Adventures of Blackie and Ginger
Story of two Little Bears
On a day in summer two little
bears were playing together on a hillside.
“What can we do, Blackie?”
Ginger asked her brother. “There must be lots of things we’ve never
“I’ll tell you,” Blackie
answered, “Let’s hide in the bushes so that mother can’t find us
when she comes back.”
“You know very well that
mother will find us!” Ginger said. “She’ll smell us right away.”
“I can hide so mother won’t
find me,” Blackie boasted. “I can hide so she couldn’t ever find
“You can not!” Ginger said
quickly. “Mother can find anything anywhere just by smelling it.”
Blackie did not answer. Going
over to his sister he gave her a push that sent her sprawling on her
little back. Ginger got to her feet and rushed at Blackie as hard as
she could. She loved a rough-and-tumble just as much as he did
Blackie saw her coming and was
ready for her. Rising to his hind legs, he gave her a smack. This
time Ginger did not fall; instead, she rose to her hind legs too
and cuffed Blackie on the ear.
The two little bears were so
busy scuffling that they did not see the mother bear coming toward
them. Suddenly her big paw reached out and..
“Wooff!” said Blackie, sitting
down on the ground very hard
“Wooff!” said Ginger, landing
“Stop it!” said the mother.
“Listen to me! I have a treat for you. I know where there is
something specially good to eat - something that you both like very
“What is it? What is it?”
cried both little bears.
“It is honey!”
“Oh-Oh-OH!” Blackie and Ginger
stood on their hind legs and waived their paws joyfully.
“Where is it, mother? Where is
it? How did you find it?”
“I smelled it,” she answered.
“I think it is in an old tree on the other side of the hill. It
won't take us long to get there. Come along! Single file!”
She started off, rolling her
great body from side to side. The little bears followed, trying to
walk just as she did. They lifted both feet on one side at the same
time, first the right and then the left, then the right and then the
left. And they put their feet down flat just as she did, leaving
tracks that showed the prints of their claws.
“Look! mother!” Ginger called
out, “Blackie isn’t coming! He’s back there looking for grubs under
Mother bear stopped and turned
her head. “Blackie!” she called sharply, “come along! You can hunt
for grubs any time, but you don't get honey every day.”
“But I'm hungry now,” Blackie
said, turning over a large stone with his front paw, “and it’s a
long way to the honey tree.”
The mother bear started back
towards Blackie. He gulped down a large fat grub and came running
toward her. “I’m coming, mother,” he called. “I’m hurrying as fast
as I can.”
Then for a while the two
little bears followed her without a word.
Presently Ginger whimpered,
“It’s hot and I’m tired. We’ve walked a long way, haven’t we?”
“I’m not tired,” Blackie said.
“I can walk ever and ever so far and not get tired.”
“I wish the honey tree wasn’t
so far away,” Ginger complained. “I wish we were back in our nice
den, with mother to feed us.”
“Ho! I don’t,” Blackie said
scornfully. “We’re too old to drink milk now. And anyhow, I like
grubs and fruit and berries better-and honey,” he added. “I like
honey better than anything.”
“I do too, only I don’t like
to walk so far to get it. Do you remember how dark the den was,
“Of course I do. I remember
all about it. We were born there, and for a good many days we didn’t
open our eyes.”
“You don’t remember that at
all, Blackie Black Bear! Mother told you that - I heard her! And I
heard her tell you that we didn’t go out of the den until we were
three months old! I don’t believe you really remember anything about
“But I do!” Blackie said
crossly. “I remember that it was cold.”
“That’s because we didn’t have
nice thick fur then,” Ginger said, “Mother told me that we didn’t
have much fur at all when we were born. We weren’t very big either -
we weren’t much bigger than squirrels!”
“I was never as little as a
squirrel!” Blackie said, very angry at the thought of this. “Was I,
mother?” he called. “Was I ever as little as a squirrel?”
“Yes you were,” his mother
said, “but you children had better hurry up. We are getting near to
the honey now. It’s in that old hollow tree stump right over there.”
“The two little bears forgot
everything else and ran to catch up.”
“Um-m!” Blackie said, sniffing
the air, “doesn’t it smell good?”
“Yes,” Ginger answered “Only I
hope the bees won’t sting us the way they did last time.”
The mother bear went straight
to the stump. The bees buzzed and swarmed angrily, but she paid no
attention. She began to scratch and tear at the rotting wood to make
a hole big enough for her paw.
“Oh, dear!” cried Ginger,
holding her paws to her tender little nose!”
“Ouch!” Blackie cried at the
same time, “a bee stung me on my head.”
The mother bear kept on
tearing at the stump with her strong claws. Her fur was so thick
that the bees couldn’t sting her easily. Even though one or two did
sting her nose, she didn’t mind much; she was so eager to get at the
When the hole was big enough,
she put in her paw and brought it out dripping with honey.
“Delicious!” she said, as she licked off the sweet sticky stuff,
Blackie and Ginger stretched up on their hind legs and put in their
paws too. They gobbled down the honey as fast as they could. The
angry bees stung them and the little bears whined and whimpered but
still kept on eating.
“wasn’t it good?” Blackie said
when all the honey was gone. “I wish we had honey every day.”
“Well, I wish the bees
wouldn’t sting so hard,” Ginger said, rubbing her sore nose.
“Come, children,” their mother
said. “We will go over to the shade, away from the bees, and take a
The little bears were so full
of honey that they were glad to lie down. Ginger dropped off to
sleep at once. Suddenly Blackie raised his head.
“What’s that mother? What’s
that queer scratching sound I hear?
“That is something you ought
to know about. Come with me I’ll show you.”
They waddled over to a clump
of bushes near a tall smooth tree. The little bear looked through
the bushes and saw a strange sight.
A huge bear was standing on
his hind legs scratching on the tree as high as he could reach.
Blackie watched him a moment
in silence. He couldn’t understand what the bear was doing. He
wanted to know. So he walked straight through the bushes and called
out: “What are you scratching that tree for, Black Bear?”
The black bear stopped his
scratching and looked down at little Blackie. “This is a scratching
tree,” he said in a gruff voice. “Don’t you know what a scratching
“No I don’t. What is it?”
“It is a tree that he-bears
“Why do you scratch on it?”
“So that other bears that come
along will know who has been here. Look! That is my mark - the one
that is the highest up the tree. No other bear who has scratched
this tree is as big and strong as I am.”
Blackie stared at him with big
eyes. “He’s a terribly big bear, isn’t he mother?” he said. !I’d
like to be as big as he is.
“Maybe you will be some day,”
his mother said.
they got back to where they had left Ginger she was awake and ready
to play again.
“Now what can we do mother?”
she said. “I’d like to do something I’ve never done before.”
“How would you like to go
fishing?” her mother asked.
“Is it fun?” asked the little
“Lots of fun, and besides,
fish are good to eat.
“As good as honey?” Ginger
“ They have a different
taste,” her mother answered “But they’re good.”
Their mother took them down
the hillside, along a path that other bears had made when they went
to fish. Presently they came to a little stream. “Now watch me,” she
said “and do just as I do.”
She stood at the side of the
stream and put her front paw in the water. For a time she stood
perfectly still, waiting. All of a sudden she scooped it through the
water with a splash and brought out a handful of little fish.
“Oh let me taste them!”
“No! You will never learn to
fish if I feed you. You most catch your own food this time.”
So the two little bears stood
beside the stream and tried to do just as their mother had done. At
first they only brought up water in their paws, but by and by each
of them caught a handful of little fish. They felt very proud of
Suddenly the mother bear rose
to her hind feet and moved her head from side to side, sniffing the
this tree, children! Quick!” she said. “I smell danger!”
“I’m too tired to climb,”
“Go up this tree, as I tell
you!” the mother said sharply.
“Ginger moved so slowly that
her mother gave her a push. Blackie followed a little more quickly.
The mother bear, behind him, prodded him on with her nose until at
last they were all safely up.
For a while they lay still on
a high branch and waited. The mother bear kept sniffing the air.
Presently she said: “I think it was that cross old lynx we saw last
week. But he’s gone now. Let’s go down.”
Then they all climbed down
again - tail first. Blackie and Ginger were even slower coming down
than they had been going up, because they kept looking down over
their shoulders to see where they were going.
“I don’t like to climb trees,”
Ginger said. “It’s too hard for little bears.”
“Coming down is worse,” said
Blackie. “I can’t see where I’m going.”
“You must always climb a tree
when you smell danger,” their mother said. “Remember that, both of
The sun had set and the air
was getting chilly. Blackie and Ginger were very sleepy.
“Can’t we go back to the den
tonight, mother?” Ginger asked.
“No,” their mother said. “We
will sleep out in the woods all summer. When it gets cold we will go
into our old den or find a new one and stay there until it is
“What will we eat?” Blackie
“We will not eat,” his mother
told him. “We won’t be hungry. Before we go into the den we will eat
and eat and eat until we are very, very fat. Then we won’t need food
“I like fish,” Ginger said
“I like honey better,” said
“Enough talking, children! Go
The two little bears were so
tired with all they had done that day, that they were glad enough
to cuddle close to their mother and close their eyes.