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Bear Brownie The Life of a Bear   By:

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Bear Brownie The Life of a Bear

From Animal Autobiographies by H. P. Robinson



Copyright, 1913 A. L. CHATTERTON CO.




It is not easy for one to believe that he ever was a cub. Of course, I know that I was, and as it was only nine years ago I ought to remember it fairly clearly.

It is not so much a mere matter of size, although it is doubtful if any young bear realizes how small he is. My father and mother seemed enormous to me, but, on the other hand, my sister was smaller than I, and perhaps the fact that I could always box her ears when I wanted to gave me an exaggerated idea of my own importance. Not that I did it very often, except when she used to bite my hind toes. Every bear, of course, likes to chew his own feet, for it is one of the most soothing and comforting things in the world; but it is horrid to have anyone else come up behind you when you are asleep, and begin to chew your feet for you. And that was Kahwa that was my sister, my name being Brownie was always doing, and I simply had to slap her well whenever she did.

But, as I said, cubhood is not a matter of size only. As I look down at this glossy coat of mine, it is hard to believe that it was ever a dirty yellow color, and all ridiculous wool and fluff, as young cubs' coats are. But I must have been fluffy, because I remember how my mother, after she had been licking me for any length of time, used to be obliged to stop and wipe the fur out of her mouth with the back of her paw. Every time my mother had to wipe her mouth she used to try to box my ears, so that when she stopped licking me, I, knowing what was coming next, would tuck my head down as far as it would go between my legs, and keep it there till she began licking again.

Yes, when I stop to think, I know, from many things, that I must have been just an ordinary cub. For instance, my very earliest recollection is of tumbling downhill.

Like all bears, I was born and lived on the hillside. In the Rocky Mountains, where my home was, there is nothing but hills, or mountains, for miles and miles, so that you can wander on for day after day, always going up one side of a hill and down the other, and up and down again; and at the bottom of almost every valley there is a stream or river, which for most of the year swirls along nosily and full of water.

In the winter the whole country is covered with snow many feet deep, which, as it falls, slides off the hillsides, and is drifted by the winds into the valleys and hollows till the smaller ones are filled up nearly to the tops of the trees. But bears do not see much of that, for when the first snow comes we get into our dens and go half asleep, and stay hibernating till springtime. And you have no idea how delightful hibernating is, nor how excruciatingly stiff we are when we wake up, and how hungry!

The snow lies over everything for months, until in the early spring the warm west winds begin to blow, melting the snow from one side of the mountains. Then the sun grows hotter and hotter day by day, and helps to melt it until most of the mountain slopes are clear; but in sheltered places and in the bottoms of the little hollows the snow stays in patches till far into the summer. We bears comes out from our winter sleep when the snow is not quite gone, when the whole earth everywhere is still wet with it, and the streams, swollen with floods, are bubbling and boiling along so that the air is filled with the noise of them by night and day.

Our home was well up one of the hillsides, where two huge cedar trees shot up side by side close by a jutting mass of rock. In between the roots of the trees and under the rock was as good a house as a family of bears could want roomy enough for all four of us, perfectly sheltered, and hidden and dry... Continue reading book >>

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