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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY XI BECKIE AND THE MONKEY
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 Many things happened to Neddie and Beckie Stubtail, the little bear boy and girl, while they stayed with the circus man in the barn where they had their Thanksgiving dinner. Oh many, many things happened, but I have only room to tell you of a few of them. The two little bears cubs had been in the circus barn about a week, and though they liked it very much, and, though George, the tame trained bear, and his master, the Professor, and the other man, and the elephant and the lions and tigers were all very kind to Neddie and Beckie, they began to wish they were home.
“I—I’m sort of sorry we ran away,” said Beckie one morning, as she put a new dress on her rubber doll, Mary Ann Puddingstick Clothespin. It was only her own pocket handkerchief that Beckie used for a doll’s dress, but it did very well for all that.
“I guess I’m a bit sorry, too,” said Neddie. 90“We have learned some tricks, to be sure, and I can turn a somersault almost as good as George can, but still it isn’t as much fun as I though it would be.”
“I guess running away never is,” said Beckie.
“But we have had some fun,” went on Neddie.
“Do you mean the time you did the trick of climbing the pole here in the barn, and it toppled over with you and the elephant had to hold it up?” asked Beckie. “Was that fun?”
“I was too scared to think it was funny, but it might have been jolly for the others,” laughed Neddie.
Then the two little bear children, who had run away from their home in the cave-house on the side of the hill, walked around the circus barn. They listened to the lions having their roaring lessons, in which the seals, who juggled rubber balls on the ends of their noses, also joined. Then Neddie and Beckie looked at the tall giraffes take a lesson in picking oranges off the top rafters of the barn, and at the hippopotamus, who had to have his sore throat looked at by Dr. Possum, who always attended the sick circus animals.
“My! You have a very sore throat,” said Dr. Possum to the hippopotamus when he had looked at it. The hippo opened his mouth so wide that 91Dr. Possum could get right inside, which he did, sitting on the hippo’s tongue in order to see better. “Yes, a very sore throat,” went on Dr. Possum. “You must gargle it.”
So he gave the hippo some medicine, and the hippo gargled his throat and really he made such a funny noise, like thunder, doing it that Beckie and Neddie had to laugh. And that made the hippo sneeze so that he could not gargle.
“When are we going out traveling around again?” asked Neddie of the Professor and George. “Are we always going to stay here with the circus animals?”
“No, indeed,” answered the Professor as he blew a nice tune on his brass horn. “But it is getting too cold for traveling now, and sleeping out in the woods. Besides, all the children are saving up their pennies for Christmas, and they will not drop any in my cap when I go around after George has done his tricks.
“So I think we will stay with the kind circus man and his pets for some time—at least until it gets warmer. Meanwhile, Neddie, I want to show you a new trick that you can do with George. I’ll have you ride on his shoulders, carrying a broom, and I think that will make the people laugh, and when people laugh they give you more pennies than otherwise.”
92“Oh, goodie! I’m going to learn another trick!” cried Neddie in delight. Then the Professor took the little bear boy off to one side of the barn, near the place where the elephants slept in the hay, and, with the big, kind, tame bear, George, they practiced the new trick, the Professor blowing a tooting-toot-toot-tune on his brass horn every once in a while.
This left Beckie to play by herself, but she was not lonesome, for she had her rubber doll to take care of, and she could watch the hippo gargle his big red flannel throat, and she looked at the monkeys doing tricks in their cages.
Beckie was not very lonesome. But perhaps if she and Neddie could have seen what was going on back in their cave-house by the hill, they would have run to their papa and mamma as fast as their legs would take them, for Mr. and Mrs. Stubtail were very lonesome for their children. So was Aunt Piffy, the fat bear lady, and also Uncle Wigwag and Mr. Whitewash, the polar bear.
“If my children do not soon come home to me,” said Mrs. Stubtail, wiping her eyes on her apron, “I don’t know what I shall do.”
“I know,” said Mr. Whitewash, “Uncle Wiggily Long............
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