evening, but in the
morning, when you were fresh and brisk, it was
surprising how many you could take without feeling
the worse for it. He considered it really disgraceful
6





82 The Life of a Bear.
of Martin to come home in such a state, and so late
at night; he was determined not to have a bad
example set to his younger bears, and if Martin
intended to keep up that sort of thing much longer,
he had better find a new home, and set up house-
keeping on his own account. Mr. Bear declared
he had always been most methodical and regular in
his habits, and he could not submit to have his sleep
disturbed now, at his age, by people coming home
at all hours, night after night. Mrs. Bear thought
all this rather severe, and was quite ready to find
an excuse for Martin. She was going to remind
Mr. Bear of a time when he had not been quite so
sedate as he was now, but she saw that he had rolled
himself up for his afternoon nap after his long speech,
and she only muttered something about “old heads,”
and ‘‘young shoulders,” and told Martin he must
behave more steadily for the future, and in the
spring she would allow him to begin a home for
himself.

Mr. Bear had regained his usual composure and
good-humour when he awoke, and Martin, who was
very fond of his father, and liked above all things
to go on one of Mr. Bear’s expeditions, began to
help him make his plans for the next morning ; and
presently they all went down to the woods nutting,
which Martin fancied was tame work at first; but
when Mr. Bear got up the tree and shook the acorns



The Bear-Flunt. 83.

all around on the grass and on their heads, Martin
enjoyed catching them very much, and thought a
quiet evening in the woods was very agreeable for a
change.

It happened that the next day was fixed upon for
the bear-hunt. The experienced traveller from the
town had arrived in the village the night before, and
all their plans were arranged. The hunters were to
separate when they entered the woods, and search in
all directions in little parties of two or three, and
they agreed upon a signal by which the rest of the
party might be easily summoned if any of them
caught sight of a bear.

While Mr. Bear and his eaenily were making a
sumptuous breakfast in the distant vineyard, the
hunters were already on their way to the woods.

Gaston, the traveller, led the way, and he advised
them to keep a sharp look-out up the trees, for some
of the bears would be sure to be gathering the ripe
acorns or nuts.

“Do not be alarmed,” he said, in a patronising
way, “when you see the bear; if you keep calm, he
will be sure to take fright and run, and then we can
all give chase.”

And he divided the party into twos and threes,
and sent them in all directions ; he himself, with his
friend Jean, taking the highest part of the wood,
where the trees were thicker, and where he said

6—2



84 The Life of a Bear.



probably the bears had a den; and they were soon
far out of sight of the rest.

They had walked a mile or two up the mountain
side, when Jean cried out, “ Here he is!” and Martin,
who was, as usual, walking in front of the rest,
appeared from among ‘the trees; and, seeing two
men so near, stood for an instant, thinking what he
should do.

The brave Gaston now seemed quite frightened ;
he tried to raise his gun, but his hand shook, and
Martin, who quickly detected the signs of fear,
sprang on him and flung him on the ground. In
his terror Monsieur Gaston quite forgot to give his
signal, and could only call to his friend to save him.
He, too, raised his gun, but before he had time to
fire he saw the other three bears coming up close to
him, and then he remembered to signal for his
friends.

Martin did not like the look of the gun, nor the
loud sound of the man’s voice, and he felt quite
satisfied with having thrown his antagonist: you
know he was not a bloodthirsty bear, and to have
knocked one man down and thoroughly frightened
another he considered a complete victory, so he ran
off to his home after his father and mother.

The fallen man was too much shaken to get up
and fire at him as he ran, and the villager, who did
fire, was not accustomed to the use of firearms, and



=

Refe

fh

ZL GE

&





A NEW FOE.









The Bear-flunt. 87

only succeeded in striking a tree quite near
him.

When the rest of the party came up they followed
in the direction they were told the bears had gone,
but soon they came to that steep rocky place near
Mr. Bear’s cave where no one but a bear could find
a footing, and they were obliged to give up the chase
and go home unsuccessful and disappointed.

The villagers could not forgive the mighty bear-
hunter, as they called him, for letting Martin escape,
and they laughed a good deal after that when he
told them how many bears he had encountered and
slain in the backwoods of North America.



Cri) LE Re are
CAUGHT ‘AT LAST.

RS. BEAR had more pride than ever in
her son now that he had escaped from
the hunters, and had, in fact, conquered
them. As for Martin himself, he grew

more and more careless of danger every day.

The vintage was over, and almost all the nuts and
acorns were gone. Martin thought the trees looked
very ill and sad, like moulting birds, with only half
their leaves on.

He was getting very handsome now ; his old coat
had dropped off his back bit by bit, a rag at a time,
and now his new ccat was growing beautifully ; it was
very thick, and a bright, glossy dark brown colour.

Mr. Bear explained to him the reason for his
branch of the family always wearing brown: bears
who live on mountains and among pine-trees would
be noticed so much more if they had pretty-coloured
coats. After long experience they had found out





Caught at Last. 89



that brown was the colour which faded least, and
wore the best, and which would show the least among
the trees.

“The polar bear,” he said, ‘wears white among
the snowy mountains for the same reason, because
white is the warmest colour, and does not show
among the ice and snow.”

Mr. and Mrs. Bear had new coats too; and they
were all very fat and getting every day more sleepy
and disinclined for work.

They spent almost all their time in carrying moss
and leaves for the beds; and Martin, who said he
disliked going among the trees now the leaves were
off and there were no flowers, used to bring hay and
dried fern from the barns and stables in the
village.

He spent his afternoons very often asleep in a
sort of loft that was above an old barn in a narrow
side street, and sometimes he thought he should like
to stay there the whole winter—it was so warm and
dry ; and in the cottage that joined the barn there
was always a good fire burning. Should anyone
find him out, he thought he could make his escape,
and if he failed, why, he would try what could be
done by making friends with the people.

One day as he was passing down the street to his
loft he saw a cottage door standing open. Martin
was always full of curiosity, and could not resist the



90 The Life of a Bear.



temptation to walk in and see what sort of homes
the people lived in.

The place seemed quite deserted, and when he
got inside he found it was a sort of shop. At one
end of the room there were heaps of charcoal piled
up, ready to sell, and through an open door at the back
he could see a great quantity of wood stacked in the
corners of the yard, and in the middle was a large
heap of earth. Martin went out to examine all this,
and then he saw little wreaths of smoke curling up
into the air out of the earth-heap, and there was such
a curious smell everywhere about; he did not like it
at all.

This was the charcoal-burner’s home. He had lit
his wood and carefully covered it with earth to
prevent it burning too fast, and as he knew it would
be very unwholesome for his family to stay in the
house in the fumes of the charcoal, they had all gone
off to the town for a day’s pleasure.

Martin knew nothing about charcoal, but he knew
he felt very drowsy, and as there was a nice fire
burning in the hearth, and it was dull and chilly
outside, he lay down on the floor, and was soon fast
asleep. Stupefied with the fumes and smoke, he lay
sleeping all the night; the owner of the cottage did
not return, and in the morning some of his friends,
finding the door open, looked in to see whether Jean
had come home.



















































































































































































































































































































































































































S AT HOMEP

2

WHO







Caught at Last. 93
You can imagine how surprised they were to see
a good-sized bear lying at full length upon the floor
of the room. The first man who looked in shut the
door fast, and then they all crowded round the
window shouting, ‘The bear! the bear!”
_Martin was quite unconscious of all the attention
he was attracting, and still slept on. The villagers
locked him in till neighbour Jean’s return, and went
off to their homes discussing the different ways of
disposing of the bear. It was agreed they would
ask Jean not to kill him till they had seen whether
he was dangerous or not. He was such a fine-
looking fellow he must be more valuable alive.



CAI Tine

. A NEW HOME.

returned, but Martin did not awake; in
truth, I believe if he had been left alone
he would have slept the whole winter
away on the floor of that comfortable kitchen.
Towards evening, when Jean and his wife
Annette, with their two boys, entered the village
street, they were not very much surprised at seeing
a great many people crowded together, for very
often of an evening the villagers would meet in
little crowds outside each other’s houses, and discuss
the news they had heard in the town, or any other
piece of village gossip there might be to talk about.
But as they came near their own home, and saw
that almost the whole population of the village had
assembled round their door, they began to think
that something unusual must have happened. The
village children had collected under the window, and





A New Home. 95

were jumping on each other’s backs, and fighting for
the best place to see what was going on inside.

Jean’s two boys could stay no longer, but ran on
to see what was to be seen, and several of the neigh-
bours came hurriedly to meet him, crying, ‘“ The

. thief is here—asleep in your house!”

Annette was so alarmed at this that she clung to
her husband’s arm, and he was startled, too, at such
strange news, for at first they could not think who
the thief could be; but their children came running
back and shouting, “ A bear! a bear!” and the other
small voices joined in the cry. ‘And he is such a
beauty,” they added, as Jean and his wife reached
the window.

After they had heard all about his discovery, and
had made a thorough examination of him through
the window, the first thing was to decide what to do
with him. Some were for killing him at once, and
all the women said they should not sleep all night
unless he were got rid of somehow ; but the children
begged for him to be spared, and it was finally
decided to keep him a little time till they could see
how he would conduct himself, and then they might
find out some means of disposing of him, and if
none turned up, it would be time enough to kill him
then.

Ropes were found, and several of the men went
in with Jean to the cottage to secure the captive.



96 The Life of a Bear.





Martin did not awake till they had tied him round
the neck and body, and fixed him firmly to a strong
post that held up the roof of the cottage ; then the
sound of so many voices around him, and the un-
comfortable position he found himself in, aroused
him from his sleep, and he opened his eyes and his
mouth at the same time, and gave such a deep growl
as startled his captors for a moment, at the same
time showing his sharp-pointed teeth in a way that
was scarcely pleasant.

But it was no use to be angry now; he found it
was too late to make any resistance—he could not
move, and thought the best thing was to submit
quietly now that escape was impossible.

The next thing was to provide a home for the
new-comer, for Annette said she could not have
him in the kitchen all night, and she made it a great
favour to allow him to stay there at all, even till
another place could be provided for him.

She suggested that they had better use the store-
shed, as it was called, for their pet. This was a
long low building at the back of the house, and was.
filled with coal and wood and the tools that Jean
used in his business, and it was soon decided to
clear it out for Martin.

The two boys helped their father to stow away
everything at one end, and leave a sufficient space
for the bear, and then, after they had cut a hole to



Full Text




| SEES] |














































































































A PROUD MOTHER.
THE LIFE OF A BEAR

HIS BIRTH,

EDUCATION, AND ADVENTURES

WITH TWENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

FIFTH THOUSAND

SEELEY, JACKSON, & HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET
LONDON. MDCCCLXXXIII
THE LIFE OF A BEAR.

—~OESOS

CHAPTER I.

A MOUNTAIN HOME.




FU Sx HERE are no bears in England now,
Sap although many hundred years ago they
7) +~ were to be found in great numbers, and
people used to hunt them and make
warm coats of their fur. But there are other coun-
tries where bears still live in the forests and among
the mountains. The bears I am going to tell you
about lived high up in the Alps, and their home
was a large cavern in the rocks very nearly at the
top of a steep mountain. Mr. and Mrs. Bear had
lived there for a very long time, and hoped to spend
the rest of their lives in their mountain home.

They could not believe that any other cavern was
to be found so snug and warm and pleasantly situated
as this one, and when sometimes a friendly bear came

I
2 The Life of a Bear.
to visit them from a distance he would be sure to
admire the large size and convenient situation of Mr.
Bear's house. It was so high up and hidden among
the trees and rocks, that they had very little fear of
man ever finding them out. And then it was a most
convenient place: quite near on one side of the
mountain grew a large forest, where the trees in
autumn were covered with berries and fruits of all
kinds, and where there were many fit-trees, the
leaves of which they loved so well. Lower down
in the valleys, if they felt inclined to venture further
from home, were gardens and vineyards and orchards,
all planted and filled with fruits, and vegetables, on
purpose, they felt sure, for their pleasure and enjoy-
ment. There was but one drawback to all this : near
‘the gardens men were often lurking about, armed
with all kinds of terrible sticks, and might kill a too
venturesome bear, or at all events make him a captive.
A very old bear had once told them how he had lost
a friend when they were both enjoying a most
delightful meal off a stack of oats in a farmer's
yard ; some men suddenly caught sight of them, and
ran towards them, and though he was fortunate
enough to make his escape, he never saw his friend
again.

It had been a long hot summer, and during the
autumn the bears had spent most of their time
feasting and rambling about, till at last they grew
A Mountain Flome. 2

very tired and lazy, and began to think of getting
their house ready for their winter’s sleep. First of
all, they collected by degrees a great quantity of
dried leaves and moss to make their bed. It was
slow work, however, and they thought themselves
very lucky when one day they found a field full of
late peas ripening in the sun. It did not take them
very long to pull them out of the ground, and beat
out the peas, which served them for a good meal.
And then they carried off the bines by degrees to
their cavern. They made many journeys up and
down before it was all carried in, and Mrs. Bear
got so tired at last, that she left Mr. Bear to carry
the last few bundles alone. He grumbled a good
deal at this, calling her lazy, though he himself was
half asleep all the time. At length the work was
done ; the floor of their cave was thoroughly covered
with nice soft dried stuff; they managed to throw
up a large heap at the entrance, but it was a great
exertion to them, and then, crawling slowly into the
farthest corner of their cave, they rolled themselves
up into two hairy balls, and were soon sound asleep.

It was not long before winter set in; the leaves
fell, and the trees began to look black and bare.
Then came the snow, covering the mountains all
over with its soft white flakes, that look so pure,
and fall so gently to the earth, as if they were think-
ing all the time of the little flowers, and were trying

I—2
4 The Life of a Bear.



not to crush their tender roots, but to wrap them
up and keep them warm till the days of sunshine
came again.

Mr. Bear’s house was thickly covered with snow,
but he knew very little about it, or indeed about
any of the changes that had been going on out-of-
doors. He had been almost too drowsy to notice
how short the days were getting while they pre-
pared their house for the winter, and now he
was sleeping as soundly as if he never meant
to wake up again. Rolled up in his corner,
with Mrs. Bear as close to him as possible, what
did he care for the snow or frost? After they had
slept so for a very long time, Mrs. Bear, who seemed
to be getting restless, disturbed him to ask him
what o'clock it was, and he was obliged to rouse
himself a little, just to say in rather a surly tone,
“About three o'clock ;? and this was the only
answer he would ever give, which she knew was as
much as to say he did not like being disturbed, and
did not consider she need want to know the time in
winter, when all respectable, well-conditioned bears
were fast asleep. So she shook herself and sat up
and looked round about her a little bit, and not
being quite so fat and lazy as her husband, she felt
hungry sooner, and wished it was time to get up.

But it was no use wishing ; she was far too affec-
tionate and dutiful a wife to disturb Mr. Bear’s
A Mountain FHlome. 5



slumber by more questions ; all she could do was to
sit still and suck her own paws, satisfying her hunger
as best she could in this way till she fell asleep again
for a few weeks.

The winter was gone at last; the sun shone
brightly once more, and soon melted the thick snow,
which ran down on all sides of the mountains in
little streams and torrents, filling up rivers and
lakes, and flowing over the meadows, refreshing the
trees and grass, and helping them to bud and grow.
Sweet wild-flowers sprang up everywhere, and soon
the hard-working people who lived in the valleys
were busy digging and tending their gardens and
vineyards, and large flocks of cattle and sheep might
be seen feeding on the rich pastures that extended
far up the hills.

Even lazy Mr. Bear now began to think of
waking up again, and how delighted Mrs. Bear was
you will easily guess. She waited till she thought
he had had time to get wide awake, and then she
pointed with her paw to two baby-bears that she
had by her side. _He grunted once or twice and
rubbed his eyes, and stared at the small round
things, and at last gave one of them a good tap to
see if it was alive. The little thing pricked up his
ears and opened his eyes, and looked up at his papa
in astonishment at such rough treatment. Then
Mr. Bear felt pleased indeed, and giving himself a
6 The Life of a Bear.

good shake, set to work to clear out the doorway
and let in a little more light.

Though he could be a little surly at times, Mr.
Bear was naturally good humoured and affectionate,
and he was very proud of his two little bears, when
he could see them lying beside their mother; he
praised their dark silky coats, and small bright eyes,
and mamma-bear was thoroughly satisfied with them
too. She knew very well they were larger and
stronger, as well as prettier, than young bears at
their age generally were, and they made such a
compact little family, just enough to play together
and amuse each other without getting in everyone's
way.

The old bears turned the young ones round and
round and over and over to make sure they were
perfect and well-proportioned creatures, and after
this Mrs. Bear mildly suggested that she felt rather
hungry, “and,” she added, “the trees in the forest
will be full of those young green shoots that are so
sweet at this time of year: do fetch some before the
sun gets hot.” This reminded Mr. Bear that he
was hungry too; but of course, like the good bear
that he was, he forgot himself to think of his dear
wife, and bidding her to stay at home that day and
teach the young ones to crawl about and get accus-
tomed to the daylight, he started off in search of
food.
CHAPTER II. oe
A FAMILY PARTY.

92 HEN she was left alone, Mrs. Bear em-
Y ployed some time in well licking the
young ones all over several times.
Certainly they could not want it, for she
had already brushed them up more than once that
morning, and they were as smooth and sleek as any
young bears that ever were seen ; but no doubt she
hoped by giving so much care to their coats while
they were young, that she should make them take a
pride in their appearance, and grow up tidy and
well-conducted bears. - She felt quite contented with
them at last, and getting up, walked round the cave
several times, and sat down near the door. It was
not long before the biggest and strongest young
bear, whose name was Martin, missed his mother,
and set up a dismal howl, and when she answered
him from a distance he did his best to follow her ;
and what a funny little thing he looked, tumbling


8 The Life of a Bear.



over every two steps he took, and making himself
quite tired with his efforts to run and jump; and the
little one, called Basil, looked just as queer. At
last they found their mother, and tired out with so
much exertion, were soon fast asleep. ‘ Ah,” said
Mrs. Bear to herself, ‘they will want enough teach-
ing before they can climb mountains.” And watching
them stretched at full length by her side, she almost
forgot she was hungry. The sound of the rustling
trees and a bright sunbeam that came in on her
through the door reminded her of Mr. Bear, and she
went out to look if she could see him coming. And
how lovely all the mountain looked on that bright
spring morning. Below her the trees so green, and
many of them covered with sweet-scented blossom,
and above all the snow still unmelted and glittering
in the morning sunlight, so that the glare almost
blinded her.

She sat looking for him a long while, but Mr.
Bear did not appear, and hungry and disappointed
at having to wait so long for her breakfast, she began
to feel very cross, and to walk slowly up and down
the flat ledge of rock that served them for dining,
parlour, and drawing-room ; just as you may have
seen your papa walk up and down the room, if
anyone kept him waiting for his dinner. At last,
emerging from the forest a long way down the
mountain, she saw Mr. Bear slowly walking along,


























THE MOUNTAIN HOME.

A Family Party. II



seeming to be quite loaded with something he was
carrying in his arms, and which he was afraid of
losing. She watched him as he carefully stepped
from rock to rock, and climbed up the steep path
that led to their home, and not till he was safe beside
her did she discover that it was a splendid piece of
honeycomb he had brought, holding it tightly under
one paw, while his other arm was employed in carry-
ing the young green shoots for her breakfast. © Mrs.
Bear was indeed delighted at the sight of such a
feast, and forgot all her impatience and discontent.
She would not even wait to ask him how he was so
fortunate as to find honey so early in the spring, but
began her meal at once by devouring the leaves and
sweet green boughs that good Mr. Bear put before her.

He watched her with delight ; he had satisfied his
own hunger in the forest, and could wait quietly
for her to share the honeycomb with him. He had
ample time to take a long look at the sleeping babies
before Mrs. Bear called him to dessert, and asked
him to tell her all his adventures in the forest. Mr.
Bear took a nice lump of honeycomb in his paw, and
sucking out the dainty food, began his story.

“You know, my dear,” he said, speaking slowly
and deliberately, as a dignified father-bear must,
‘the bees have only just begun to work, and have
not yet done more than begin to fill the combs with
honey, and it was only by a lucky accident that I
12 The Life of a Bear.



got you this unlooked-for treat. As I was sitting
on a big bough half-way up a large old ash-tree, |
heard an unusual buzzing and whirring below, so I
came down to see what was going on, and there
I saw bees of all sorts and sizes going in and out of
a round hole in the tree; and what puzzled me not
a little was, that instead of going in heavily with
their legs all over pollen, as you know, my dear, we
have often seen them do, they went in busily and
quickly and came out looking heavy and tired; so
then I knew they must have found a store of honey
in the tree, and the bees that made it must have
died of the cold in winter. You will be sure I
would not leave them to enjoy such a feast alone.
I soon tore down the bark, and found that lovely
piece of comb you are enjoying so much; and oh,
the trouble and time it cost me to bring it home to
you! If you only knew it you would not wonder at
my being late.”

They kept a little piece of honeycomb to see what
the babies would think of it, and as soon as they
woke up Mr. Bear gave each of them a good push,
which brought them out into the daylight without
much tumbling over, and he sat and purred with
delight when he saw their rough little tongues licking
their mother’s paws, and then watched them enjoying
their first taste of food as much as young babies
always do.
A Family Party. 13



After their meal he made them crawl about, and
tumbled them over and over with his paw; while
Mrs. Bear, satisfied with her delicious meal, sat
nodding in the corner.

You know, bears never stay out in the hot mid-day
sun, but keep in their caves nearly all day, and prowl
about when it is cool of an evening to look for food.
And our bears were too well-educated and correct in
their behaviour to make any mistake on this point,
even on their first day of waking up. When, there-
fore, Mr. Bear saw his wife dozing in the sunshine,
he pushed and rolled the young ones first inside, and
then, touching Mrs. Bear as gently as he could with
the soft part of his paw, said, “Come, my dear, it is
time we should take a little rest.” So she opened
her eyes, and looking first to make sure her babies
were not left behind, followed Mr. Bear indoors.

And thus they passed many days quietly and
harmlessly, sleeping most of their time, and living
on the food they could find near home; for Mr. and
Mrs, Bear were getting rather old, and did not care
for adventures so much as they once did.

They spent a great deal of time in training the
young ones to crawl about up and down the steep
sides of the mountain, and after a little while Mrs.
Bear would leave them quite alone to go with Mr. Bear
for his walks in the forest. By degrees Martin and
Basil began to take a great deal of notice, and to ask
14 The Life of a Bear.

so many questions that Mrs. Bear had enough to do
to answer them. They wanted to learn all that a
bear could know, that was plain, and Mrs. Bear had
to put her thinking-cap on and tell them long stories
about all the bears she had ever seen or known or
heard of. It was a pleasant sightto Mr. Bear, as he
came slowly home up the rough steps that served
for a pathway to his house. There was dear old
Mrs. Bear, with young Martin, as upright and stout
a young bear as could be, close to her side, and little
Basil asleep at their feet. They had each a ring of
white fur around their necks, which Mr. Bear could
see when he was quite a long way off. No wonder
their mother was proud of them.
CHAPTER III.
MR. BEAR’S RELATIONS.

» VERY old bear had once appeared upon
the mountains; he seemed quite hot and
tired, and was wandering about as if he
had no home or friends. Mrs. Bear was
young then, and she felt very sorry for poor old
Bruin, and brought him home to her mother’s cave,
and found some food for him.
Bruin stayed with them for about a year, and
became a great favourite with all the bears, and
especially the young ones, he had so much to tell
about his eventful life; for he had been a captive
bear, and had travelled in many countries, and had
at last managed to escape from his master, when he
found himself near to his native mountains. He
told them how he had to run by night and hide up
in trees or under hedges during the day, and what
narrow escapes he had of being caught again.

And then all the young bears would make him


16 The Life of a Bear.



tell of the other animals he had seen when he lived
in a cart, that went from place to place with a great
many other carts, full of wild beasts and birds and
snakes. There were several different members of
Mr. Bear’s family, he said—Russian bears, and
Syrian bears, and a black bear who came from
America. These were quiet animals, and lived on
fruits and vegetables as he did, and only ate flesh
occasionally. And besides these, there were a polar
bear and a grizzly bear, and both these were flesh-
eating creatures, and very fierce and savage at times
if they were hungry, or if the people who came to
stare at them in their cages tormented them, as they
often did.

It was a dismal life in spite of so much company :
the carts were small and hot, and the food was very
bad, and there was not much of it, and the other
creatures howled and roared in such a doleful way.
Of a night, when all their visitors were gone and
their keepers were asleep, sometimes he and the
other bears could enjoy a little quiet chat, and tell
each other of old times, and how they lived before
they were caught.

Many a long story did old Bruin tell of the won-
derful things the foreign bears had howled to him in
the menagerie, and Mrs. Bear had a capital memory,
and could repeat everything she had heard to young
Martin and Basil ; and how they wished they could
Mr: Bears Relations. 17



have seen the old bear, and heard his marvellous
history !

Mrs. Bear would tell of her North-country cousin,
who was always dressed in white, and lived in the
coldest countries, and fed on the fish he caught by
diving under the water of the arctic seas.

But it was grave Mr. Bear who told them so
many dreadful things about the grizzly bear, and his
prodigious size and strength.

On the whole, Martin and Basil liked the white
bear best. They thought it must be so grand to
live among the icebergs and float about on them for
miles and miles without meeting a living thing ; and
to dive under the water and hunt the slippery seals
must be fine sport, they knew.

Sometimes they played at seal-hunting, and young
Martin was the white bear, and little Basil always
had to be the seal; or sometimes he had to bea
sailor all alone upon the ice, and Martin would
spring upon him and pretend to devour him as the
bear in old Bruin’s story did. It was very odd, they
thought, that the polar bear should have such a
thick hairy covering under his feet, but it must keep
them nice and warm when he treads on the ice and
snow, and help him not to slip.

Martin asked his mother if she thought the white
bear would ever come and see them, but she shook
her head, and said she feared they lived too far

2
18 he Life of a eer

away; at all events, she had never seen one in all
her long life. But Martin still wished to see the
white bear, and hear more about the seals and fish
of the frozen seas; and you will see he had his
wish.

The black bear: of meee is a very handsome
creature ; his fur is much smoother and more glossy
than even Martin’s was, in spite of all the care his
mother spent on him. And yet it is so thick and
warm that his skin is very valuable to make coats
and warm rugs of, and many a black bear has been
hunted and shot for the sake of his nice fur coat.

The hunters, after stripping the poor bear of his
skin, make his legs into hams, and call their friends
together for a feast of bear-meat. And when the
guests have come, they first of all put the head care-
fully in a new blanket, ard after dressing it up in
beads and all the finery they can spare, they bury it
with much ceremony, and then sit down and enjoy
their feast.

The black bear’s babies are very pretty; their
coats at first are such a pretty light grey colour you
might almost think they were kittens; but when
they get to be a year old they change their coats,
and are soon as black as all the old ones.

The Indian bear is almost as black as the
American, but he is a much shaggier fellow, and
has rusty brown hairs on him in places and a bar of










A DISTANT RELATION IN AMERICA,

Mr. Bears Relations. 21

white across his chest; but though he is not so
handsome as the black bears in America, he is a
very kind affectionate animal, and can play some
very funny tricks, and make most curious noises
with his mouth and lips.

The Indians often catch these bears, and teach
them to play funny antics to amuse the people; and
the Indian or sloth bear, as he is sometimes called,
is very quiet and easily taught, and can be made
quite tame.

A very different creature is the ferocious grizzly
bear. His tremendous strength and courage make
him more than a match for the bravest hunter, and
if he gets wounded and hurt, but not killed, he will
rush at the man who has hurt him, and, standing on
his hind-legs, will hit out with his strong heavy
paws and sharp talons, showing all the time a row
of great strong teeth ready to finish the work that
he has begun with his paws. It is lucky then for
the hunter if he can take swift aim before the angry
bear is upon him, and wound him in the head or
heart. The grizzly bear is himself a hunter, and so
great is the terror that all other animals have of him,
that they do not like even to touch his skin after he
is dead, and horses cannot easily be made to carry
it upon their backs unless they are trained to do so.
Mr. Bear told many stories about his cousin the
grizzly bear, and of the fights he had with bulls and
22 The Life of a Bear.

buffaloes, and even with the powerful bison; and
little Martin and Basil would listen and think of it
all, and play it all over again when they were left
alone in the morning and evening, while good
Father and Mother Bear were foraging in the
woods.

“So,” said Basil, “if you go to Greenland to see
the polar bear, I shall go to America and live with
the grizzly bear.”

“Well,” said Martin, “I might go with you fora
time, but I should not stay among such ignorant and
savage people, and I do not want to be hunted for
my skin.”

‘‘T wonder,” said Martin one day, “when they
will let us go with them to the woods? If they
don’t take us very soon, I shall start off alone.”
And so he tried to one day, and got safely just a
little way down the first steep bit of rock, but the
steps were very narrow and far apart, and soon he
felt so giddy and frightened that he was glad to get
safely back to his more cautious brother, and wait
for the time when Mrs. Bear would help him on.

But this was not for some time yet ; another long
cold winter came, and Martin and Basil slept it all
away in a snug little hole that their mother found
for them close to her own cave. She strewed the
floor with nice dry moss, and, bidding them good-
night, filled up their doorway and left them cosy and










INDIA

N UNCLE IN

A

Myr. Bear's Relations. 25

warm. And there they stayed till the spring-time,
and when she came to help them out, they had
grown such fine tall bears she hardly knew them
again ; they had no longer those pretty white bands
round their necks, but were brown and rough all
over, just like old Mr. Bear.

And Mrs. Bear had got four little bears now with
her in the large old cave, so Martin and Basil plainly
saw that the time had come when they must shift for
themselves.
CHAP TE Rave
THE FIRST DAY IN THE WOODS.

TO Martin’s delight, Mr. Bear told him that
¢ he should go with him to the woods that
very day.

Martin capered about, and danced
round and round on his hind-legs, till his mother
and little Basil quite laughed at him. He cared
very little for that. ‘“ They shall soon see,” he said
to himself, “what I cando. Now I shall have fine
fun, and see a little of the world.” And he started
off down the steep mountain side as if he had been
used to it all his lifee Mr. Bear followed more
slowly, while Mrs. Bear, Basil, and the four young
ones, watched them from their home.

Mrs. Bear thought he must slip as he jumped from
rock to rock, and stepped firmly down the steepest
places. But no, Martin was stronger than she
thought. He kept in front of Mr. Bear all the time,
for he had watched his father so often on his way up


The First Day in the Woods. ay

and down the mountain that he knew where to go
perfectly well.

At length the wood was reached, and then all
was new to him, and very wonderful it seemed.
As he looked under the shade of the tall pine trees
he felt just a little frightened, and, looking round for
old Father Bear, he waited for him to go in first.

“What, afraid of the trees, Martin ?” said Mr.
Bear; “we are lords of this forest, and have nothing
to fear while we are among the trees: let us see
what we can find for breakfast.”

And first they walked a long way down a narrow
glade, under the shade of the tall trees. Martin
thought it was very dark, but Mr. Bear went very
quickly now, and Martin walked close beside him,
and did not feel so frightened as at first.

Presently Mr. Bear stopped, and Martin saw a
little heap of earth at his feet, and was just wonder-
ing what it could be, when Mr. Bear touched it
lightly with his paw, and hundreds of tiny creatures
ran in all directions. ‘“ Now be sharp,” said Mr.
Bear ; but Martin had lost no time, and was eating
them up as fast as he could, and very soon the whole
colony of ants, their eggs and store of food, were
gone, and Martin and Mr. Bear were on their way
again. Martin thought ants very good, and he began
to feel quite old and experienced as he looked about
him on all sides. They found no more ants just
28 The Life of a Bear.



then, and soon they came to a more open part of the
forest, where the oak and ash trees grew, and where
the ground was thickly covered with beautiful wild-
flowers.

Martin loved flowers very much; there were a
few that grew high up among the rocks near their
home, and he and Basil had watched them as they
grew from buds to flowers and then to seeds; and
when they looked so tired and hot on a sunny day,
when the earth was so dry, and there was no rain,
Basil used to say he wished they could go into the
cave with them and stay in the cool shade till the
evening came. And if it rained, they would run to
see their flowers hold up their heads and drink the
fresh cool drops.

Martin would have liked to sit down and watch
all these new flowers to-day, but now he must learn
to climb trees, Mr. Bear said, and bade him try first
a fine old oak tree. Some of the lower boughs were
broken off, so that he could climb up till he came to
a strong thick branch, where he could sit and enjoy
a hearty meal of young leaves and twigs.

Mr. Bear sat high up in another tree close by,
and when they had both made a good breakfast, he
said, as he helped Martin down again, ‘“ And what
shall we take to Mother Bear ?”

« Ants,” suggested Martin; “she must like them,
I’m sure, they are so delicious.”
Wg is First Day in the Woods. 29



i ne Hey are, seid Martin,” an i ae “but
ants are such fidgety things to carry, I think she
must wait for them till Sioa comes with us; we will
take her a good bunch of leaves to-day.”

Mr. Bear was soon at the top of a big ash tree,
and throwing down twigs and leaves, which Martin
rolled into two bundles; and when each had picked
his bundle up, they started off on the journey home.

The sun by this time was high up in the sky, and
Martin felt tired and hot, and wondered why it
seemed such a long way home ; he thought he could
not climb that steep place with his bundle of leaves,
and very glad he was when he saw Basil coming
down to meet him. He was picking his way from
rock to rock, and coming so carefully and slowly,
that when they met Martin was very glad to sit
down in a shady nook and watch his brother hungrily
devouring his breakfast, while he told him about all
he had seen in the forest. Martin made a great
deal of catching the ants. ‘It is almost as good as
seal-hunting,” he said; “ you must be so quick, or
they will all get away.”

But Basil wished most to see the flowers and
climb the oak trees; he determined to climb every
one in the forest, and find all the bees’ nests. He
hoped his father would let him go with them to-
morrow ; it was stupid work playing with such tiny
26. The Life of a Bear.

babies ; he wanted to see the world, and would not
be left at home another day.

So next day they all went off together, and Mrs.
Bear went too; and they found ants’ nests and
climbed trees, eating everything that came in their
way, and never missing a single slug or snail that
was within reach.

Every day they wandered in different directions ;
sometimes the young ones went off together, and
sometimes Martin went quite alone.

He was getting very bold now, and ventured
farther and farther down the mountain, and nearer
and nearer to the gardens and orchards.

Once or twice he saw men walking in the woods,
and then he made off as fast as he could, thinking
all the time of poor old Bruin, who had been a
captive so long.

But as time went on he got less timid; he felt
sure the fruit in those orchards must be delicious, and
worth risking something for. So he started off one
morning much earlier than usual, without even wait-
ing for Basil, and ran almost all the way to the
nearest garden he knew of.
CEL Act

THE ORCHARD.

lower down in sehie valley.

Martin had often sat up in a tree, just
inside the wood, and looked down into the valley
below. The little cottages were scattered about
among the trees, and the gardens and orchards
stretched up the hill onall sides. Then, lower down,
quite in the valley, were vineyards, with long straight
rows of vines just growing up. Martin had tasted
some grapes last year, and he watched the vines
growing, determined to find some quiet path to the
vineyards before the grapes were ripe.

He had watched the gardens so often, that he had
found out all the habits of the men in the valley
before he ventured nearer to them than the edge of
the wood. He saw that they worked in their gardens
very early in the morning, and then went home to


32 The Life of a Bear.



their cottages ; and once, when he had stayed rather
later than usual, he had seen all the men come out
again and go down a broad road, quite out of the
village ; and he watched them a long time, till they
disappeared in the direction of some tall smoking
chimneys, that he could see a very long way off.

It puzzled him a good deal to think why they
always went the same way ; he supposed they must
go in search for food, and wondered what they found
so far off, and when they would come back, for though
he stayed a long time, he saw none of them return.

He came again and again to the same spot, but
always found the men already at work ; they seemed
to get up very early to dig and plant their gardens,
before they went to their work at the factory.

But at last he got up much earlier than he had
ever done before; the sun was only just peeping
above the trees, and had not yet put out all the
stars, for one very big one was still shining with a
faint silvery light, as Martin dressed himself more
quickly than usual, and ran off down the mountain,
without even waking the sleepy Basil. How fresh
and cool it was ; he stopped one minute at the edge
of the forest to eat a delicious snail that lay just in
his path, and he saw the big sun just start on his
day’s journey, and shine all round on the trees and
hills, and the last star could be seen no more; but
Martin knew he was only waiting till the sun had
The Orchard. a3



travelled round and gone down in the west, and then
he would shine out again as pretty and bright as
ever.

Martin was at the orchard first to-day, and oh the
delight of feasting on cherries, and raspberries, and
currants! He thought he had never enjoyed a
breakfast so much ; and determined next morning
to bring his brother with him, if he could tempt him
to venture so far from home.

After his meal it was still early, and he could not
turn homewards without going a little way down into
the neat, pretty garden that was all round the cottage.
He wondered if everything growing there was fit to
eat, and began to root up some carrots that grew
farthest from the house, and had just taken a great
bite at a pretty red root, when he heard the sound of
barking dogs and lowing cattle, and a minute later a
jingling of milk-pails, and he knew it would be
dangerous to stay any longer. Run, Martin, to your
forest; those gardeners will not love you for robbing
their orchard, and if they catch you in their garden,
they will do their best to keep you longer than you
would wish.

Much as he would have liked to stay and finish off
the bed of carrots, he knew he must not ; as it was,
he only just managed to get away before the men
were out, and he had to run very fast till he got
among the thick trees.

a
J
a4 The Life oe Bear.



ae. noe Wound the other ae eho ‘Had beet
wondering where Martin had gone off so slily all
alone.

When Mr. Bear heard about the orchard and
garden, he felt quite proud of having such a bold,
venturesome young bear for his son, and. they all
laughed at little Basil, because’ he said he should
never dare to go near a house ; he knew he should
be caught.

“Those babies at home will be grown up before
you, then, I think,” said Mr. Bear.

Basil changed his mind, however, by-and-by, and
thought that next morning he would go as far as the
orchard, if not to the garden; but the next day, and
the next, and the next, the men were up before
them. I think those peasants must have missed
their fruit, and have got up early to catch the thief.
When at last the two young bears succeeded in ~
getting to the orchard first, all the cherries were
gone, and nothing was left but very small apples,
and they were hard and so sour. Martin was quite
disgusted, and tried to persuade Basil to go down to
the garden and look for roots; but Basil only said,
very likely the roots would be gone too; he would
stay in the woods, where he could take things more
easily. Martin called him “booby,” and. said he *
cared nothing for those men; he rather hoped they
would attack him.




fm

eh
a

nth

oh i

“nye
alt

i





A GRAND DISCOVERY.

The Orchard. 37

oO



You see, Martin was very much like some other
young people I have known; he felt very bold and
courageous when he could not see the danger; but
I must say he ran very fast if ever a man appeared
in the forest, or if he even heard the barking of their
dogs.

He used to watch some very large birds that
always went down to the forest or valley every day,
and then flew back with their prey clasped tightly
in their talons; and he wandered one day quite
round the side of the mountain, where it was more
shady and much more bare and rocky than it was
near their home. He had seen the eagles fly this
way, and he thought he should like to find out where
they lived. This was a very wild place; there were
not many trees and not much grass growing, and
soon he came to a very large cave. It seemed to
be very much like their own, and he felt sure it
must be the home of some other bears who were
out for their evening walk. Martin had seen some
bears in his forest, and had heard his mother and
father speak of having met them. So now he had
found their home.

He was full of curiosity to see what it was like ;
but after examining every corner of it he could find
nothing unusual, only two very little bears asleep in
their leafy bed, and he was going off again in pursuit
of the eagles, when he smelt what he thought must
38 The Life of a Bear.



be some roots like those which grew in the garden.
By scratching a little he soon found the place where
they were, buried under the earth, and dug up about
a dozen large turnips and a few carrots too; and
without stopping to think of the trouble his friends
must have taken to bring them there and store them
up, he ate and ate till they were every one gone.
It was lucky for him that the bears stayed out rather
late that day ; they might not have been pleased to
find Martin feeding at their expense, without an
invitation.

I am afraid our Martin was a dishonest fellow,
but perhaps Mother Nature has not taught bears
that proverb which we have all written in our copy-
books: ‘“ Honesty is the best policy.”
CHAPTER VI.
THE eee NEST.

2ARTIN had lost so much time while he
was enjoying his supper of roots, that it
was too late to hope to find the eagle’s
nest, that, mieht,. But the nextday. he
began to think about it again, and making a hurried
visit to the forest, he contented himself with a plain
breakfast of leaves and slugs, and then sat quietly
at home for the rest of the day, considering how he
could best make sure of finding the nest. He
fancied the bird must have got a store of food some-
where, for often it went down several times in one
day, and he could see that it carried quite large
things sometimes. Surely, said he to himself, some
of it must be good and nice ; and he was resolved at
all events to see the. young eagles, if he did not
share their supper.

After he had been thinking a long time, and sleeping
a little between his thoughts to refresh himself (for,


40 The Life of a Bear.

you on: ae deep thinking is very fae work,
and is apt to make one sleepy), he quite decided to
start off that very afternoon, as soon as he saw the
eagle fly across over the valley ; he would not wait
to see him swoop down on whatever he fancied for
his supper, but he would go round to the place
where the eagle first appeared, and quietly wait till
it came back with its prey, and then he thought, by
running a little, he should be able to trace it to its
lofty home. No doubt the creature would be terrified
at his size and important appearance, and would
perhaps drop its prey, or, if not, it would fly off toa
respectful distance, while he made the acquaintance
of the eaglets or eggs, whichever there might be in
the nest.

When he had turned this plan over and over in
his mind, he felt quite satisfied with it, and very
pleased with himself for his cleverness; and feeling
sure of an easy victory, even if the eagle did attempt
to defend its nest, he rolled himself up for a good
sleep before starting on his expedition.

He was too much excited, however, by his antici-
pations of sport to sleep as soundly as usual, and he
awoke quite early in the afternoon. But he was not
much too soon, for before he was thoroughly awake
he saw the magnificent bird sailing along in the air
high up above him, and flying straight to a spot far
away at the other end of the valley.


int
ial

ee
Ly











CATCHING A TARTAR.

The Eagle's Nest. 43

He was soon on his way to his watching post. It
was a hot, sultry afternoon, but Martin was too much
occupied to think of the weather. He stationed
himself on a very high place where he could see all
round him to a great distance; and he had not
very long to wait. Soon the eagle came towards
him, flying rapidly in the air, carrying what looked
to him like a good-sized bird. He followed on
higher and higher up the mountain, till it got so
difficult to climb that he almost lost his footing once
or twice, and thought he should have to give up the
pursuit. He had seen the eagle alight above him
on a narrow ledge of rock, and before Martin could
reach the spot he had flown off again to a high pro-
jecting piece of rock at a distance, and sat there
quietly dressing his feathers after his long flight.

“Now,” thought Martin, “I must get to his nest
before he comes back ;” and he managed to climb on
to a flat piece of rock that was just under the hollow
place where he had seen the eagle leave his prey,
and, standing on his hind legs, he was able to peep
in and see what was going on in the nest.

But Martin was not prepared for the warm recep-
tion he met with. Mrs. Eagle was a much larger
bird than her husband, and she was sitting in her
nest with her two downy eaglets, comfortably em-
ployed in tearing up the large fowl that Mr. Eagle
had brought, and feeding herself and the hungry
44 The Life of a Bear.



eaglets with the morsels. When she found herself
disturbed in her maternal cares, and saw a rough
shagey face, with two very small bright eyes, peeping
up at her young ones, and looking into her well-
stocked larder close by, she fell upon the intruder,
and beat him about the head with her powerful talons
and beak. Martin was very glad to escape with his
life from such a violent bird, and howling with pain
and disappointment, dispirited and crestfallen, he -
crawled back to his home, leaving the eagles un-
disputed masters of the position.

Poor Martin’s eyes and ears smarted with the
blows Mrs. Eagle had dealt out to him so unspar-
ingly, and when Mrs. Bear saw him coming home
in this unwonted manner, she felt sure there must be
something wrong with him. But as he did not seem
disposed to talk, but went quietly to his corner and
settled himself as if for sleep, she would not disturb
him by asking any questions. Only she wondered
very much what could ail her bonny Martin, who
was such a sprightly, jovial animal, and always
looked so courageous when he set out, and so
satisfied and victorious when he came home, and
had never been seen in the doleful dumps before.
CHAFIER VIL
AMONG THE BEES,

HEN he woke up the next morning,
Martin could not think at first what had
happened to him; his head felt too heavy,
and he could hardly open his eyes.

After a few minutes he remembered it all, and
shuddered when he thought of Mrs. Eagle; cer-
tainly he could never forget how fierce and savage
she looked when she first caught sight of him so
near her nest. Her hooked beak and large eyes,
with their overhanging brows of golden feathers,
gave her such a determined expression ; and as she
spread and flapped her wings, what an enormous
creature she was!

Martin had often robbed the birds’ nests in the
forest, and had never found the birds capable of
making any resistance worth thinking of; but an
eagle was a bird to be respected—so he thought
now, while he was still aching from the beating he
had had.


46 The Life of a Bear.



He did not go down to the forest that day. Basil
brought him some food home, and when they were
quite alone, Martin told his brother a little of what
had made him so ill; and when, presently, they saw
the eagle pass by, Basil trembled, and said how he
pitied the poor chicken, or hare, or pussy-cat, who
should happen to be in Mr. Eagle’s way.

They did not know that eagles are really kind
birds, and never cruelly torment their prey. On the ,
contrary, one sharp grip of an eagle’s claw is quite
enough to kill a bird or fowl, or any small animal, in
a moment, before it even has time to cry out. He
is a noble creature, and kills nothing for sport only,
but when he has filled his larder—which he always
keeps somewhere near his nest—he will not touch
any creature until more food is needed for himself,
his wife, or their little eaglets.

Martin told his baby brothers and sister about the
eagle’s nest, and they all opened their eyes, and
crept close to him while he warned them to beware —
of the king of birds.

When he had dressed himself the next day, he
felt better, and determined to go with the others to .
the woods as usual; but he did not make any excur-
sions beyond the old haunts for many a day.

After a little time, he found life rather dull with
the old folks, and said he must take an early walk
into the village again, and see what sort of crops
Among the Bees. 47



were growing now, and how the grapes were getting
on.

He had discovered a narrow path out of the
wood, that seemed to lead in a different direction to
any he had yet taken. He thought it might bring
him to some gardens where he would find ripe fruit ;
so one day he tried it.

It was a pretty little path, very narrow in places,
and sometimes more wide and open; the ground
was covered with tall grass and red poppies, and all
kinds of meadow flowers; on one side there was a
sort of rocky wall, which indeed was part of the
mountain, and on the other a green hedge, full of
wild roses and woodbine, and here and there a wild
raspberry-bush covered with delicious fruit.

Martin thought this lane was the prettiest place he
had ever seen, and wondered how he had been so
long finding it out. He kept sitting down and rest-
ing in the long cool grass, watching the poppies flap
about on their tall delicate stems as the gentle summer
breeze blew round them. There seemed to be more
bees than usual about, but that was no doubt because
this was such a quiet flowery lane.

Presently the path wound round the hill a little,
and he could see a part of the village that was quite
new to him. There was the church, and several
large cottages near it, and beyond he could see the
vineyards. Whilst he was looking about and wonder-
48 The Life of a Bear.



ing which way he should go, suddenly he heard a
buzz, and a great swarm of bees flew past him, and
settled on a tree at a little distance. He had never
seen bees fly in a swarm like this before. He knew
well enough how to find a wild bees’ nest, and how
to scratch out and eat the honey, and he did not care
much if they stung him a little; his hair was very
long, and his skin thick ; it only hurt him when they
got in his mouth or ears, as one or two sometimes
did. But wild bees seldom swarm, and such a scene
filled him with amazement.

He must find out where they had come from, he said
to himself, and see if they had left any honey behind ;
so he crawled through a gap in the hedge, and found
himself in a small paddock where there were some
cows grazing, and in the farthest corner was a barn,
where he thought the bees might live. But when
he had crept slowly round to it, keeping close to
the hedge to avoid being noticed, he found it con-
tained only a store of hay and corn, and there was a
place for poultry, and close by a yard, full of fowls
of all sorts.

He was too intent on getting honey to stop for
the corn to-day, and he-did not much care to talk to
the fowls ; so on he went through the yard into the
garden. When he saw no one there, he strolled
about till he came to a low stone wall, and on it a
row of curious things that looked like very tiny hay-






































































THE BITTER SWEET,

Among the Bees. 51

stacks, and there were the bees going in and out of
a small hole in each of them. Then his walk had
not been invain. Of all treats, honey is the greatest
toa bear. Over went the hives one after another,
and out rushed the infuriated bees. He was not
afraid of bees, and this honey was most of it new
and white, and more delicious than any he had tasted
yet. He would soon have finished off the whole
apiary if he had been left undisturbed.

But the bees, when they found they could not
drive off their enemy with the only weapon they
possessed, flew high in the air, making such a buzz
and commotion that their master and another man,
who were just returning with the newly captured
swarm, accompanied by two ugly terriers, and armed
with hay-forks, came upon the scene of action.

Martin was so busily engaged just then with the
largest of the hives, which he had thrown down,
that he did not see nor hear them coming, and as he
stopped a minute to rub a number of bees off his face
and ears, he heard the yelping of the terriers, who
were over the wall first, and had caught sight of him
on their premises.

The dogs were soon rolled over with two strokes
of his heavy paws, but he did not much care to face
two men and those ugly forks, so he took to his
heels, and, running faster than he ever did before,
had just regained his path, and managed to climb

4—2
52 The Life of a Bear.



the first tall tree he came to, when he heard the men
coming. They were running too, so fast that they
did not stop to look up in the tree, and were soon
out of sight in the wood. When he thought they
were far enough away, he descended from the tree,
and ran as fast as he could in an opposite direction,
till he came to an open place, where he could climb
up the mountain another way. Once more among
the pine trees, he felt quite safe, and sat down to rest
after his run.

Now he began to feel the effects of a quarrel with
the bees ; his mouth, and eyes, and ears were swelled
and burning, and he much enjoyed rolling his head
in the cool soft earth. He knew there was always
a little pain to be borne after a feast of honey, and
he was so well satisfied with his morning’s work
that he soon forgot the smart, and resolved to
return another day and see if any more of the
cottagers kept hives of bees.
Char eee ved.
A WARM RECEPTION.

HAT grassy lane had many attractions,
and Martin often came down to look for
bee-hives, and he used to lie down close
to the hedge, and watch the cows feeding

in the meadows. He thought they must be con-

tented creatures to be able to live happily in a small
field shut in with hedges and gates on all sides ;
they must be ignorant things, and most likely had
never even seen the forest. It would be a kindness

to make acquaintance with them, and tell them a

little about the mountain, and about the: habits of

slugs and ants, and to show them how to climb
trees, which would make some variety in their lives.

With a little trouble he could learn their language,

no doubt, and then he would get them to tell him

what were their notions on things in general, and
how they could find occupation for their time in such

a small place; and perhaps they would tell him, too,

what they did when they felt dull or cross.


54 The Life of a Bear.



Accordingly he pushed his way through the hedge
again, and sat down just inside, waiting to see if the
cows would notice him. But they would not look
that way; they seemed half asleep ; some were slowly
nibbling at the short grass, and some were lying
down with their eyes nearly shut, and munching
away at nothing. There were a few larger beasts
at the far side of the field, and Martin thought he
would go and see whether these were more lively.

Apparently they were. One of them evidently
saw Martin creeping along, for he held his head
down near the ground as if he were looking to see
what brown thing it could be that dared to approach
him unasked ; and he began to walk slowly towards
him, one or two of the others following at a distance.
Martin was delighted ; they saw him, and he turned
and walked a little way into the field, giving at the
same time a grunt by way of opening the conversa-
tion. The bulls made no answer, and he thought
they looked sulky, but he would not be daunted ; it
might be only their way of looking dignified.

All in a minute, before he had taken three steps
towards them, the foremost bull shook his head in
the air, and then suddenly lowering it almost to the
ground, rushed wildly at the astonished Martin, who
had no time to escape, even if he could have guessed
what was going to happen.

In an instant he felt a dreadful blow in his side,




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































VEZ



A ROUGH PLAYFELLOW.

*

A Warm Reception. 57



and, roaring with pain and fright, he went spinning
through the air at a great height, and fell giddy and
almost stunned to the earth, not very far from the
place where he had come into the field. He could
just hear the tramping of the heavy feet as he lay
panting on the ground, and he felt that if he did not
get up and escape, he would have to bear a repetition
of the bull’s greeting; so he crawled to the grassy
lane, and as he lay down once more on the other
side of the hedge, he could hear the excited bulls
come up to the place, and stand as if wondering
what had become of their victim.

Another defeat! Poor Martin, sore at heart, and
aching from the fall and the two bruises in his side,
where the horns of the angry bull had struck him,
could not move at first, but lay in the long grass till
he felt the heat of the sun scorching him; and,
parched with thirst, he crawled slowly along where
so lately he had run, merry and triumphant.

Why were the creatures so unsociable ? He won-
dered they were not as anxious for his friendship as
he was for theirs. All they seemed to think of was
keeping their homes to themselves, and if anyone
they did not know came to call on them, they imme-
diately set him down as an impostor, and did their
best to kill him.

This was not as it should be, he thought; he
wished he was strong enough to teach them better
58 The Life of a Bear.



manners, but he supposed they would be too con-
ceited to learn, and perhaps it would be wiser to
follow what seemed to be the rule, and the next
creature he met to spring upon it and tear it to
pieces. He would take care to avoid animals armed
with talons or horns in future, and with this deter-
mination he crept homewards.

It was very hot and sultry that morning, and
Martin was very glad when he saw the mountain
stream that ran through the forest; he took a deep
draught of the cool fresh water, and bathed his
aching limbs, and a little refreshed after this, he
managed to climb to his home.

It was late, and he found the whole family asleep;
and lying down in his vacant corner, he tried to
sleep too. But he could not rest, and rolled over
and over, groaning sometimes, and soon disturbed
Mrs. Bear.

She always slept lightly, and could hear every
little grunt her babies gave, and often woke up to
lick them, and turn them over. When she heard
Martin moaning in his painful sleep she got up, and,
taking a good look at him, could plainly see that he
was ill and hurt. Then she softly left the cave, and
went to the forest for some leaves she knew of that
grew in a shady place near the water.

You must have thought before this what a
thoughtful, clever animal Mrs. Bear was, but you
A Warm Reception. 59
cannot guess half her wisdom. She had lived so
many years, and had stored up so much information
about things she had heard or found out for herself,
that there were very few things a bear could know
that she was ignorant of. Of course she knew all
about that shrubby plant which grows in moist
shady places, and is so useful for healing and sooth-
ing bruises and aching limbs. Many a time in their
young days she had had to fetch it for Mr. Bear,
who had been just as adventurous as our Martin
was now.

She quickly gathered a large bunch of leaves, and
dipping them in the running water, carried them
home to heal her favourite son.

And Martin felt refreshed directly his mother put
the cool leaves on him. The pain was better, and
he fell into a quiet sleep, and slept for many hours.
Cr AP Ties
THE REAPERS.

$F he had not had such a wise, careful
? mother, I think Martin would have been
much longer than he was before he could
walk about again. He was all over
bruises, and his limbs were so stiff he could neither
stand nor sit.

Mrs. Bear stayed with him all the day, only
going to the forest now and then for the medicine
leaves; and in the evening he had revived enough
to tell them all about his encounter with the bull.
He did not feel.so much ashamed of being beaten
by a bull as by a bird, for everyone knows that a
bull is a large and powerful beast, and his horns are
most dangerous weapons. Mr. Bear warned him
not to be too rash in disturbing animals without
knowing more about them.

“They are only half educated,” he said, “and
have lived among creatures like themselves, shut


The Reapers. 61



up in meadows and feeding upon the grass, so long
that they have come to think themselves wiser and
bigger, and altogether superior to the rest of the
world; and I do not think it is much use to try and
be friendly with them.” Mr. Bear, you see, was
a philosopher, and Martin respected his father very
much, and though he despised the cattle for their
stupid ignorance, he decided not to attempt to teach
them better.

After some time, when he had quite recovered,
his father told them one day that he had a great
treat in store for them: the next day they should all
go to a cornfield he would show them. He had
kept his eyes on it for a long while, and the corn was
now ripe, though he did not fancy the reapers would
be there for some days. He said they would be
able to go in the evening, for he noticed that the
men generally went to the field at dusk, and turned
out any stray children or dogs that might happen
to be there, and then, bolting the gates, left the
field; and he did not believe they ever went again

till the morning. ‘The moon will give us light
enough,” he said, “and we shall not care for a bolted
gate.”

Just after sunset they set off down the hill and
through the forest, which looked darker than ever
before. There was such a thick mist coming up
from the valley that they could hardly see which
62 The Life of a Bear.



way they were going, but presently the full moon
rose over the opposite hill; it looked large and red
at first, but soon it was bright, and shining with more
than its usual light, for it was the harvest moon, and
in a few days it would be giving light to the people
of the valley, who would go out reaping in the fields
after their day’s work was done.

Mr. Bear and his family began the reaping for
them this time.

They did not go very far into the forest, but
across it, near the top, and then down the hill
beyond. Here they found a footpath which grew
into a rough road, and brought them to the edge of
the farm. They had to pass several fields which
Mr. Bear said were not ripe enough yet, till they
came to one that looked all white in the moonlight ;
here he stopped, and took a good look round to
make sure they were alone, before he climbed the
cate. It was allright. The rest followed him, and
by the time Basil was helped over, they saw Mr.
Bear already sitting on his haunches in a corner of
the field, and they took a lesson in reaping. It was
simple work. Martin almost thought he could have
found it out for himself, but of course it was necessary
to teach Basil, who knew so little about foraging.
You only had to sit upright and catch in your arms
as large a number of stalks of wheat as you could,
and take care to hold them tight till you had eaten
\

The Reapers. 63



all the ears off, which was not long if you were full-
sized, like Mr. and Mrs. Bear; but of course
Martin’s arms were not long enough to grasp so
many at once, and Basil’s were still shorter.

They did not take very long to finish a field of
corn, and all pronounced it to be in excellent con-
dition.

“We can take each of these fields in order,” said
simple Basil, ‘and finish all off by degrees.”

‘That only shows how little you know about it,”
said Martin, ‘Why, to-morrow, when they miss
this corn, there will be such a stir; we had better
not leave our cave all day. And they will be sure
to set a watchman and dog in the other fields of a
night now. It is a good thing we have made such
a feast to-night without being disturbed.” You see,
Martin was gaining experience by degrees.

They were quite tired out by this time, but Mrs.
Bear would not let them go home without carrying
each a bundle of straw to help make the winter
beds. ;

“ There are so many of us now,” she said, “ we
shall want three beds this winter, and must begin to
make them early. We always had a rule at a corn-
feast when I was young—

“« When you’ve eaten the heads,
Take the straw for your beds.”
64 The Life of a Bear.



“Ves” said Mir Bear, “cand

‘“¢ When the corn is down
Acorns soon get brown.
Nuts are fit to eat,
Grapes grow ripe and sweet.’ ”

And Martin, who had by this time learnt a few
things, went on:
“The morning sun looks hazy,
The leaves are dry and dead,

And bears are getting lazy,
They must make their winter bed.”

Basil knew no proverbs. To tell you the truth, I
think he was a stupid bear, compared to Martin ;
more fond of sleep than anything else. I do not
think he liked coming out of a night at all, and he
made a great fuss about having to carry home a
bundle of straw. At the word “bed,” he said, “ If
you all talk in that sing-song sort of way, I shall be
asleep before long, and you will have to carry me
home.”

“The fact is, you have eaten too much supper,”
said his father. And so it seemed; he rolled about,
and walked so slowly, that the others had to wait
several times for him to come up to them.

Martin, on the contrary, would not own to being
tired. He was always in front, leading the party,
and presently he proposed that they should sit down
a little in an open part of the wood, where they
The Reapers. 65



could see the sleeping village below, all white in the
moonlight. He wanted his father, he said, to tell
him how he could get to the vineyards without
interfering with the bulls.

So they all sat down, and Basil took the oppor-
tunity of having a quiet doze, while Mr. Bear
pointed out to Martin a way round the opposite
side of the hill, without going through the forest at
all.
~ “You'll find it a very rocky, barren place till you
get quite down in the village,” he said ; “only a few
stunted fir-trees will grow there, and the ground is
covered with heath and moss. You will not meet
anything, unless it is a deer or a few sheep or goats
browsing, and they will be too timid to touch you.”
This was just right, Martin thought; he hoped he
should meet some of them—he could try the plan of
punishing them first, and making their acquaintance
afterwards.

Mr. Bear pointed out that large field behind the
church that Martin had seen once before. They
could see the rows of vines quite plainly now.
Martin said he knew if it was daylight he could see
the bunches of red grapes, only the moonlight turned
everything black or white. Even the wildflowers at
their feet had lost all their colour, and looked like
phantom flowers, in the rays of the full moon.
Martin wondered what became of their colours in

5
66 The Life of a Bear.



the night, and when they woke up Basil, he asked
him what he thought about it; as he had made such
friends with the flowers, perhaps he had found out
more about them. But Basil was too tired and cross
to talk much, and only said he supposed they were
afraid the heavy dews would spoil their pretty
colours, so they kept them to wear in daylight,
when more people could see them; of course they
did not expect any visitors in the middle of: the
night, and for his part he thought they were quite
right.

It was nearly day when the bears reached the
cave. The moon had gone down, and the pale
morning star was shining all alone in the grey east,
but none of them noticed it. They were too sleepy,
and were soon each in his corner, enjoying their rest
as much as they had théir expedition, and it took all
that day and the next night for them to recover from
the effects of such a heavy supper.
CHAPTER 2X.
AM) BASY VICTORY,

‘HEN the theft was found out next day,
there was indeed a stir in the farmyard.

Two labourers, on their way to work,
were the first to discover it. They
carried the news to the farm kitchen, and many
were the conjectures as to who or what had been
among the corn. Soon it reached the ears of
Farmer Jacques himself, who was quietly dressing,
and counting up the price he should get for his ripe
corn when it was all reaped.

They told him how strange the field looked, and
how the ears were gone, but the stalks left, except in
one corner, where some of the straws had been
pulled up by the roots.

“Ah!” he said, “it is the bears, then, and it is
not the first time they have had it.” And then he
wished he had left a man, with his trusty Beppo, to
watch the fields at night. He had been there him-

52



68 The Life of a Bear.



self last evening, and left all so safe and quiet, and
who would have thought of bears just then ? It is true
he had heard the village gossips lately talking about
a young bear robbing Victor’s hives, and getting the
worst of it among the cattle, but he had too much to
do to listen to idle tales, he said; he hardly believed
it was a bear, though Victor and his man both said
so. He thought very likely it was nothing more
than a large dog. But dogs do not eat all the ears
off a field of corn. No, it must be bears this time ;
and they must be caught.

That day nothing else was talked of in the village.
A great many people declared they had seen the
bear at dusk of an evening, prowling about under
the hedges. The strange thing was, nobody had
managed to catch him.

And neighbour Pierre said he believed now that
it must have been the bear who had robbed his
orchard when the cherries were ripe, though at the
time he had felt sure it must be a boy, and had
thrashed several he found playing near his orchard,
so as to make sure of not missing the thief.

Some of the men proposed a bear-hunt, and one
said there was a fellow-workman of his at the silk
factory who had been a great traveller, and had
hunted bears in North America. So it was decided to
invite him to the village as soon as the crops were
all in and the vintage over, and the bear should be
An Easy Victory. 69



caught or killed. A party of hunters could easily be
got together, and with such an experienced man at
their head, they might catch more than one while
they were about it.

They knew they could sell a young bear for a
good sum in the town, for there was a bear-garden
kept at the public expense; and if they killed him,
his skin was worth something, and his hams were
reckoned very good eating; and if he were fat, as
bears generally are at the end of summer, his fat
could be converted into bear’s-grease, which every-
one knew was so useful for many things.

It was agreed that a reward should be offered to
anyone who would trace the bear to his haunt, and
a further reward if he were captured, dead or alive.

It was lucky for Martin that his way to the vine-
yard lay round the far side of the village, where he
had never been seen before, and people would not
think of looking for him.

He knew nothing of his danger, and was delighted
with a walk that was quite new to him: that barren,
rocky place was so different to their own green
woods and grassy slopes! And when he came to
he heathy pasture-land he was delighted to find
there were really sheep upon the hillside, and no
shepherd with them, not even a dog to guard them,
that Martin could see. Here was his opportunity,
and without giving the sheep any warning of his
70 The Life of a Bear.

design, he sprang upon the nearest one, and had him
by the throat, with a strong paw on his chest, before
the terrified creature could even think of making his
escape. He gave a few cries, and the rest of the
flock ran bleating in all directions. At this moment
the shepherd, who had been soundly sleeping, hidden
by the long grass, heard the bleating of his sheep,
and starting from his grassy bed, gave Martin some
severe strokes with a thick stick he carried in his
hand; and Martin, whose courage always fled when
men attacked him, let his victim go, and taking to
his heels, ran as fast as he could among the rocks.
The shepherd was still sleepy, or did not care to
pursue Martin, and finding the sheep was not much
hurt, continued his sleep, that had been so suddenly
disturbed.

As Martin walked on his way to the vineyard he
felt a little ashamed of having run away at the first
strokes of a stick, and he tried to persuade himself
that he ran away because he had not time then to
stay and fight it out with the man. He could not
help thinking he was strong enough to knock one
man down almost as easily as a sheep, and if he had
another chance, he did not think he should be so
chicken-hearted.

And now he was near the vineyard, but he must
make sure of having it to himself, and for this pur-
pose he mounted a tall tree by the roadside. Then






































































































































































































































































































\
ACY iN
IAN







POOR OLD SHEEP!

An Easy Victory. a3,
he saw that the vineyard was full of people busily
employed tending the vines and weeding the ground.
He saw, too, that the grapes were ripe, but he must
go no further to-day ; and it was well he did not go,
for the whole party were discussing the bear-hunt
and the reward that was offered for his capture, and
he would have found it hard to escape if he had
been seen among them.
CHAPTER d:

Aj ATE “DT NINGEER:

Martin felt very cross at having to leave
them without tasting one.

On his way home he decided it would
be wise to make his visits to the vineyard in the
night, or at all events to go down very late in the
evening, and wait in some convenient hiding-place
till all was quiet. That expedition to the corn-field
in the night had been the best feast they had had ©
this summer, but then it was wise Mr. Bear who
had arranged all that, and his plans were always so
well considered and safe.

The other bears were all very much amused with
Martin’s account of his victory over the sheep. Mr.
Bear said he remembered when he was young, he
and another strong bear about his own age had
chased some deer from rock to rock, up and down
the mountain, for several hours, till they all came to


A Late Dinner. 75

a tremendous chasm in the hill, and the deer leapt
across, but it was too wide a leap for a bear, and
they had to content themselves with a stray goat
they found on the way home.

Mr. Bear said he did not much care for flesh, it
always made him more hungry than he was before ;
but he had known bears who, when they had once
tasted flesh, would eat nothing else; and they all
remembered the stories about the grizzly bear, who
would kill and eat an ox or reindeer.

When evening came, Basil tried to persuade

Martin to go with them to the woods. “Nuts are
very sweet and good now,” he said.
“(Grapes are dbetter;” replied Martin’, “i Sam

resolved to dine off grapes to-night, even if I have
to wait rather late for my dinner.”

He stayed after the others had gone for more than
an hour, watching the sun go down, and the sky
turn from blue to gold and red and purple, till the
hills far away that looked so faint and grey in the
morning sunshine seemed to come nearer and nearer,
and to take fantastic shapes as they grew purple
and black against the setting sun. And all his own
mountain, and the pine forest below him, were bathed
in the ruddy glow ; even Martin’s old coat, that was
beginning to get so rough and shaggy, looked quite
gay, lit up with sunset light. Martin had been
getting a little ashamed of his coat lately. No
76 The Life of a Bear.



matter how much time he spent in dressing and
brushing himself, he could not make himself look
respectable ; he had outgrown it, he said, and must
have a new one.

His father had long ago promised him one before
winter, and it was time he should have it. He
could not see why he should not have a sky-blue,
or red, or purple coat; it would be much more
becoming than such a dingy colour as_ brown ;
but he knew Mr. and Mrs. Bear had always
worn brown, so he supposed they would expect him
to be contented with what was good enough for
them.

When the sun had quite gone, and the biggest of
the stars were trying to shine here and there in the
sky, Martin knew that it was time for him to start.
He would go, he thought, by the new path, though
it was a long way round, and then he could come
home by the village and through the forest when all
the villagers were asleep.

As he came near he heard voices in the vineyard,
and waited up ina tall tree till the people had all
passed to their homes, little thinking that the robber-
bear was so near them.

Martin stayed a long time in the tree, but he heard
no more voices, and gradually everything became
very still and calm in the little village, so still that
the sound of the church clock striking the hour quite


































AFTER DINNER,

A Late Dinner. 79



startled Martin, who had never been so near it
before.

You should have seen him eat grapes. I am sure
you would have thought him very greedy. He did
not stop to look if they were ripe, or to take off the
skins, but gobbled up all he could find, little and
big, skins and stones, and sometimes stalks as
well.

No one came to interfere with his enjoyment, and
it was not till he could really eat no more that he
made up his mind to leave the vineyard.

‘‘What a bother it is to have to go home,” he
thought, “just when one is getting tired and sleepy!
It is all very well to say it is healthy to take a walk
before going to bed, but that must depend on what
you have eaten. Grapes are such curious things
when you come to make a whole meal off them.”

Martin grumbled to himself all the way through
the village that it was a stupid thing to live so high
up, and have all the worst of the walking to do when
you were wanting to take it easily.

He was getting a big bear now, and he would
find out a home for himself nearer to the vineyards
and orchards.

He went so slowly through the wood, and stopped
so many times to rest, that it was very late when he
got to the pine forest, and he was almost asleep.
Rolling along with his eyes half shut, and his head
80 The Life of a Bear.



hanging first on one side, then on the other, it was
as much as he could do to keep from falling over
every little rough place he came to. His ragged
coat looked shabbier than ever, and if you had met
him just then for the first time, you would have
shunned him for a disreputable vagabond.
CHAP RE TT.
THE BEAR-HUNT.

OR two or three nights Martin went
regularly to dine in the vineyards, and
came home later and later every night,
and found more difficulty in getting home

as the grapes grew more juicy and sweet.

The nights were getting chilly too, and as Martin
passed the village he longed to turn into some nice
cosy shed, instead of going such a distance through
the misty damp wood. The early mornings were
still very pleasant, and Mr. Bear’s advice was that
they should get up at daybreak, and all go to a
vineyard he could show them at a greater distance
from home, where the grapes were not yet gathered.
He said he did not approve of dining so late; grapes
always got into your head of an evening, but in the
morning, when you were fresh and brisk, it was
surprising how many you could take without feeling
the worse for it. He considered it really disgraceful
6


82 The Life of a Bear.
of Martin to come home in such a state, and so late
at night; he was determined not to have a bad
example set to his younger bears, and if Martin
intended to keep up that sort of thing much longer,
he had better find a new home, and set up house-
keeping on his own account. Mr. Bear declared
he had always been most methodical and regular in
his habits, and he could not submit to have his sleep
disturbed now, at his age, by people coming home
at all hours, night after night. Mrs. Bear thought
all this rather severe, and was quite ready to find
an excuse for Martin. She was going to remind
Mr. Bear of a time when he had not been quite so
sedate as he was now, but she saw that he had rolled
himself up for his afternoon nap after his long speech,
and she only muttered something about “old heads,”
and ‘‘young shoulders,” and told Martin he must
behave more steadily for the future, and in the
spring she would allow him to begin a home for
himself.

Mr. Bear had regained his usual composure and
good-humour when he awoke, and Martin, who was
very fond of his father, and liked above all things
to go on one of Mr. Bear’s expeditions, began to
help him make his plans for the next morning ; and
presently they all went down to the woods nutting,
which Martin fancied was tame work at first; but
when Mr. Bear got up the tree and shook the acorns
The Bear-Flunt. 83.

all around on the grass and on their heads, Martin
enjoyed catching them very much, and thought a
quiet evening in the woods was very agreeable for a
change.

It happened that the next day was fixed upon for
the bear-hunt. The experienced traveller from the
town had arrived in the village the night before, and
all their plans were arranged. The hunters were to
separate when they entered the woods, and search in
all directions in little parties of two or three, and
they agreed upon a signal by which the rest of the
party might be easily summoned if any of them
caught sight of a bear.

While Mr. Bear and his eaenily were making a
sumptuous breakfast in the distant vineyard, the
hunters were already on their way to the woods.

Gaston, the traveller, led the way, and he advised
them to keep a sharp look-out up the trees, for some
of the bears would be sure to be gathering the ripe
acorns or nuts.

“Do not be alarmed,” he said, in a patronising
way, “when you see the bear; if you keep calm, he
will be sure to take fright and run, and then we can
all give chase.”

And he divided the party into twos and threes,
and sent them in all directions ; he himself, with his
friend Jean, taking the highest part of the wood,
where the trees were thicker, and where he said

6—2
84 The Life of a Bear.



probably the bears had a den; and they were soon
far out of sight of the rest.

They had walked a mile or two up the mountain
side, when Jean cried out, “ Here he is!” and Martin,
who was, as usual, walking in front of the rest,
appeared from among ‘the trees; and, seeing two
men so near, stood for an instant, thinking what he
should do.

The brave Gaston now seemed quite frightened ;
he tried to raise his gun, but his hand shook, and
Martin, who quickly detected the signs of fear,
sprang on him and flung him on the ground. In
his terror Monsieur Gaston quite forgot to give his
signal, and could only call to his friend to save him.
He, too, raised his gun, but before he had time to
fire he saw the other three bears coming up close to
him, and then he remembered to signal for his
friends.

Martin did not like the look of the gun, nor the
loud sound of the man’s voice, and he felt quite
satisfied with having thrown his antagonist: you
know he was not a bloodthirsty bear, and to have
knocked one man down and thoroughly frightened
another he considered a complete victory, so he ran
off to his home after his father and mother.

The fallen man was too much shaken to get up
and fire at him as he ran, and the villager, who did
fire, was not accustomed to the use of firearms, and
=

Refe

fh

ZL GE

&





A NEW FOE.



The Bear-flunt. 87

only succeeded in striking a tree quite near
him.

When the rest of the party came up they followed
in the direction they were told the bears had gone,
but soon they came to that steep rocky place near
Mr. Bear’s cave where no one but a bear could find
a footing, and they were obliged to give up the chase
and go home unsuccessful and disappointed.

The villagers could not forgive the mighty bear-
hunter, as they called him, for letting Martin escape,
and they laughed a good deal after that when he
told them how many bears he had encountered and
slain in the backwoods of North America.
Cri) LE Re are
CAUGHT ‘AT LAST.

RS. BEAR had more pride than ever in
her son now that he had escaped from
the hunters, and had, in fact, conquered
them. As for Martin himself, he grew

more and more careless of danger every day.

The vintage was over, and almost all the nuts and
acorns were gone. Martin thought the trees looked
very ill and sad, like moulting birds, with only half
their leaves on.

He was getting very handsome now ; his old coat
had dropped off his back bit by bit, a rag at a time,
and now his new ccat was growing beautifully ; it was
very thick, and a bright, glossy dark brown colour.

Mr. Bear explained to him the reason for his
branch of the family always wearing brown: bears
who live on mountains and among pine-trees would
be noticed so much more if they had pretty-coloured
coats. After long experience they had found out


Caught at Last. 89



that brown was the colour which faded least, and
wore the best, and which would show the least among
the trees.

“The polar bear,” he said, ‘wears white among
the snowy mountains for the same reason, because
white is the warmest colour, and does not show
among the ice and snow.”

Mr. and Mrs. Bear had new coats too; and they
were all very fat and getting every day more sleepy
and disinclined for work.

They spent almost all their time in carrying moss
and leaves for the beds; and Martin, who said he
disliked going among the trees now the leaves were
off and there were no flowers, used to bring hay and
dried fern from the barns and stables in the
village.

He spent his afternoons very often asleep in a
sort of loft that was above an old barn in a narrow
side street, and sometimes he thought he should like
to stay there the whole winter—it was so warm and
dry ; and in the cottage that joined the barn there
was always a good fire burning. Should anyone
find him out, he thought he could make his escape,
and if he failed, why, he would try what could be
done by making friends with the people.

One day as he was passing down the street to his
loft he saw a cottage door standing open. Martin
was always full of curiosity, and could not resist the
90 The Life of a Bear.



temptation to walk in and see what sort of homes
the people lived in.

The place seemed quite deserted, and when he
got inside he found it was a sort of shop. At one
end of the room there were heaps of charcoal piled
up, ready to sell, and through an open door at the back
he could see a great quantity of wood stacked in the
corners of the yard, and in the middle was a large
heap of earth. Martin went out to examine all this,
and then he saw little wreaths of smoke curling up
into the air out of the earth-heap, and there was such
a curious smell everywhere about; he did not like it
at all.

This was the charcoal-burner’s home. He had lit
his wood and carefully covered it with earth to
prevent it burning too fast, and as he knew it would
be very unwholesome for his family to stay in the
house in the fumes of the charcoal, they had all gone
off to the town for a day’s pleasure.

Martin knew nothing about charcoal, but he knew
he felt very drowsy, and as there was a nice fire
burning in the hearth, and it was dull and chilly
outside, he lay down on the floor, and was soon fast
asleep. Stupefied with the fumes and smoke, he lay
sleeping all the night; the owner of the cottage did
not return, and in the morning some of his friends,
finding the door open, looked in to see whether Jean
had come home.
















































































































































































































































































































































































































S AT HOMEP

2

WHO

Caught at Last. 93
You can imagine how surprised they were to see
a good-sized bear lying at full length upon the floor
of the room. The first man who looked in shut the
door fast, and then they all crowded round the
window shouting, ‘The bear! the bear!”
_Martin was quite unconscious of all the attention
he was attracting, and still slept on. The villagers
locked him in till neighbour Jean’s return, and went
off to their homes discussing the different ways of
disposing of the bear. It was agreed they would
ask Jean not to kill him till they had seen whether
he was dangerous or not. He was such a fine-
looking fellow he must be more valuable alive.
CAI Tine

. A NEW HOME.

returned, but Martin did not awake; in
truth, I believe if he had been left alone
he would have slept the whole winter
away on the floor of that comfortable kitchen.
Towards evening, when Jean and his wife
Annette, with their two boys, entered the village
street, they were not very much surprised at seeing
a great many people crowded together, for very
often of an evening the villagers would meet in
little crowds outside each other’s houses, and discuss
the news they had heard in the town, or any other
piece of village gossip there might be to talk about.
But as they came near their own home, and saw
that almost the whole population of the village had
assembled round their door, they began to think
that something unusual must have happened. The
village children had collected under the window, and


A New Home. 95

were jumping on each other’s backs, and fighting for
the best place to see what was going on inside.

Jean’s two boys could stay no longer, but ran on
to see what was to be seen, and several of the neigh-
bours came hurriedly to meet him, crying, ‘“ The

. thief is here—asleep in your house!”

Annette was so alarmed at this that she clung to
her husband’s arm, and he was startled, too, at such
strange news, for at first they could not think who
the thief could be; but their children came running
back and shouting, “ A bear! a bear!” and the other
small voices joined in the cry. ‘And he is such a
beauty,” they added, as Jean and his wife reached
the window.

After they had heard all about his discovery, and
had made a thorough examination of him through
the window, the first thing was to decide what to do
with him. Some were for killing him at once, and
all the women said they should not sleep all night
unless he were got rid of somehow ; but the children
begged for him to be spared, and it was finally
decided to keep him a little time till they could see
how he would conduct himself, and then they might
find out some means of disposing of him, and if
none turned up, it would be time enough to kill him
then.

Ropes were found, and several of the men went
in with Jean to the cottage to secure the captive.
96 The Life of a Bear.





Martin did not awake till they had tied him round
the neck and body, and fixed him firmly to a strong
post that held up the roof of the cottage ; then the
sound of so many voices around him, and the un-
comfortable position he found himself in, aroused
him from his sleep, and he opened his eyes and his
mouth at the same time, and gave such a deep growl
as startled his captors for a moment, at the same
time showing his sharp-pointed teeth in a way that
was scarcely pleasant.

But it was no use to be angry now; he found it
was too late to make any resistance—he could not
move, and thought the best thing was to submit
quietly now that escape was impossible.

The next thing was to provide a home for the
new-comer, for Annette said she could not have
him in the kitchen all night, and she made it a great
favour to allow him to stay there at all, even till
another place could be provided for him.

She suggested that they had better use the store-
shed, as it was called, for their pet. This was a
long low building at the back of the house, and was.
filled with coal and wood and the tools that Jean
used in his business, and it was soon decided to
clear it out for Martin.

The two boys helped their father to stow away
everything at one end, and leave a sufficient space
for the bear, and then, after they had cut a hole to




































































































































































































































HIM.

FOR

TOO MANY

A New Flomie. 99





let in air and light, and made the door secure, Martin
was installed in his new quarters for the night, and
tied to a strong hook that was fixed in the wall.

He found a bowl of corn and a bundle of vege-
tables for his supper, and in the corner of his shed
was a nice heap of straw, which looked very warm
and comfortable. On the whole, now he was
thoroughly awake, Martin determined to make the
best of it, and see what sort of a life was to be led
in an old coal-shed. It was certainly very uncom-
fortable to be so bound with ropes, but he thought
perhaps they would let him have a little more
liberty to-morrow.

Then he began wondering what they meant to do
with him, and he felt just a little uneasy when he
thought of his new coat, for might they not kill him
for the sake of his fur? He was glad now he had
not got the gay-coloured coat he wanted—perhaps
they would not think a brown one so valuable.

One man had a very evil look, and had handled
his hay-fork in front of Martin in a way that was
not quite agreeable ; but the rest had seemed friendly
enough after they had once made him fast to the
post. Some of them had patted him on the head,
and the two boys, whom he liked best of all, were
very anxious to be on good terms, he could see.

He determined to do his best to be gentle and
quiet if the little boys ever came to see him, in the
hope that they would persuade their father and

tas
100 The Life of a Bear.



mother to spare his life; and with this resolve he
ate his supper, and fell asleep in his snug corner.

I think it was lucky for Martin that this change in
his circumstances happened just when it did. Late
in the autumn the woods and mountains looked so
gloomy and dull, that Martin had sometimes almost
wished to live in the village below.

He was so fat, and felt so lazy, that the journey
up and down so far for his food was getting very
tiresome to him, and when he found a nice straw
bed and plenty to eat provided for him, he thought
if he were left alone he could make himself very
comfortable for his winter's sleep in his new
quarters.

If it had been in the summer, when the days are
so hot and there is so much to do out of doors, it
would have taken a stronger rope and a thicker
door to keep Martin a prisoner.
Cat pak xy.
THE PLAYFELLOWS.

w|e HE two little boys thought as much about
Martin as he did about them.

They had been taken to see the bear-
pit in the town, and had spent a long time
watching the tricks of the bears, and had seen them
fed. But their own bear was much handsomer than
these, and they spent all the evening in talking
about him. Their father could tell them some
things about bears, for he was an intelligent man,
and had read a great many books. By-and-by he
brought down a large book from his shelf, and
showed them pictures of a great many beasts, and
among them bears, some brown, some black, and
one quite white; and he read to them out of the
book the names of the different countries where
bears have been found, and about the different kinds
of food they eat.

Little Robert and Antoine had often seen their
father reading the book, and had looked at the


102 The Life of a Bear.



pictures, but they never cared about it before ; now
it had a new interest for them, and they listened
very intently to learn what they should give Martin
to eat for his breakfast.

“We must feed him well,” said their father, ‘‘ and
then we shall find it easier to teach him good
manners; for, you know, most beasts that are called
wild and savage are only dangerous when they are
nearly starving. Almost every creature may be
tamed, and will prove gentle and intelligent if he has
plenty to eat. The good God, who made them and
us, has taught many animals to kill and eat other
animals to satisfy their hunger ; but if they are well
fed, I do not think any creatures will destroy life
out of malice or for sport, except,” added Jean,
‘perhaps little boys; and I think I have seen them
sometimes tread on a worm, or crush a spider,
though it does not serve them for a supper after-
wards, as it would a little bird.”

It was decided that Martin should have acorns for
breakfast; they were to start early, and carry a
large basket between them to the fields, where they
might gather as many acorns as they could find.

Annette looked very cross while all this discussion
was going on; she would not join in the conversa-
tion, and when the children said they should ask her
to boil rice for the bear, or to give them an apple for
him, she looked very severe and said, ‘ Indeed, I
have something better to do with my rice and apples
The Playfellows. 103

than to waste my time cooking them for a brute
beast. Nasty thing! I can’t see any use in it
except to kill it for its fur and grease, and I expect
one of you will be seriously hurt soon, if it is not got
rid of.”

With this she sent the children off to bed, that
she might have a little peace, she said, desiring them
not to let her hear too much of the bear if they
wanted to keep him alive.

It was late before the boys went to sleep, and they
made many plans for finding food such as might suit
their new friend, and held a long argument as to
whether acorns should be given raw or cooked.
Robert believed that they were like chestnuts, and
ought to be roasted, but Antoine declared it was
impossible a bear could roast them in the woods, and
most likely they would suit him better raw; so
Robert agreed after a little time to this arrangement,
and soon they were asleep. é

Very early next morning they were off to the
fields, and before breakfast had gathered their basket
nearly full, and were ready to go with their father to
see Martin.

He was still asleep, and though they tried to rouse
him, he seemed so heavy and lazy that they con-
cluded he could not have yet recovered from the
effects of the charcoal, and they put his acorns
within reach, and went off to their breakfast and
school.
104 The Life of a Bear.



In the evening Martin was more sociable; he
came out of his straw and sat down near his window,
while the children looked at him; then he stood up
on his hind legs and walked up and down, to show
them as well as he could that he meant to do his
best to amuse and entertain them in return for the
nice food they had given him. Martin had enjoyed
his acorns very much, and liked the look of a heap
of oats and some cabbages they had brought him
now amazingly, and felt quite settled in his new
home already.

As the days grew shorter and colder he was much
more inclined to sleep all day as well as all night,
than to wake up so early in the morning as his little
friends came to feed him; but when he saw their
merry little faces looking in at him, he generally
managed to wake up for a time, and by degrees he
got quite used to it, and only had rather a longer
night and a longer sleep in the day in winter than
he did in summer.

He very often thought of the other bears, and the
mountain cave, and he wondered very much whether
Basil missed him. ‘No doubt,” he thought, “they are
all asleep now, and have forgotten Martin already.”

All through the winter he lived in Jean’s shed,
and he always had plenty of straw to keep him
warm, and as much food as he could eat, and two of ©
the pleasantest little playfellows that ever a bear had.

The little boys soon lost all fear of him, and would
The Playfellows. 105

open the door of his shed and come close to him and
bid him sit up or walk; and Martin was as careful
as he could be not to hurt them, and felt proud to
show them how well he could understand all they
said to him.

After a little time Annette became more reconciled
to his presence, when she felt quite sure he was
harmless and inoffensive; and when the snow was
on the ground and the fruit all gone, and vegetables
were scarce, she often boiled rice for him, or would
give the children milk and bread for their favourite.

Martin was right in thinking the other bears had
gone to sleep by this time, and forgotten all about
him; but they spent many days in searching through
the woods and forest for their missing companion
before they would give him up for lost.

For the first night or two they thought very little
of hisabsence. Martin had so often talked of finding
a home for himself before winter, that Mr. Bear tried
to persuade them he must have done so, and said he
quite approved of young people being independent ;
he could not see the use of keeping them babies so
long.

“You will find,” he added, “that the runaway will
turn up before long, in time to show us his new den
before winter ; I dare say he is busy enough just now
getting stuff for his bed.”

Mrs. Bear was anxious enough to believe in this
pleasant way of accounting for Martin’s absence, and
106 The Life of a Bear.



day after day they all searched for him in the woods,
expecting he would come back again for a last feast
of acorns before winter set in. And every evening
Mrs. Bear stayed out late, in the chill misty twilight,
wandering about and looking for some trace of her
lost son.

She never really believed he would come back,
and as the days grew short and cold, and the nights
were long and frosty, Mr. Bear began to talk of
blocking up the doorway, “for,” he said, “it is no
use grieving over spilt milk; and if he really is
caught or killed, all our looking for him will not
bring him back.”

Then poor Mrs. Bear gave up every spark of
hope, and abandoned herself to grief and misery.
Basil, too, grumbled a great deal at Martin for being
so fond of exploring every place, and going so much
into danger. He declared he could not stay the
winter in his den all alone, with no one to keep him
warm; he should stay with the young ones if he
could find room in their hole, and would not leave
his mother just now, and tried to persuade her to lie
down and sleep; but this she would not do, and in
spite of Mr. Bear’s entreaties, persisted in still going
every day to sit outside the cave, staring at the dark
pine forest, the trees that never change, but keep
still green through all the snow and frost, and at the
oak and ash trees below, that had already lost all
their leaves.
The Playfellows. 107



Poor Mrs. Bear thought of every fate that could
have happened to Martin, and at last she made up
her mind he must have been shot by the hunters
with their horrid guns. ‘“ Ah,” said she, “I shall
never have so fine a son again; he knew how to be
brave and gentle too, and he was too affectionate to
have left me so suddenly without even bidding me
good-bye.”

Basil had by this time edged his way into the
little bears’ hole.and into the warmest corner of it,
and they, when they found they could not get rid of
him, made the best of his presence by lying round
him as close as they could, to get the warmth of his
thick furry coat, and very soon they were all
asleep.

Mr. Bear, too, could keep awake no longer, but
rolled himself up in his usual corner, and though he
was not sound asleep yet, he did his best not to
listen to his wife’s lamentines as she walked to and
fro, singing Martin’s praises and her own woe.

At last even she was tired out, and after shutting
up her young bears with a heap of straw and making
her own door secure, she too fell asleep and forgot
her sorrow.

It was a pity she could not know how snug Martin
was in the shed all this time, and that he had found
such kind friends to care for him and find him food ;
for then her dreams would have been pleasanter and
her sleep sounder.
CHAPTER. cv...
A NEW MASTER.

ARTIN was very happy and contented
now, and would have liked to spend all
the rest of his life with Robert and
Antoine; but this was not to be.

One day the whole family came to his shed, and
Jean came up first to him, and patted him on his
head several times. Martin was wondering very
much what was going to happen after these un-
expected attentions, when Jean produced a sort of
small iron cage, and holding Martin by the ears,
thrust it over his mouth and nose, and fixed it by a
collar round his neck.

At first Martin thought it was only put on for a
joke, and he waited patiently to see if they would
take it off again, and then, when he found it was not
removed, he tried to get it off with his paws, and by
rubbing his head against the wall, but it was too
firmly strapped ; so he had to leave off struggling,
and wait again to see what would be done next.

They had all been watching his movements, and


A New Master. 109
when he was still again, Jean and Robert came up to
him saying, ‘ There’s a good boy!” and “ Poor old
Martin!” and they tied a long rope to his collar.

What could ke the matter ? Martin almost fancied
he was going to be killed at last. How delighted
he was when he discovered that all these were the
preparations for letting him out in the yard fora run !

The spring had come, and the day was warm and
fine. Martin’s joy, when he saw the sky and trees
once more, was so great, and he jumped about and
behaved in such an excited manner, that Jean found
it as much as he could do to keep hold of the rope.

The boys were delighted too, and ran about and
played with Martin, while Annette stood by, almost
admiring the bear, now that he was fully grown and
was out where she could see him better.

The muzzle was a nasty, uncomfortable thing, but
he got used to it after a little time, and did not
notice it so much; he could not help wishing his
master would trust him without it. If he only knew
how dearly Martin loved them all, he would not be
afraid of his biting or hurting them.

After this he was let out every day for a time, and
as the days grew longer he often had visitors to see
him of an evening, and he had to show off all the
tricks he knew, and to learn new ones every day.
He could carry a stick or basket, and lie down for
several minutes pretending to be dead ; then he had
to sit upand smoke a pipe. But what the boys liked
110 The Life of a Bear.

best of all was to see him dance on his hind legs,
while old Marco played on the pipes.

One day an organ-grinder paid him a visit, and he
was so pleased to see Martin dance to the tunes of
his organ that he came very often that way from the
town, and always stayed at Jean’s house to see the
bear. He always had a long talk with Jean and
Annette afterwards; and they all used to come and
have a good look at Martin, who always suspected
the grinder of designs against him, and never felt
quite comfortable while he was about.

One very hot afternoon, while Martin was enjoy-
ing a quiet nap in his shed, he heard the sound of
voices approaching, and could recognise the organ-
grinder’s loud, harsh tones, saying, “‘ Yes; he is a
fine fellow, but he wants a good deal of training

eee .

And then Jean, followed by several others, came
into the shed and put the muzzle on Martin, and led
him out into the sunshine. Martin was pulled about
and examined all over—they even opened his mouth
and looked at his teeth, and altogether treated him
in such a rude way that he found it difficult to keep
his temper, For the sake of his dear young masters
he bore it all patiently, and even tried his best to
look pleased, little thinking that all his good be-
haviour would be the means of separating him from
those who had been so good to him,

But so it was: the strange man offered such a price
A New Master. III



for him that Jean could not refuse it, and, to the
great grief of Robert and Antoine, their bear was sold.

They could not endure to think of parting with
him, and stayed in his shed till quite late, talking
about the happy days they had spent together, and
begging him not to forget them, and left him to go
to their beds with tears in their eyes.

Martin saw very plainly that something was wrong,
but he little thought what it was, till the next day the
two men came again, and Jean untied his rope and
handed him over to his new owners.

Martin only thought he was going to be shown
off as usual, but when he found himself being led
away out of the yard and into the street, then for
the first time he guessed he was going to be taken
from the home where he had been so happy, and
determined not to go without making some resist-
ance, so he sat down in the gateway, and resolutely
refused to go further.

His new master had a heavy stick in his hand,
and spared neither blows nor kicks to force him to
move; but Martin’s skin and coat were very thick,
and he could be stubborn if he chose. He only
uttered a low growl, and sat with his head hanging
down and his fore-feet stretched out in front of him.

Jean and his two boys, who were all equally miser-
able at having to lose their playfellow, had gone in-
doors, for they could not bear to see himled away. At
the sound of the blows and Martin’s growl Jean came
152 The Life of a Bear.

out, and Martin, reassured by the well-known voice,
suffered himself to be led along through the village.

Philippe, as Martin’s new master was called, was
rather too fond of using his stick, and had a rough, un-
couth voice, Martin thought, and he felt more cross and
obstinate than he had ever done before. He disliked
being dragged along in this way through the streets,
and hoped they were not going very far that night.

Before long they came to another village, very
much like the one they had left, and stayed in front
of the village inn—an old-fashioned, dismal-looking
place, with a crowd of village people standing out-
side the doors and windows, who stared very much
at Martin and his owners as they drew near.

Martin was led into the garden behind the house,
and put into a small outhouse that was nearly full of
empty bottles and rubbish of all sorts. It was a
dirty place, and very different from the clean snug
home he had lost.

They had not forgotten his supper, however, for
there was a good plateful of scraps and a little corn ;
but he was too dull to eat much.

When he thought of his kind little playfellows he
was very miserable, and felt sure he should never be
so happy again as he had been with them.

In the morning Martin was brought out into the
inn garden, and made to play all the tricks he knew.
A large number of people had assembled to see him,
and he walked up and down carrying an umbrella or






ae

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MARTIN LEARNS HIS PROFESSION.

A New Master. - 115



basket ; and then he had to go about leaning on a
stick, like a very old man, and to learn to do a great
many things he had never done before, for Philippe
seemed to understand all the duties of a dancing-bear.

Here they were joined by a man with a drum and
pipe, and when he played Martin had to dance round
and round, sometimes with his master and sometimes
alone,

The stick was always near, and if poor Martin did
not quite understand what he had to do, or felt at all
lazy, he was reminded of his work by heavy blows.

It was a good thing Martin had learnt to be
obedient and quick, and after a little time he got
more used to the rough voices, and could understand
Philippe as well as he had Robert; and Philippe
began to like Martin’s company, and to treat him
more gently.

And thus they travelled from village to village,
and from town to town; sometimes they were
accompanied by an organ-grinder, and sometimes
by the man with the drum.

The people used to come out of their houses to
see the dancing-bear, and many an apple or potato
did the kind villagers give to Martin after he had
entertained them with his tricks.

Still he often pined for a day in the woods among
the trees and flowers once more, and he thought
how much he should enjoy a feast of sweet new
honey, or an ants’ nest, for his breakfast.

8—2
CHAPTER eV 11:

THE TRAVELLERS,





> By) HILIPPE and Martin travelled very long
2 distances sometimes. Every day they
tg a. started early in the morning, and walked

a long way before it grew hot; and then,
when the sun was high up in the sky, they used to
lie down under a hedge by the roadside, or just
inside a shady meadow, and both master and bear
would have a long sleep.

And in the evening, when they came to a village
or town, the organ or drum was played, and Martin
had to go through all his tricks over and over again.

All the village children, and most of the grown
people, generally came out to look at him, and they
shouted and laughed to see Martin smoke his pipe,
or play at going to market with a white frilled cap
on, his basket on his arm, and holding his umbrella
open to shelter him from the sun.

His master always held the stick over him, but
Martin knew that he very seldom beat him now, and






ANU

iy

gu







































































































































































































































































































































HE BECOMES A CREDIT TO HIS MASTER.

The Travellers. 119

that he raised the stick more to frighten off inquisi-
tive boys than for any other purpose.

Martin rather liked this wandering life now he
had got used to it. There was a pleasant variety
about changing his quarters every night that was
very nice in summer, and he saw a great many
wonderful things in the towns he passed through.

He had no difficulty in learning new duties, and
he thoroughly enjoyed seeing the amusement of the
people, especially if there were children in the crowd.
Martin had the gratification of seeing that his funny
tricks were appreciated most by the young people.
He always felt a desire to go and romp with those
that stood nearest to him, but he knew it would
not do.

One hot evening, after they had been performing
in the market-place of a large town, and Martin had
been tied up, as usual, in a shed in the inn garden,
his master left him with the door of his shed stand-
ing open that he might sniff the cool air. Martin
was enjoying his supper, and staring at the sunset,
just as he had so often done in the old times from
hiscave. Just then a tiny little girl came skipping
down the path, and innocently ran quite into the
shed where Martin was, without perceiving him.
She was a pretty little child, with wide-open blue
eyes, and fair sunny hair streaming over her
shoulders, and Martin felt overjoyed to think a child
had come to play with him, and got up from his bed
120 Lhe Life of a Bear.

and slowly moved towards her; but now she saw a
shaggy bear in the dark shed, and, throwing out her
arms, with a piercing shriek, her eyes almost starting
from her head and her hair floating out in the wind,
ran swiftly to the house, and to her mother’s arms.

Poor Martin, who had intended no wrong, was
full of grief at the mischief he had done. He sup-
posed it was his rough shaggy face that made him
look so terrible ; if only he had had a smooth, white
face like a man, the little girl would have stayed and
played with him; but after that he dared not try to
make friends with any children he met.

How he wished he could see his dear Robert and
Antoine again; they would not be afraid of him.

On their way they were once joined by a man
with a small monkey, who was quite as full of tricks
as Martin was, and amused him very much as they
walked along. The little fellow jumped on Martin’s
back, and then on to his neck, and when Martin
carried his basket he sat in it, and rode along at his
ease like any gentleman.

But Jacko’s master soon parted from them and
took another road, and Martin lost his little friend
before he had had time to get acquainted with him.

Martin wondered his master did not have a monkey
to go about with them ; he would gladly carry it on
his back, and have it to sleep with him in his shed
at night.

If he could only have made Philippe understand
The Travellers. 121

him, he would have proposed getting one, but unfor-
tunately his master never did understand him.
Martin understood so well almost everything that
was said, it was strange that people should not
understand him; it must be because men did not
care to take the trouble, or did not think it worth
while, that they never understood their animals.
He, on the contrary, made it his business to notice
every tone of his master’s voice, and every change
in the expression of his face; he could tell in a
minute whether their performance had proved
profitable or not, and he could see if his master
were cross, or ill, or tired. But no matter how kind
Philippe might be, he never could understand Martin.
Chie tik vit,

AT THE FAIR.

there was a fair being held, and Philippe
and the organ-grinder took Martin
through all the crowds of people till they
came quite into the middle of the fair.

They passed all sorts of shows, and stalls where
fruit and cakes were sold, and they went close to a
row of large carts painted all over outside with great,
staring pictures of wild beasts, and some tame
animals too, and Martin could hear the roaring of
the creatures within.

The sight of this show carried Martin’s thoughts
back to the days when he was a young bear at his
mother’s feet, and when he had heard those wonder-
ful stories about poor old Bruin.

This must be the menagerie that Bruin had
escaped from, and he felt very glad it had not been
his lot to be sold to the keeper of a wild-beast show,


At the Farr. [22

ao



for it must be dreary indeed, and very hot, to live in
such carts as those.

Martin was pleased to have seen the picture of
black bears and white bears, but still he was not
sorry when they passed on away from this show, for
he felt a little afraid lest Philippe should have
brought him there to sell him to the man who
owned it.

But no; Martin’s master found him too profitable
an animal to part with him during the summer, while
they could travel about so easily from place to place,
and there was plenty of food to be had, without
much expense.

Martin had lately learnt to wrestle. He had prac-
tised a great many times with Philippe of an evening
after the day’s work was done, and he had learnt to
hit out and to throw his antagonist ; he enjoyed this
rough play better than walking up and down the
length of his rope, or dancing to the music; for he
had done these so often that he began to find them
tedious.

He knew now how to wrestle, and win without
hurting his antagonist, and could squeeze and hug
him after the manner of bears, just enough to excite
and amuse everyone, without crushing the life out
of him.

A bear can hug a man till he kills him, and if he
is so provoked as to kill a man, this is the method
he chooses.
124 The Life of a Bear.



I think it was the danger of this play that made it
so attractive. All the big boys and strong young
men at the fair wanted to wrestle with Martin, and
as his master was paid for every one, they played at
ita long time. The drummer drummed, and nearly
all the visitors to the fair came to see the bear. It
was a profitable day for Philippe, and he gave Martin
a better supper than usual that night, and doubtless
made merry himself after Martin was asleep.

It must be put down to Martin’s credit that not
one of all those he wrestled with was hurt. He was
a gentle bear, and so generous, that even when ill-
used he seldom retaliated, but took it all as a matter
of course, and behaved almost as if he pitied the man
who was so unfortunate as to lose his temper. If
his master was cross and ill-humoured after an unpro-
fitable performance, he always seemed to recover his
spirits and be more cheerful when he had vented his
ill-humour on poor Martin in cuffs and blows. At
length Martin always expected punishment when the
day was wet, or the people too poor to pay well, and
bore it patiently, cheered with the anticipation of
seeing his master happier afterwards. He never
could be happy while Philippe was dull.

Wet days were more frequent now that it was
getting late in the summer, and Martin disliked them
quite as much as Philippe did. It was bad enough
to tramp along the.muddy roads, getting wet through,
and having to shake yourself every few yards, and




















































































—































































































































































"AIR,

F

AT THE

Al the Fair. T27

being covered with mud and dirt before you came to
the end of the day’s journey. And it was very bad,
too, to be pushed about and called a dirty brute by
everyone you came near; but however bad all this
might be, it was far better than staying day after
day, shut up in some dismal, close shed, without light
or air, and with only rats or frogs for companions.
Martin particularly disliked rats; and frogs, though
they were not quite as disagreeable as rats in some
ways, were dreadfully inquisitive for their size, and
seemed to be all eyes and legs. When he was very
hungry one day, Martin tried how they tasted, but he
did not like it, and would not touch them again if he
could help it. ;

At one large town they came to, they had bad
weather every day. For a few days they performed
in the market-place at certain hours very regularly,
but it rained so heavily and continuously that no one
came to see them, and Philippe was not the man to
go on working for no pay very long ; and as this was
a large town, and there must be plenty of people in
it who would be entertained by Martin’s tricks,
Philippe thought of the plan of hiring a large room
at the principal inn, that was used sometimes for a
ball-room, and sometimes for a dining-room, and more
often for concerts of various kinds.

Here Martin was brought, and taught how to play
all his tricks on a raised platform at one end, while
the rest of the room was filled with seats for the
128 The Life of a Bear.



townspeople. This plan succeeded very well: the
wet weather was an advantage now, for the people
were not able to be out of doors, and were glad of
something new to amuse their spare time.

Day after day crowds of people came to see the
dancing-bear ; and between the performances Martin
had to walk through the streets carrying a large
board on his back, on which was printed an invita-
tion to all the inhabitants, great and small, to come and
see the wonderful tricks of the famous dancing-bear.

The little ragged street-boys, who were too poor
to pay, and who rather liked pattering along with
their naked feet on the wet pavement and muddy
roads, ran behind him in a crowd, shouting, and
often, I am sorry to say, throwing stones at poor
Martin, who would have been pleased to stay and
have some fun with them if his master had allowed
him; but when they hit him with the stones he
could only turn his head and show his long sharp
teeth and frighten them in this way, and so make
them leave off teasing the poor captive.

While he was at this town, he had a better bed-
room than ever he had before : it was in the stable
of the inn, in a nice clean stall all to himself. There
were plenty of horses and dogs in the stable, and
Martin found the companionship of such intelligent
animals most agreeable. Every morning soon after
they woke up the men came to groom the: horses,
and that always afforded Martin the greatest amuse-
At the Farr. 129



ment—the noise the men made was so curious; but
it seemed to be very soothing, for the horses stood
quite still, and looked half asleep all the time.
_ Martin did not wonder at this, for he went to sleep,
too, nearly every day while this process was going
on, and only woke up when Philippe came with his
breakfast. The horses had corn too, and they all
breakfasted together.

This kind of life could not last long ; after a week
or two most of the people had seen enough of the
bear, and came no longer to the big room to spend
their shillings.

Then Philippe and Martin had to start again on
their travels through the long country roads and the
village streets.
CTA Pl, Bn ele
ON SHORT COMMONS.

HEY very often went to fairs after this, and
Philippe had become much richer than
he was when he bought Martin of the
charcoal-burner; and as he grew rich he

grew lazy. The winter would soon be here, he
thought, and he did not care to lead a bear about
the country in the snow and frost if he could find
another employment that was more according to his
taste.

Martin was not so lively as he had been in the
spring, and though he went patiently through his
performances, he did it in such a sleepy way that
anyone could see that he did not enjoy his work.

The difficulty was what to do with him, and
Philippe debated with himself whether he would
sell Martin altogether, or merely shut him up for
the winter in some warm place, where he could sleep
away all the months and would cost little or nothing


On Short Commons. ea

for food, and then start with him on a fresh journey
in the spring. .

While these thoughts filled Philippe’s mind, it
chanced one day that a man overtook them on the
road who was driving a large number of horses ;
many of them were rough-looking creatures, and
they were without harness and had only a collar and
bridle on, but a few among them looked better than
the rest, and there were some pretty ponies.

Philippe was always ready for a chat by the way,
and joined company with the man, asking him how
far he was going, and what he was going to do with
so many horses.

“Tam driving them to the fair,’ said the man;
“it is four miles from here, and I must lose no time.
I buy their horses of the villagers when they cannot
afford to keep them through the winter, or have no
further use for them, and then I sell them at the
fair. Some of them are good bargains, I can assure
you, and I expect to get a fair price for all this year.
Every horse is wanted now for the war, and those
that would not be worth driving at another time will
bring me a good price to-day.”

Philippe inquired if anything else besides horses
would be sold at the fair. ‘Oh yes,” said the man ;
“pigs and dogs, and animals of all sorts; and I hear
that a tame elephant is to be sold to-day, and I’r
rather curious to see it.”

Philippe now consulted the man as to selling

9—2
122 The Life of a Bear.



Martin, and it was agreed that he should be sold if
a good price could be obtained for him.

After this they all went on together, the two
men discussing the rights and wrongs of the
dreadful war that was going on in a neighbouring
country. As they grew excited with their argument,
they almost forgot the fair, and the horses, and
Martin. But they were coming to the city, and the
busy hum of life in the streets interrupted their con-
versation, and soon they came to a sort of yard
where the fair was to be held.

A large crowd had already assembled, and the
business of the day was beginning. The horse-dealer
took his horses round to a long low building at one ~
side of the yard, and opening the door, drove them
inside.

“Now,” said he, “come this way with your bear ;”
and Philippe and Martin followed him to a shed at
one end of the stables. Here Martin was made fast
to a post, and his master and his companion left him
to join the crowd outside.

Martin was not alone in the shed. As soon as he
was used to the dim light he could see not far from
him a huge unwieldy-looking beast, with the longest
nose he had ever seen. The animal seemed to be
asleep, and Martin was careful not to disturb him,
though he would have liked very much to hear him
talk.

Nearer to Martin was an ugly, rough-looking dog,
On Short Commons. _ 133



who. ay on the ground makite a continuous oe
growl, in answer to the noise and confusion that was
going on outside ; and a monkey in a hat and jacket
sat on a box close by, trying to imitate his growl,
chattering between his growls in a ludicrous manner,
and pretending to whip the dog with a short stick he
held in his hand.

Martin amused himself for some time with looking
at the monkey’s antics, but his rope was not long
enough for him to get near and join in the play,
and with so huge a beast as the elephant to see
him, he thought it would appear undignified to fra-
ternise with a monkey. He turned round pre-
sently to the elephant, who had opened his small
eyes and was waving his trunk about in search of
food.

Martin was delighted to make the acquaintance of
a creature so much larger than himself, and he hoped
their masters would soon bring them some food, for
he was getting hungry, and wanted very much to see
what an elephant was fed upon.

But everyone was too busy that day to think of
him, and Martin had nothing to eat till night. There
were a few dry-looking bones lying near him, and a
pan of water, but, until some one came to take off his
muzzle, he could only look at them.

It was very hard to have to sit there and see the
elephant and monkey and dog fed, and not to get a
morsel. He had the satisfaction, however, of learning
134 The Life of a Bear.
that the elephant and monkey ate the same kind of
food that he did.

It was plain that they both belonged to one man,
for when he brought people in to look at them, he
always unloosed the monkey and made him ride on
the elephant’s back and pretend to drive him; and as
the elephant was so very large, and the monkey was
a very small one, this amused the people exceedingly,
and a great many others came besides those who
thought of buying the animals. They threw money
on the ground, which seemed to be exactly what the
elephant expected, for he picked up every penny as
it fell with his great trunk, and handed it to the
monkey, who put it in the pocket of his jacket, till the
weight of the pennies got too much for him, and he
handed them to his master. Sometimes richer people
came, who threw small silver coins, no bigger than a
threepenny piece, and Martin thought, “Those will
be lost, for the elephant’s eyes are so small and so
high up he cannot see them, and if he sees them he
certainly cannot pick them up with that thick trunk.”
Martin had often tried to pick up the small coins that
people had thrown to Philippe, but he never could
do it. The elephant, however, seemed to be a wonder-
ful creature: down went his trunk on to the small
coins, and picked them up quite as easily as the larger
ones. What a useful nose that must be! As the
elephant waved it about and turned it to Martin, he
could see that although it was hard and brown on the




oF

Ly
YH)
eu







































A WEARY DAY.

On Short Commons. 137



outside like the rest of his skin, inside it had a lining
of sensitive pink skin, like the inside of one’s mouth,
and that it had a small lip hanging over, which the
elephant could move about and use to pick up the
smallest morsels.

What good friends the monkey and elephant were!
When the monkey wanted to get up he could easily
make the elephant understand him, and then the
wonderful trunk picked him up and put him on his
friend’s back.

By-and-by a very fat man came in with the ele-
phant’s master; they were talking very earnestly
together, and it was plain that this would be the
elephant’s new master, for both he and the monkey
had to go through every trick they knew, and then
the man stayed to see the elephant fed.

This was a more amusing sight than any that had
gone before, and if Martin had not been so hungry
himself, or had been offered a share of the feast, he
would have been as much entertained as any of the
spectators.

The monkey now was dressed up like a cook—in
a white apron, a white jacket, and a curious little
flat white cap. His long thin tail came out between
the strings of his apron behind, and made him look
the most comical figure imaginable. Then the
elephant put his fore-feet on a large box that stood
in front of him, and on which was put a small table
covered with a clean white cloth. There wasa board
138 The Life of a Bear.





placed aslant near it, so that the monkey could run
up and down as he pleased; above the elephant’s
head was hung a small bell, and when all was ready
the elephant rang his bell with his useful trunk.
The monkey—who was a far better waiter than
most servants I have known—did not keep his big
master waiting an instant, but ran up the plank
carrying a plate of soup covered over with a bright
tin lid, which he put down in front of Mr. Elephant
for the first course of his dinner, and, taking off the
cover, ran back down his plank. With one sniff of
his trunk, Mr. Elephant took up all his soup, and
poured it out into his enormous mouth; then the
bell was rung again, and the little white cook brought
in some nice red carrots, which Mr. Elephant ate in
a more deliberate manner, and left one on his plate
when he rang his bell. The good little monkey
knew that one was left for him, and ran off with it to
his corner, but before he ate it he brought the next
course of his master’s dinner, which was a small
square lump of meat. This time a morsel was left
for him too, and as the elephant finished off his
meal with pudding and bread, he always left a share
for his little friend, who ate his scraps in a corner of
the shed, and, in his turn, shared them with the dog.

Poor Martin alone was still unfed. The fat man
came to look at him, but when he took the elephant
and monkey away Martin was left behind, sucking
his paws with hunger and trying to sleep. At last
On Shor vt Commons. 130

that weary day came to an aii ne dust and noise
gradually subsided, and as it grew darker, and was
not quite so hot, Martin felt more hungry than ever.

When it was quite dark he fell fast asleep, and did
not awake till Philippe came, accompanied again by
the fat man, who helped him to untie his rope, and
walked with them from the fair. It was very late,
and as the three went down the long, wide street
into the city the hum of voices died away, and every-
thing was still.

They had a long way to walk, and when they left
the wide street they passed through a quaint old
' part of the city, that was but dimly lighted, and
. where the houses were tall and the streets very
narrow. They stopped at last at a low archway, and
passed through into the stable-yard of a small inn.

Here Martin was led into an empty room near the
street, and after being fed and muzzled again, was
left alone for the night, but without being tied up as
usual.

Philippe and his new friend had securely bolted
the window and locked the door, and as they could
find no hook or post to which to fasten Martin, they
left him to roam about the room, or sleep in which-
ever corner he chose.
CAPT EN 2
THE ESCAPE.

ARTIN was not quite so sleepy as usual ;
he had been sitting still all day and
sleeping a good deal at times, and the
novelty of being in a house and in a
room for the first time kept him awake.

He walked up and down a great many times,
wondering what would happen to him next.

He thought he must be going to change owners
once more, and if that fat man was his new master,
they would sleep more, and not walk about so much
as he and Philippe had done lately. He did not
much like the look of the man, though ; he had such
heavy black brows hanging over his half-shut eyes,
and his voice was harsh and loud: perhaps he was
the owner of the menagerie. This thought made
Martin very miserable. Of all things he should
dislike most to be shut up all day in a cart. The
more he thought of it the more wretched he got.

Oh, if he could escape to the mountain, and avoid


The Escape. 14I



such a fate! It would not bea bad plan to get away
now if he could manage it. He was quite alone, and
the house seemed very quiet; no doubt every one
was asleep: perhaps he could open the window?

He climbed on the sill and pushed and pulled, but
it was no use; the window was barred up as well as
fastened, and he sat down again and tried to. bear
his disappointment as well as he could.

It looked very light out of doors now: the moon
was shining very brightly; but there was nothing
much to look at, for the street was so narrow that he
could only see the front of the shop opposite.

If he could only get out, he would soon find that
broad street again, and then the country road, and
he thought he should know his way back to his old
home.

And then he began to think of Basil and the rest
of the bears, and of the pleasure it would give them
to see him once more ; and what a hero they would
think him when he told them all his adventures !

He fell almost asleep over these pleasant thoughts,
but all of a sudden a mouse jumped up through a
hole in the floor, and rushing to the fire-place, dis-
appeared among the wood ashes on the hearth.
In an instant Martin was after him, but the mouse
was too quick, and though he scratched and scraped
among the ashes for a long while, he failed to find
any trace of it.

Martin had never been in a room before, and
142 The Life of a Bear.



knew nothing about fire-places and chimneys; but
while he was hunting for the mouse he saw the
chimney above all open to the sky, and quite big
enough for his body to pass up. He lost no more
time in looking for the mouse now he had discovered
such a capital mode of escape.

The chimney was not full of soot as an English
chimney would have been, for nothing had ever been
burnt in that fire-place but wood, and the chimney
was only white with dust.

Martin, who was so expert at climbing trees, found
it easy to get. to. the top. - There he. sat, scarcely
believing in his freedom, and wondering which way
he should go, and how he could get safely down to
the street.

The chimney-top made a capital seat; from it
Martin could look all over that quarter of the city,
and far away to the distant hills.

Those were not his mountains that he saw, for
they were not high enough, nor rugged and pointed
at the top. But he thought his own mountains must
be behind these, and he decided to turn towards the
fields, and not towards the streets of the city, for the
risk of being caught would be much less among the
fields, where he could hide under the hedges or up in
phe itrees;

As he descended from the chimney on to the roof
of the house, he saw a convenient little path that
seemed to run along the edge of the roofs of all the










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































ni
at

cn i Ht
muh

MARTIN IS FREE AGAIN,



The Escape. 145



houses, and there was a low parapet at the side of it,
so that one could walk without danger of falling.

He would go along this, he said to himself, till he
came to a more easy place to climb-down to the
street, for just here the houses were very high and
quite straight up, but further on they were lower and
not so regular, and would be more easy to climb.

The little path led Martin along in front of the
garret windows of the houses, and in the bright
moonlight it startled the inhabitants of the rooms
not a little to see so strange a visitor.

And Martin stayed to look into almost every
room. The first he passed would have been quite
empty but for a family of rats, who occupied a corner
of it and roamed about unmolested among the dirt
and rubbish on the floor.

In another, three little children were sleeping
peacefully in a large bed; and Martin’s soft footfall
did not disturb the happy sleep of childhood. He
stood looking at them for a few minutes, almost
wishing to go nearer and lie down beside them, even
though it should cost him his liberty; but the
windows were securely fastened, and he walked on.

He would not see so fair a sight again, he thought,
as he passed several windows that were boarded up
and looked uncared for and deserted, and some
where the sleepers started in affright as Martin
crawled by their windows.

There was a man who lived in that narrow street,

10
an He Lyfe fe a EL

a Scnalcen a dyad. He was very poor ee very
sad, for his wife and only child had died a few days
before, and that day he had laid them in the grave
together. He had sat up very late, thinking of his
misery and loneliness, and had at last gone to bed,
and could not'sleep. He lay awake, looking at the
pale, bright moon and the silver-lined clouds that
passed across and across it.

How calm, and yet how bright it looked far away
there among the stars, behind those heavy clouds!
And as the tired man looked he forgot his weariness
and sorrows for a little, and felt cheered to think
that though he was so poor and sad, the peaceful
moonlight and glorious sunshine were for him as
much as for the rich and gay.

He had closed his eyes, and was almost asleep,
when a slight tap on the window-pane startled him
from his pleasant dream, and looking up, he saw a
dark, shaggy head and pointed nose, shut up in an
iron muzzle, quite close to his window.

In an instant he sat up in bed, and waving his
hand as if he were going to strike Martin, he shouted
as loud as he could to drive the unwelcome visitor
away.

Martin heard the shout, and ran quickly on; but
others heard it too, and a great many heads appeared
at the windows on both sides of the street.

When they saw the bear on the roofs, crawling
along among the tiles and chimneys, they very soon






HH
ee .

WU tn S i i Hi) hi

a,
a



















ONLY MARTIN.

The Escape. 149



aroused the neighbourhood, and now every garret
window was thrown open, and the eager pursuers
were gaining fast upon Martin, whose eeriosy had
again led him into danger.

His only chance was to get to the ground and run,
and he saw a long pipe that went from top to bottom
of a house close by, and might serve him for a ladder.

Soon he was descending the pipe very rapidly, and
might yet have escaped, but at the bottom was a large
tub that was used to catch the water from the roof.
It was empty now, and Martin, who had loosened his
hold of the pipe to jump to the ground, fell head fore-
most in the tub, which overbalanced with his weight
and fell with a loud noise to the ground.

Men and dogs rushed out of the house, and ropes
were brought, and the unlucky Martin was made a
prisoner again.

By this time the fat man had appeared, panting and
gasping for breath, and claimed Martin as his pro-
perty. He had a thick stick in his hand, and gave
ample proof of his ownership in the shape of blows
and kicks. Martin bore the blows as patiently as he
could, for it mattered little, he thought, what hap-
pened to him now if he was to be shut up the rest of
his life among wild beasts in a dismal cart.
CrArrE Rod

THE BEAR-PIT.



him again, and took the precaution of
tying his paws before they breakfasted together.

Martin had never felt more dull than now. The
fat man talked in a language that was quite new to
him, and in an off-hand, unsociable way that hurt his
feelings dreadfully.

It began to rain, and the little dull room became
darker and gloomier than ever.

There were a few people passing up and down the
narrow street, but the window was too high for
Martin to look out, and he could see nothing but the
upper windows of the opposite houses ; and the con-
tinued plash of feet on the wet pavement, and the
dripping of the rain from the roof, were not sounds
to make anyone cheerful.

There was a big log smouldering on the hearth




:



























































































ee

ae



















AN END OF LIBERTY.

The Bear-Pit. We
now, and Martin, tired out after his wakeful night,
sat looking at it growing whiter and whiter as the
red light died away, till he forgot where he was and
fancied he was once more gazing at the sunset glow
on his snow-capped mountains at home, and wearily
fell asleep on the floor.

He was roughly wakened up by two men pulling
at his ropes, while the fat man stood outside the door,
crying out loudly, “ Hold him fast, for he has escaped
once; and he might not be caught so neatly another
time,” he added; and then he laughed in his hoarse
gruff way, that reminded Martin more of the sounds
his father had made once when he had a severe cold,
than of any other noise he had ever heard, and he
told the other men about Martin’s walk on the roofs,
and chuckled over his unlucky fall into the water-butt.

The men joined in the laugh, and Martin felt more
inclined than he had ever done before to exercise the
strength he felt he had, and punish these men who
handled him so roughly, and laughed at his mis-
fortunes.

But his paws were tied and his muzzle was strong
and fast. There was something too in the eye of a
man that always made Martin yield, and he suffered
himself to be led out of the house into the rainy street,
and hastily pushed into a covered cart that was wait-
ing to receive him. The men mounted on the top,
and they started on their journey through the streets.

There was no window in the cart, and Martin
154 The Life of a Bear.



could see nothing outside; and, left to his own
thoughts again, for a little while he felt thoroughly
miserable.

If he had not been so fond of adventures, he
might now have been living in the forest, or have
had a cave of his own, and a wife and young bears
to keep him company and to amuse him. And then
if he had not been so fine and handsome a bear, or
if he had been too stupid to learn tricks, his kind
friends in the village might not have thought of
parting with him; and how happy his life would
have been, spent with Robert and Antoine in their
peaceful home! Even with Philippe he was better
off than now, and so he gave himself up to the most.
gloomy thoughts and useless wishes for a little while.

But it was a long drive, and Martin’s naturally
cheerful disposition, which had always helped him
to make the best of things, did not desert him now.

Having made up his mind that his destination
was to bea cart ina menagerie, presently he tried
to think what there could be that might be amusing
in living there.

Mrs. Bear had often told him when he was young
that a contented well-disposed bear would find some-
thing agreeable in the dullest life, and it was no use
to make oneself miserable by thinking of what might
have been. She used to say she pitied the bear who
pined and moped because his cave was small, or
because no nut-trees grew in his woods.
The Bear-Pit. 155

And Martin began to wonder how big a cart he
would live in, and whether they would paint his
portrait on the outside of it, and what sort of animals
he should have for neighbours.

By the time the cart stopped, and he was taken
out, he had decided that it would not be so dull at
first, for there would be much to see and hear, and of
course the other bears would have to get to know
him, and he them, before they could compare notes
about their former lives and adventures.

He was taken from the cart straight in at an open
door into a sort of room, but it was very different from
the one he had just left. The walls were of stone,
and there was no window and no fireplace, and only
an iron grating close to the roof, that let in air
and light. There was another door besides the one
he came in at, and a heap of clean straw in the
corner.

Martin was left alone a little while, and had just
time to look round him, when a strange man came
in with some corn and a pailful of water. He was
a pleasant-looking man, and wore a dark blue coat,
with brass buttons and a gold band round the collar,
and had a cap on his head trimmed with a broad
gold band too. This ornamental dress pleased
Martin amazingly, and the man’s kind, cheerful voice
pleased him more.

Although he spoke in a strange language, Martin
fancied he understood him better than the others, and
155 The Life of a Bear.



he thought, if this was to be his master, he should
soon understand him as well as he had Philippe.
The man unfastened Martin’s muzzle, and then
patted him and talked to him without seeming to be
the least afraid, and this mark of confidence com-
pletely won Martin’s heart; he licked his new
friend’s hand, and tried every means in his power of
showing him that his confidence was not misplaced.

The man stayed to see Martin eat his dinner, and
then left him, carrying with him the iron muzzle.

‘“What,” thought Martin, ‘am I so fortunate as
to be trusted without that odious thing now ?” And
he lay down on the clean straw for his afternoon nap,
delighted at the happy lot that seemed to be his.

In the evening he had more good food, and when
night came, and still he was left in the room, he
began to wonder whether he was to go in a cart,
after all.

When the keeper came to feed him next morning,
Martin gave him an affectionate greeting, and lis-
tened with pleasure to his mild voice as he talked to
him and encouraged him to feel at home in the little
room in his new keeper’s company. Presently, as
Martin became more assured of the man’s kind in-
tentions, and that for the time, at all events, he was
to be free from the rough treatment and loud tones
of the man he disliked so much, he felt his old liveli-
ness returning, and walked round and round the
little room and played some of his funny tricks, that
The Bear-Pit. 157

never failed to ie Bienes to those who could ap-
preciate some other cleverness besides their own.

The keeper was too well used to animals, and had
been too long accustomed to watching their manners
and behaviour, to fail to understand Martin’s way of
showing his happiness and gratitude, cu from this
time they were firm friends.

And now he opened the other door, and Martin
followed him out of the room.

They were now in the open air, in a sort of court-
yard. There was a thick pole standing in the middle
of it, and a large tank of water on one side. At
the other side was an iron railing, and when Martin
looked through, he saw rows of other iron railings
in front of him, and behind them he could just see
creatures bigger and different from himself, some
walking up and down, and some lying by their rails.
They all looked happy enough, and in good con-
dition ; their dens were large, though none were so
large as Martin’s own; in fact, his was the grandest
place he had ever lived in, larger than even the
mountain cave, and nicely paved and clean.

There must be more creatures near him than those
he could see, for he heard all kinds of strange
sound$ of birds and beasts, some near, and some he
thought a great way off.


CHAPTER 2a

THE GARDEN.

VO ULD this be a menagerie? No, Martin
; felt sure it was not. He could well re-
member his mother’s description of old

Bruin’s cart, how it was made of wooden
boards and roofed in so that they never saw the sun
or the blue sky. And he had seen the beast-carts
himself at the fair, and had shuddered at the thought
of being shut in such a small space for ever.

This was a very different place. The inner room
was not unlike a cave, with its stony walls, and hard,
cool floor. But no matter what it was, it was a
comfortable home, and overjoyed at his good luck,
Martin ran round and round and then took a dip in
the large tank of water.

This was far better than a cart. After his keeper
had left him Martin sat at the iron rails looking out
at the other beasts for a long while. Most of them
were strangers to him, but he thought he could see
a bear a little distance off. And when he turned
The Garden. 159



round to look the other way, there was the polar
bear himself, in a large yard like Martin’s own, only
that the whole of the floor was taken up with a pond
of water, except a narrow path near the rails.

There was the creature he had so much wished to
see, with his long neck, his black eyes and nose, and
his beautiful white coat. Martin watched his move-
ments with the greatest interest, and saw him plunge
into his pond, and dive and swim ; and he wondered

.whether there were any fish or seals in the water.
Surely the white bear must find it very warm here
after having lived in such ice-bound lands.

It was not surprising that he spent most of his
time in the water. Martin thought it would be best
to make acquaintance with him in the winter; he
would feel so much more at home and at his ease
when his pond was freezing and the snow was on
the ground; but the other bears, and the lions and
tigers, would make friends at once: no doubt they
would be glad to hear about the Alpine mountains
and the pine forests.

After he had watched the animals till he was tired
of sitting still, he took another run round his yard,
and then discovered, for the first time, that the pole
was a sort of tree, for it had branches growing from
its sides, only they had been lopped off till they were
too short to sit upon. But not too short to climb
up, thought Martin, and without more ado he
mounted tothe top. Here there was a large bough
160 The Life of a Bear.



left, on purpose for him to sit upon, and as he sat
there he looked around him, for now he could see
where he was.

Not at the fair, and not in the dusty roads, but in
the most beautiful garden he had ever seen. There
were great plantations of trees and shrubs, grass
lawns, neat gravel paths, and above all beds and
beds full of sweet flowers and leaves. Martin
thought he could sit up at the top of his pole all
day, admiring everything around him : there was so
much to look at, and it was long since he had seen
bright growing flowers. In the hedges at the sides
of the country roads he had passed along with
Philippe, there were sometimes flowers, but they
seemed very hot and tired, and were covered with
dust from the road.

At the fairs, too, people carried baskets full of
nosegays to sell, but Martin never could enjoy look-
ing at cut flowers. They hung their heads and
looked faded and ill, and Martin would turn away,
for he knew they were dying of grief for their homes
and friends, from which they had been so rudely torn.

But here every flower was happy and gay; the
sun shone on them, and they looked up and thanked
him for his light and heat, after the rain of yesterday.

Gardeners were at work sweeping the paths, mow-
ing the grass, and weeding the flower-beds; and a few
people were already walking in the garden and look-
ing at some cages a long way off, too far away for










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HE LIVES O

——— SS ——
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The Garden. 163



Martin to see what was in them, but from the noises
he could hear he thought they were birds—eagles,
very likely, in such large cages.

Presently a woman came down one of the paths,
and walked close up to Martin’s pit. She had a tiny
child in her arms, and several more walking beside her.

They seemed disposed to be frightened when they
saw Martin sitting on his pole, but the woman en-
couraged them not to be afraid, and she held them up
one at a time to look at the bear. They were timid
children, and clung to their nurse all the time; and
though Martin did his best to look amiable, and
turned round and round and sat on his hind legs on
the top of the pole to amuse them, they only looked
more frightened when he moved than when he sat
still, and soon left him, after throwing two large rosy
apples into his house.

I need not tell you how happy it made Martin to
have children to visit him. Not even rosy apples could
tempt him down till he had watched them skipping
and dancing along as far as he could see them.

Then he came down his pole, and ate his apples
with a better appetite than he had had for many a day.

He knew he should be very happy in this cheerful
house. It seemed he was to have plenty of visitors,
for now more people came every minute to the top
of his pit and looked down at the new bear.

Then by-and-by they went to look at the lions and
tigers, and stayed at his iron railings to look at him

Tele
164 The Life of a Bear.



again. Many of them threw him pieces of bread,
and buns, and fruit of different kinds.

Martin was very grateful for all these good things,
and would run about on his hind legs, and up and
down the pole to fetch anything that was held out to
him on a long stick; and he grew very clever at
catching things in his mouth.

He would sit holding his hind legs in his paws,
with his head a little on one side, his ears thrown
back, and his mouth wide open, showing his great
tongue and four sharp, long teeth, whenever he saw
anyone look over into his den ; and few could resist
such a clever way of asking for a bun.


























































































































































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AN EASY LIFE.

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and when the winter came, and there
were not so many visitors as there had
been when Martin arrived, he used to sit
for hours at a time, playing with him and teaching
him tricks.

Martin had now quite lost his old habit of sleeping
all the winter, as he had done when he was young ;
his keeper used to wake him early, and after he had
had his breakfast, he made him turn out into the
yard while his room was swept out, and it was too
cold out of doors to sleep there.

He found the long winter nights quite enough for
sleep, and even on the coldest days he had some
visitors, for the gardens always looked pretty and
gay, and there were flowers there almost all the year
round.

Though the other bears were not very near him,
he managed to get quite friendly with them, and they


168 The Life of a Bear.

Gee to have long talks together of an evening, when
the visitors were all gone, about their lives in distant
countries.

Martin and the white bear were nearer neighbours,
and could see and hear each other well. They were
always the best of friends, and Martin was never
tired of hearing about the white bear’s home, where
there was so little sunshine, and so much ice and snow.

In the summer there were children who came with
their nurses regularly every day to play in the garden ;
they always looked down the bear-pit as they passed,
and threw Martin some dainty morsel for his
luncheon, And he learnt to look for them at the
accustomed hour, and always had some funny trick
to show them.

Once his old friend Jean brought Robert and
Antoine to the gardens, and when Martin saw and
heard them, he knew the old words and tones, and
recognised his friends, though they were grown and
altered ; and he thought they knew him too, for they
talked of the feasts of acorns they had gathered for
him, and of the old shed where he had lived so
loie ago.

ie wished he could tell them how ee he was
now, and how kind everyone was to him, but he sup-
posed they would guess it when they saw him so
sleek and in such good condition.

He had a strange visitor one day, who came and
sat down in front of his railings attentively wacthing
A Happy Life. 169



everything he did; and there he sat hour after hour,
till Martin felt quite uncomfortable and afraid the
man must be thinking of taking him away. The next
day he came again, and sat down behind a large board
that he had fixed up on a stand close to Martin.

And many days he sat staring first at the board
and then at the bear, till Martin got accustomed to
it, and sat down close to the rails. The man seemed
pleased at this, and gave him some cakes, and after
this they were excellent friends.

Thus some years passed pleasantly away, but this
quiet life made Martin grow very fat ; he was getting
older too, and was not so full of tricks and fun as
he had once been.

Sometimes he felt a little dull, especially in the
autumn, when the days grew short and chilly, and
the weather drove him indoors for hours together.
He had nothing to grumble about; he knew that
very well; his keeper was always kind and gentle,
and understood him, Martin knew, as well and better
than any master he had ever had. The other bears,
too, were very agreeable neighbours, and if only
they had been a little nearer to him, so that they
could talk more easily and be really companions,
Martin thought his happiness would be complete.
Perhaps his kind keeper really did understand his
thoughts or his looks, for almost as soon as Martin
had decided that it was a companion that he wanted,
a new little bear was brought into his den.
170 LUNE CRO CBE.



About a week before it came, one morning, very
early, the keeper brought two strange men into
Martin’s house; they were armed with all sorts of
sticks and tools, the sight of which filled poor Martin
with horror.

‘“What can it all be for?’ thought he; “is my
quiet, happy life to be at an end? am I to be killed,
or taken off to another home, or what new troubles
can be in store for me ?”

His keeper soon put an end to his fears by sitting
down near him, and patting his head and telling him
it was all right. Then the two men set to work at
once: they knocked a great hole through the wall of
the pit, opposite Martin’s room, and then began to
dig away under the earth till they had dug out
another room almost as large as Martin’s was; but
this took some days. Then came the stone-masons,
and blocks of stone were brought in, and the walls
were built, and a window made high up, and a nice
strong door put at the side.

What an interest Martin took in all this work!
The men were a little afraid of him at first, but his
keeper stayed with him nearly all the time, and
presently, when the men had got used to his com-
pany, and had lost their fear, he was allowed to go
nearer, and walk in and out of the new room as he
pleased.

Still he never guessed what it was for; he won-
dered why they were taking soc much trouble, for his
A Happy Life. v7

old room was very comfortable, and he had no wish
for a change.

When it was all done, and the bed of straw and
pan of water were placed in the corners, and the
workmen had gone, Martin expected now to find
out what change was to be made; but he was put to
bed as usual, and his keeper bade him good-night
without telling him anything about it.

The next day, however, he found it all out. The
little Russian bear, who had been waiting till her
room was ready, was brought through into the pit.
She was a very small creature, no bigger than a dog,
but prettier than any of the bears that Martin had
ever seen. Her hairy coat was long and very dark,
and her little eyes had a pleasant sparkle in them
that made Martin feel quite merry when he looked
at them.

The stranger was rather shy of him at first, but
Martin did not care for this; he would be very con-
tent to wait till she got used to him, he said to him-
self; and then what games they would have together !
He forgot how old he was getting, and how sedate
he had become lately, in his delight at having a
companion who was young enough to enjoy fun and
play.

They each had their food in a separate pan, and
for a few days, while the little Minette was still shy,
the keepers stayed with them; but by degrees all
her diffidence wore off, and she began to run and


72 The Life of a Bear.



play about with Martin as happily as if they had
been lifelong friends. They learnt to’ understand
each other very soon, and then Martin could entertain
his new friend with all the history of his eventful life.

What a grand personage little Minette thought
him! How much experience he must have, and what
a great age he seemed to her to be!

She used to sit at his feet, listening to his long
stories of mountains and forests, and vineyards and
orchards, till she fell asleep.

Martin felt dull no more; his home was perfect
now, and the cheerless winter days passed happily
away, and Minette grew much bigger by the spring,
but she never was as large as Martin, and always
looked up to him, and treated him with the greatest
deference and respect.
CHAPTER - XXIV.
MINETTE’S STORY.

HEN the summer came, Minette could
climb the pole, and sit up begging for
buns, and do almost all the tricks that
Martin had ever done.

Hundreds of people came every day to the
garden, for there were other new animals besides
Minette to be seen. In one of the nearest dens to
theirs were four young lions, and further on there
was a tiny hyena.

Minette loved to sit at the top of the pole, and
look at the flowers and trees; she loved buns and
apples too, and Martin let her have nearly all that
were thrown, until she began to get tired of eating
so many, and then Martin was glad to take his share.

She never loved children as he did, but then she
had never lived with them and been their playfellow,
feeding out of their hands and returning their caresses,
as Martin had done. I think she was.a little jealous
of Martin’s love for them, and when sometimes more


174 The Life of a Bear.

than a hundred children came at once, and stood ina
crowd round the bear-pit, Martin always monopolised
the pole, and though he let Minette have the buns,
he was always the children’s pet.

When the winter came again, and children and
buns came less often to the bear-pit, Minette, in her
turn, told Martin all she could remember of her
early life In some things it was like what Martin’s
had been in the cave. She had been born when the
snow was all over the ground, and the bears were
most of them fast asleep; but in many ways her
home was as different as possible from the country
where he had spent his early youth. The forests were
very large, and covered hundreds of miles, where there
were no villages and no human inhabitants, and the
bears never saw any men, unless the hunters came
near their home. The stories that Minette’s mother
had told her were all about the other creatures that
lived in those distant lands, and there were many
there that Martin had never heard of, and who were
not to be found in his forest, and Minette’s parents
had often been near the frozen sea, and had seen the
polar bear in his own home.

The winters there are very cold and long, and the
summers very short, and much hotter while they
last than in more temperate countries; and the bears
who live near the sea often make long expeditions
in the summer nights to the coasts, for the sake of
feasting on the fishes that they catch near the shore.


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































A NORTH COUNTRY COUSIN,

Minettes Story. 177



It is not only the white bear that is so fond of water
—almost every bear loves to swim in the sea; and
not very far from Minette’s home was a very large
lake that was almost a sea, and though she was too
young before she left home to have ever seen it, she
knew some things about the fish and water insects,
and had been taught to think of a visit to the sea-
shore as the first journey a young bear should make.

And Minette herself had seen many of the forest
animals and strange birds of that land: the little
brown sables had been her playmates, for they often
followed the old bears home from their foraging expe-
ditions, to eat the scraps they might drop by the way.

Then there were the little ermine stoats, that in
the winter are as white as the polar bear, all but the
black tip of their tails; but when the snow melts,
and days get long and hot, the little ermine gradually
loses its snowy coat, and is as brown as any bear till
winter comes again. These little creatures are very
much more valuable for their fur than the shaggy
bears, and the people of those countries travel many
miles over the deep snow, and endure dreadful hard-
ships, to track them to their homes. And very often
the hunters find bears too, and if they can succeed
in killing them, or catching them in traps, will take
them long distances through the forest, and sell them
dead or alive in the towns near their home.

The Russian bears are more fierce and savage
than the brown Alpine bears, and many hunters have

12
178 The Life of a Bear.



been killed by them, and torn to pieces. The short
summer does not give them time to get fat and sleepy,
and then when winter comes, and food gets scarce,
the bears turn hunters themselves, and kill and eat the
reindeer, and many smaller animals, and if an unfor-
tunate traveller comes near their haunts, these hungry
creatures will kill him, and most likely eat him too.
There were some travellers once who had to sleep
all night in the forest, and they cut down a great
many trees, and made a large fire all round their bed
in a circle, which they thought would be enough to
protect them from the fierce bears and wolves. But
if it frightened the wolves, the bear was too clever to
give up his prey for such a difficulty in his way; he
did not dare to cross the fiery barrier until he had
dipped himself in the stream of water that ran close by,
and then he rushed through the fire, rolling himself on
the burning wood, and quenching the flames with his
wet fur; and the travellers hada hard battle with him
before they killed him and stripped him of his skin.
Little Minette’s parents had had many adventures
with hunters, and if she had lived to grow up in the
wild forest-home where she was born, no doubt she
too would have been as fierce and daring as any of
them ; but while she was still too young to go far
from her home, she was caught in a trap, and carried
off to a distance from her friends and companions.
She had never lived in a cave, but in a den dug out
of a mound of earth; and when the old bears went
Minette's Story. 179

off in the early morning to search for food, the
young ones too strayed about in the forest, eating the
leaves and twigs that were within their reach. She
had parted from her brothers and sisters, and wan-
dered about for a long time, when she came to a
part of the forest where acorns seemed to be in such
abundance that the ground was thickly strewn with
them. Minette had never tasted acorns before, but
when she found out what a delicious food they were,
she ate and ate, and walked on among the grass and
fruit, little suspecting the danger that was so near her.
If Minette had been an old and clever bear, she
would have known well that acorns do not come in the
spring-time, and would have been cautious how she
went where fruits out of their season covered the
ground. ‘Traps are set for young and silly bears.
Poor Minette was too busy feasting to notice any
difference as she trod on the treacherous grass that
was strewn over the net that covered a deep pit.
Down she fell, she could not tell how deep; and the
man who had set the trap, and who was watching
not far off at the time, made her fast with ropes
before he pulled her up on to the grass again.
Minette had to travel many miles to the town,
where she was sold to a merchant, who took her on
board his ship. Here she was made a great pet of
by the sailors, who nursed her and fed her, and
taught her to be tame and gentle. And it was one
of those sailors who had brought her to the garden.
12—2
CHAPTER XX.
MR. BEAR'S GRANDCHILDREN.

ARTIN loved his little wife more than
ever-when he knew all about her home
and capture and adventures in the ship ;
he was very proud too of her beauty, and

wished very much that his father and mother and

Basil could know what a bonny wee wife he had got.
Early in the following spring, before the trees

were green, and when there were only a few flowers

in the garden, Martin and Minette had a tiny baby-
bear of their own. He was a very little creature at
first, so small that Martin was almost afraid to touch
him, for fear of hurting him, but as he grew bigger
and stronger, Martin ventured to roll him over and
over now and then; but he could see that Minette
was very nervous about him, and did not feel quite
happy until he was safe in the bed with her again ;
so he waited till the young one was able to walk
about by himself, and could crawl out into the pit,


Mr. Bears Grandchildren. 181



and then Martin felt all the pleasure and enjoyment
that a father can feel in his little son.

The little bear was more like his mother than his
father, and it was a very long time before he was
big enough to learn to play any tricks; but still he
was a merry little plaything, and the kind keeper
enjoyed nursing and playing with him as much as
Martin did, and often came and sat with them and
nursed the little creature, who appeared to enjoy all
the petting that he had, and grew sleeker and fatter
every day.

Minette was a very careful mother; she kept her
little bear’s coat in most beautiful order; his fur was
very long and dark, as her own had been, and many
of the little children who came to see him longed for
a winter coat like his. Minette used to grumble very
much about the keeper handling him so much; she
said it spoilt his fur, and certainly she always found
it necessary to lick him all over and give him a
regular brush-up when she could get hold of him
again afterwards. Martin wanted to know why; he
said handling had never hurt his coat.

“Your coat, indeed !” said Minette, who felt rather
cross at being doubted, and, besides, knew of no
reason better than her own fancy, and was not clever
at arguing about anything ; “I should think it would
take a good deal of spoiling; it is pretty rough at
present !”

Martin could see that she was not in a good
182 The Life of a Bear. -



humour just then, and changed the subject. He was
very indulgent to his little wife, and could not endure
to see her unhappy or vexed, and so it happened
that they never quarrelled. Minette had not been
trained to give up her own will to others, and she
was sometimes impatient and irritable if everything
did not turn out as she wished. But Martin grew
more gentle and affectionate every year, and was
always ready to excuse Minette’s little failings, and
she learnt by degrees to imitate his manner and
amiable disposition.

The baby-bear was allowed to sleep away all the
winter, and the next year he was big enough to be
taught to climb the pole, and wait for buns; and by-
and-by, when he was quite grown up, and there was
another baby in the pit, the first was taken away to
live in a den by himself. Martin did not like parting
from him at all at first, but he was not very far off, and
they could hear his voice, and knew that he was well
taken care of, and they felt the parting with their
children less and less as they grew older.

Now that Martin had a wife and children of his
own to talk to and take care of, he did not care so
much for the society of the other bears who lived
near, but Minette still enjoyed it. After she had
eaten her breakfast, and had carefully dressed and
washed her baby-bear, and had just taken forty winks
to refresh herself while the baby was settling off for
his morning sleep, she used almost every day to go
Mr. Bear's Grandchildren. 183
and sit by the rails, and have a long conversation
with one or another of the friendly bears, before the
visitors began to arrive at the garden ; and when the
fine long summer evenings came, there was plenty of
time for another chat after the baby had gone to bed.

If you had gone there very early, and had seen
Minette walking up and down, or seated near the
rails, uttering only an occasional low growl, or making
a sort of purring noise to herself, you wouid not have
understood a word she said; but the white bear or
the black or grizzly bear close by would be listening
too, and if you had looked that way, you might have
seen him walking up and down, and looking hard at
Minette through the bars of his den, and of course
he knew bear language well enough.

The white bear was the general favourite. Minette
found out that he had come from the Arctic seas not
far from her home, and she believed he must have
known her friends and parents if he lived so near;
but this she could never quite make out. He had
wandered in those dreary forests when they were
covered with the deep snow, and well remembered
the reindeer, and the sables, and the pretty little
white ermines, that changed always to brown in
summer-time.

Our bears had some trouble in their lives even
now. Some of their children were delicate, and one
or two died very young, in spite of all the care their

parents took of them ; and then the old bears had to
&
184 The Life of a Bear.

console each other for their loss, and to live alone
again for a little time.

But one of the greatest troubles they ever had
was the loss of their dear keeper; he stayed with
them a whole day once, and then at night he spent a
long time in bidding them good-bye, and they never
saw him again.

This made them very sad: they did not think it
was possible for them ever to have such a kind
friend again, and they never felt any desire to be so
friendly with the new keeper as they had been with
the old one. Hewas kind to them, and took care
to feed them well, and attended to all their wants in
the same diligent manner; but there was a difference
in the way he spoke, and in his looks and tones—or
at all events Martin thought there was. He always
said to Minette that among all the men he had seen
and known, their old keeper was the only one who
could appreciate and understand a bear.

Martin and Minette often talked together of their
old homes, and wondered what had become of their
brothers and sisters. Martin would have liked to
know whether Basil ever had a cave and a wife and
babies of his own, or whether he ever became a
captive in a distant land. But he never heard any
more about him. Martin’s travels and adventures
were over when he came to live in the Jardin des
Plantes.

The rest of his life was spent very happily and
ee Bear's CRATE. 185

contentedly in ie bear-pit, until He ic Minette
became too old and fat to climb the pole. Then
they changed their home for the last time, and were
taken to live in one of the large dens, among the
other animals.

They were still in the same pretty garden, and had
the satisfaction of seeing that their own youngest son
took their place in the bear-pit.

They had now nothing to do but enjoy life in that
placid way that all other old people do, and talk over
the good old times when they were young, when
everything was so much better, and people were so
much wiser, and prettier, and merrier, and even the
animals were better-behaved, and more easily tamed,
than now.

They would sit and shake their heads at one
another over the folly and giddiness of all young
people, and their talks always began with, “Ah!
when I was a young bear!” Though they both lived
to a great age, they never lost their good looks, and
they died peacefully in a good old age.

Minette’s skin was dressed and made into a
splendid mat for a king’s palace; and very hand-
some and soft and glossy it looked, and well-fitted
for queens and princesses to tread upon.

But Martin’s skin was dressed and stuffed, and
placed in the museum among all the handsomest
and best of the animals that had ever lived in the
garden.
186 The Life of a Bear.



There were lions, and tigers, and giraffes, and
camels, and buffaloes, the huge elephant, and the
unwieldy hippopotamus; and in glass cases round
the walls were foxes, monkeys, parrots, owls, and
small animals and birds of all sorts. He had as
many visitors and admirers after his death as he had
had in his lifetime.

Painters came to take his portrait, and naturalists
came to examine his coat and his size and shape.

There he may be seen to this day in his old
attitude, standing up on his hind legs, and leaning
on his pole with his ears pricked up and his mouth
wide open, though no one ever throws him buns.

THE END.



BILLING AND SONS, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD AND LONDON.






























































































































































































































































































































































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