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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY IX THE STUBTAILS’ THANKSGIVING
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 “Mamma! Mamma!” called little Beckie Stubtail, the bear girl, as she awoke in the morning. “Oh, mamma, is breakfast ready?” “Hush!” exclaimed Neddie, the little boy bear, as he reached over with his paw and patted his sister Beckie. “Mamma isn’t here, Beckie.”
“Oh, that’s so; she isn’t,” and Beckie sat up in her bed of leaves under a tree out in the open air. Neddie was sleeping next to her, and on the other side was George, the tame trained bear, and Professor, the man who made George do tricks, and who blew tunes on a brass horn.
“Oh, dear!” cried Beckie. “I thought, for a minute, just for a minute, Neddie, you know, that we were back home again with mamma, and papa and Aunt Piffy and Uncle Wigwag and Mr. Whitewash, the polar bear, and all our friends. But we’re not; are we?”
“No,” answered Neddie, stretching out in the dried leaves, so that they rustled like corn husks. 74“We’re not home, Beckie. We ran away, you know, to become trained bears, and earn money the way Jackie and Peetie Bow Wow, the puppy dog boys, did when they joined the circus.”
“Only they didn’t,” said Beckie, looking to see if her rubber doll, Maryann Puddingstick Clothespin, was still asleep.
“They didn’t what?” asked Neddie.
“They didn’t earn any money. And maybe we won’t.”
“Oh, yes, we will,” said Neddie. “You see we know how to do the trick of climbing the telegraph pole, and I can take a basket of eggs, and fall down, and break almost every one.”
“Yes,” laughed Beckie, “but that’s a trick the Professor doesn’t want you to do. Eggs cost too much!” and she laughed again, as she thought of the fat lady whose basket of eggs Neddie had tried to carry, when he slipped on a banana skin and went down ker-thump! as I told you in another story.
“Well, anyhow, we’ll learn some real tricks, and soon we’ll get money,” spoke Neddie. He and his sister, you know, had run away from their house in the nice cave to join George, the tame bear, with a ring in his nose, and the Professor who made George do tricks.
“I wonder what we’ll have for breakfast to-day?” 75asked Beckie, as she saw George, the big bear, stretching himself.
“I hope it’s something good,” spoke Neddie, as he saw the Professor getting up. “I’m tired of dried bread; and that’s all we’ve had so far.”
“Yes; we haven’t had any of the nice buns and the popcorn balls that George told us about that day he met us in the woods,” went on Beckie.
“Come to breakfast, Beckie and Neddie,” called the Professor, for he could speak and understand bear language. And he took some dried bread out of his bag.
“Oh, dear!” exclaimed Beckie.
“Dear, oh!” cried Neddie.
“Never mind,” said the Professor, “to-morrow will be Thanksgiving and I’m sure something will happen between now and then so that we shall all have a fine dinner. We will start off soon, and see if we can find our fortunes as Uncle Wiggily, the rabbit gentleman, did his. Come on!”
So the little bear children, and George, the trained bear, and the Professor ate their breakfast of dried bread, and drank some water from a spring. And then they traveled on again.
Sometimes they would come to a little village, or town, and there the Professor would blow his 76brass horn. All the boys and girls, and some of the older people, would gather about in a circle. Then George, the big bear, would do his tricks, marching like a soldier, turning somersaults, waltzing, climbing a tree or making believe wrestle with the Professor.
“And the little bears can do tricks, too,” said the Professor to the people. “Come, Beckie—Neddie, climb a pole for the audience!”
Then the little Stubtail bears would stick their claws into a smooth telegraph pole, and up they would go to the very tip-top.
Then you should have heard the children laugh and shout, and clap their hands. The big people would put pennies in the hat of the Professor, and some of the children would run in their houses and get slices of bread, or maybe an apple or something else good to eat to give to the bears. For George, the big fellow, as well as Beckie and Neddie were kind, gentle and tame bears, you know. They would hurt no one.
But when it came night they had gotten nothing like a Thanksgiving dinner, nor did they have any invitati............
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