Little Bear and Bandit

One bright, sunny morning, Little Bear sat at the edge of the creek that runs through his village.

“What a beautiful morning!” exclaimed Little Bear. “We aren’t going to get too many more days like this.”

Little Bear took a twig and fashioned it into a fishing rod. He dunked a big juicy worm into the cool water. Soon, he got a nibble at the end of his line.

“That was fast,” said Little Bear. “Now I can go back to my village and play for the rest of the day.”

Little Bear struggled to get the fish off the hook and proceeded to wrap it up.

“What do you have there?” asked a strange voice behind him.

Startled, Little Bear turned around to see who was there.

“Oh it’s just you, Bandit,” said Little Bear, upon recognizing his best friend.

“Some greeting that is,” said Bandit. “I am away for two weeks and that is the best that you can do!”

Little Bear quickly got up and gave his friend a hug.

“So, how was the hunt?” asked Little Bear.

“Not good,” said Bandit. “It looks like we are going to have to rely on your juicy fish over there.”

“Well, maybe I’d better catch some more,” said Little Bear.

“After while,” said Bandit. “I want you to come with me right now. I have a surprise for you.”

Bandit and Little Bear walked through the forest. Finally they came to a clearing.

“This looks like someone’s camp,” said Little Bear. “What are we doing here?”

“Our people need food,” said Bandit, matter-of-factly. “They are starving. I will not see our people starve for another winter.”

“Bandit, I hope you re not going to steal this food,” said Little Bear.

“No, I’m not,” said Bandit. “You are!”

“I hope you’re not serious about this,” said Little Bear. “I’m not going into someone else’s camp and stealing their food. I’m going home.”

“Look,” said Bandit. “Our people are starving. We need food.”

“Our people happen to also be very proud people,” said Little Bear. “There is no way that they would even eat this food if we were to bring it home to them! Besides, do you know what the penalty would be for stealing this food? Our people would put us in isolation for one whole year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish the thought at all.”

“Suit yourself,” said Bandit. “You just go home.”

Little Bear left for home as quickly as he could. On his way, he saw something in the ground that he had not seen in quite a few months. He saw caribou tracks. Quickly he ran back to Bandit.

“Bandit! Bandit!” shouted Little Bear. “Come quick. I saw caribou tracks!”

“You saw what?” asked Bandit.

“Hurry, grab your bow and arrows,” said Little Bear. “There are hundreds of them.”

Little Bear and Bandit hunted those caribou until they figured they had enough to do their camp for the winter.

Later that evening, there was a great celebration.

“We owe all of this to Little Bear and Bandit,” said the chief. “Without their good fortune many of us would not have lived to see next summer.”

“Actually, we owe this good fortune to Little Bear,” said Bandit. “It was his common sense that brought the caribou to us.”

Little Bear was the first to taste the succulent meat. He was so happy to know that because of him, his people would have a good winter.

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