2. Two Fellows and the Bear

two men and a bear


rush: to go very quickly

seize: to take hold of something; to get.

muzzle: the long, extended face of an animal such as a bear or a dog.

growl: the low, threatening sound made by an animal.

desert: to abandon one’s responsibilities; to leave a person without help.



Two men were traveling together through the woods, when a bear rushed out upon them. One of the travelers happened to be in front, and he seized hold of the branch of a tree, and hid himself among the leaves. The other, seeing no help for it, threw himself flat down upon the ground, and pretended to be dead with his face in the dust. The Bear, coming up to him, put his muzzle close to his ear, and sniffed and sniffed. But at last with a growl he shook his head and slouched off, for bears will not touch dead meat. Then the fellow in the tree came down to his comrade, and, laughing, asked “What was it that Master Bruin whispered to you?”

“He told me,” said the other: Never trust a friend who deserts you in a pinch.


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