Why Brother Bear Has No Tail
One day Brother Rabbit went to see Brother Terrapin. But when he got to Brother Terrapin's house, Sister Terrapin said: "My husband is not at home. .He is at his uncle's who lives near the pond."
Brother Rabbit went to the pond, and when he came to old Uncle Terrapin's house, they all had dinner together. After dinner they went to the pond, and Brother Terrapin and old Uncle Terrapin showed Brother Rabbit their favourite game. They slid from a big rock into the water. It was very easy for them, because the rock was covered with green moss and it was very slippery. Old Uncle Terrapin crawled to the top of the rock and slid down into the water: kersplash! Then Brother Terrapin crawled to the top of the rock and slid down: kersplash! Brother Rabbit sat on the bank of the pond, looked at the game, and praised them.
While they were having a good time in this way, old Brother Bear came up to the pond. He heard their shouts and laughter and went to see what they were doing.
"Hallo, people! What's all this noise? If my eyes do not deceive me, this is Brother Rabbit, and Brother Terrapin, and old Uncle Terrapin," said Brother Bear.
"You are right," said Brother Rabbit, "and we are having a good time, and trying to forget about the bad times which we often had, Brother Bear!"
"Well, well, well!" said old Brother Bear. "So you are sliding into the water and having a good time. And what is the matter with Brother Rabbit? Why doesn't he slide into the water too?"
Brother Rabbit winked at Brother Terrapin, and Brother Terrapin winked at old Uncle Terrapin, and then Brother Rabbit said:
"Well, Brother Bear, a man can't slide all day long. Now I am sitting here and drying my clothes."
"Maybe Brother Bear will slide into the water wath us," said Brother Terrapin.
Brother Rabbit began to laugh:
"Oh, no!" said he. "That is impossible! Brother Bear's feet are too large, and his tail is too long for that!"
This made Brother Bear very angry, and he said:
"Maybe my tail is too long, and maybe it isn't, but I am not afraid to try."
Then Brother Terrapin and Uncle Terrapin made way tor him, and old Brother Bear went to the top of the rock, sat down on his hind feet, and pushed off. At first he slid rather slowly, and he smiled, because he liked it. Then he began to slide faster, and he did not smile any more, because he was afraid. At last he began to slide very, very fast, and near the foot of the rock there was a sharp stone, and Brother Bear howled so loud that you could hear him far, far away. Then he fell into the water with a great noise.
When Brother Bear got out of the water, he was howling with pain. He did not explain anything, but everything was quite clear. When he turned to run home, Brother Rabbit and his friends saw that Brother Bear had no tail! That is why he howled so loud.
Brother Rabbit shouted:
"Brother Bear, wait a minute! I shall tell you what to do for the sore place!"
But Brother Bear did not look back.