Tommy Frost Sees a Bear
Tommy Frost was making his first visit in the country. He was enjoying it very much. He liked to ramble about in the woods close by the house of his aunt, Mrs. Drew. Tommy had never even seen any birds before this, but pigeons and sparrows. That is, any birds out of cages. He had lived all his short life in the centre of a great city. He wanted very much to see a wild animal. He had heard Mr. Drew and some of his friends talking about “bear tracks” in the woods. Mr. Drew said they must go off some day and hunt for that bear. Now Tommy had no idea what a bear was like. He wished very much that he might see one. Every day he said to himself, “If I could only find the one the big men were talking about I’d feel proud.” One day as he was strolling about, he suddenly saw something moving in one of the trees. He stopped, and looked up excitedly, then he rushed for the house screaming at the top of his voice, “Aunt Maria! Aunt Maria! come quick, I’ve seen it, it’s in the woods.”
“What is in the woods?” asked Mrs. Drew.
“The bear!” cried Tommy.
“The bear?” repeated Mrs. Drew, hardly understanding.
Then she drew a long breath and turned very white as she stood a moment shielding her eyes from the sun, looking in the direction in which Tommy pointed. Then she ran back into the house, and came out in a moment, bringing with her a huge horn. It was a megaphone. She was trembling so she could scarcely lift it, but she managed to raise it to her mouth and call through it. “John! Murray! come! come this instant! The bear is in the woods back of the house.”
In a few moments her husband and brother came running from the field where they were at work.
They stopped for no questions, but rushed into the house for their guns. But as they came out Mr. Drew asked, “Who saw it? When, where?”
“I did, said Tommy, not a bit frightened, but feeling very excited and proud. “I did, back there in a tree.”
“In a tree?” cried Mrs. Drew’s brother, stopping in his quick run for the woods.
“Yes,” said Tommy, “it was a bear, but it looked,–it LOOKED just like my picture of a wiggle-tail.”
“Oh,” cried Mrs. Drew, as she sank on the door-step, “the child has seen a gray squirrel!”