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HOME > Short Stories > Neddie and Beckie Stubtail > STORY XVIII MAMMA STUBTAIL’S HONEY CAKES
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 “Oh, mamma!” cried little Neddie Stubtail, the bear cub, as he got ready to go to school one morning. “What is it that smells so good in your kitchen?” “What smells so good?” spoke Mrs. Stubtail, the mamma bear. “Well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the tea kettle boiling.”
“Oh, mamma, you’re joking just as Uncle Wigwag often does,” said Beckie, the little bear girl. “I, too, smell something good. Are you making candy?”
“Now, you children just run along to school and say your lessons,” said Mrs. Stubtail, as she looked to see if there was any stove blacking on her apron. But there was none, I’m glad to say.
“Little bears should be seen and not heard,” said Aunt Piffy, the fat old lady bear, as she came up from down cellar, where she had been looking to see if any dust had gotten in the eyes of the potatoes.
144“Oh, but we smell something good!” cried Neddie. “Do tell us what it is, mamma.”
Then he and his sister Beckie sniffed and snuffed real hard, to try and find out what it was that smelled so good. It was like molasses candy and popcorn and lollypops and ice cream cones, all rolled into one. But Neddie and Beckie could not tell exactly what it was.
Anyhow, the school bell rang just then, and they had to run on to their lessons, so they didn’t have time to find out what it was their mamma was cooking in the kitchen that smelled so nice.
But at noontime, when they came home for dinner, they discovered the secret. Neddie ate up his dessert and then he blinked both his eyes at his sister Beckie. That meant, in bear language:
“Come on outside. I want to talk to you.”
Then Beckie wiggled both her ears and this meant: “All right. I’ll be out in a minute.”
And when Beckie met Neddie outside the house and they were on their way to school, Beckie asked:
“What is it, Neddie? What smelled so good?”
“It’s honey cakes,” said he.
“Honey cakes?” exclaimed Beckie. “Why, we don’t have them until Christmas.”
145“I know,” said Neddie, “but it’s almost Christmas now. Mamma is making a lot of honey cakes. That’s what smelled so good this morning. They’ll be done this afternoon and she’ll put them out on the back steps to cool, as she always does.”
“Well, is that all?” asked Beckie, anxious-like.
“No, not quite,” said Neddie. “When we come home from school you and I will go softly up on the back stoop and we’ll get some of the honey cakes. They’ll be cool by then.”
“Oh, but that’s not right!” cried Beckie, “We can’t eat mamma’s honey cakes without asking her.”
“I didn’t say anything about eating them,” spoke Neddie. “I just said we’d take a few cakes in our paws. Then we’ll go to mamma and say we saw the cakes out on the back stoop, and we’ll ask her if we can eat them. Mind you, we won’t take so much as a smitch of one before we ask her!
“But when she sees we have the cakes of course she’ll let us take a nibble. Even Aunt Piffy would do that. Otherwise we’d never get a honey cake until Christmas. Will you do it?” asked Neddie.
146“Oh, well; yes, I guess so,” said Beckie. “But I’m afraid it isn’t exactly right.”
“Oh, yes, it is,” said Neddie. “Now, come on to school, and when we come home this afternoon we’ll get some honey cakes.”
But I’m afraid, after all, that what Neddie was going to do was not exactly right. However, let us see what happens, as the telephone girl says.
Neddie and Beckie went on to school, but they did not do very well in their lessons, for they were thinking so much about honey cakes. And if they had known that Uncle Wigwag, the old bear gentleman, who was always playing tricks, had heard them talking about what they were going to do, maybe they would not have felt so happy.
For Uncle Wigwag, hiding behind a stump, had heard just what Neddie and Beckie had planned to do to get some honey cakes. And the old joking gentleman bear said to himself:
“Now, I’ll play a joke on those children. It isn’t right for them to do that, and I’ll teach them a lesson.”
So he went out on the back steps, where the pans of honey cakes were cooling. Honey cakes, you know, are made from honey and sugar and other sweet things, and are very good. 147Little bear ch............
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