Laura's father was telling her about meeting a bear. He was coming home from town and had to walk through the forest at night. Then he saw a big black bear. It was standing in the middle of the road.
“I had to pass that bear, to get home. I thought that if I could scare him, he might get out of the road and let me go by. So I took a deep breath. Suddenly I shouted with all my might and ran at him, waving my arms. Shouting and waving your arms might (or might not) scare off a black bear, but would cause a grizzly bear to attack you. This was only a black bear.
The black bear didn't move.
I did not run very far towards him, I tell you! I stopped and looked at him. He stood looking at me. Then I shouted again. There he stood. I kept on shouting and waving my arms, but he did not move.
Well, it would do me no good to run away. There were other bears in the forest. I might meet one at any time. I might as well deal with this one as with another. Besides, I was coming home to your mother and you girls. I would never get home, if I ran away from everything in the forest that scared me.
What should I do? Throwing rocks will cause any bear to attack you, but not hurt the bear. Climbing a tree would be useless; black bears are good at climbing trees. So at last I looked around and I got a good big piece of wood, a solid, heavy branch that had been broken from a tree by the weight of snow in the winter.
I lifted it up in my hands and I ran straight at that bear. I swung my club as hard as I could and brought it down, bang! on his head.
And there the bear still stood, for he was nothing but a big, black, burned stump! A stump is the remains of an old dead tree, such as one that was cut down. The big black stump only looked like a bear.
I had passed it on my way to town that morning. It wasn't a bear at all. I only thought it was a bear, because I had been thinking all the time about bears and being afraid I'd meet one.
“It really wasn't a bear at all?” Mary asked.
“No, Mary, it wasn't a bear at all. There I had been yelling, dancing and waving my arms, all by myself in the forest, trying to scare a stump!”
[Answers for Review Questions]
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)
Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets
Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1
Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2
Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest
Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife
Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming
Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow
Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning
Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children
Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath
Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet
Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music
Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking
Chapter 6 - Part 1 - Introduction (Two Big Bears)
Chapter 6 - Part 2 - Getting Ready to Go
Chapter 6 - Part 3 - Milking Sukey the Cow (1 of 2)
Chapter 6 - Part 4a - Milking Sukey the Cow (2 of 2)
Chapter 6 - Part 4b - Review Questions: Milking Sukey
Chapter 6 - Part 4c - Answers for Review Questions
Chapter 6 - Part 5 - Her Father Has Not Come Home
Chapter 6 - Part 6 - The Story Of Her Father And The Bear In The Way (1 of 2)
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.
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