All this time the mowing-machine kept up a click-clack-click-clack! And Cuffy thought that he had better get out of sight. So he plunged into the forest and started toward home. He felt very uncomfortable, for he began to wonder whether he would ever get rid of that troublesome pot. What puzzled him most was this thought: How would he ever be able to eat again, with that horrid thing over his nose? Cuffy was very fond of riddles; but here was one that he did not like at all.
When he reached home his father and mother and Silkie all laughed so hard at the sight of him that Cuffy began to whimper. And a big tear rolled from each eye, ran down the bean-pot, and dropped off the bottom of it.
And then, with just one tug Mr. Bear pulled the bean-pot off his son’s nose; and Cuffy was himself again.
He escaped a punishing, too, that time. And Mrs. Bear was very glad to get such a nice iron pot. She had wanted one for a long time.
HUNTING FOR A BEE-TREE
It was a very hot summer’s day. Even up on Blue Mountain Cuffy Bear felt the heat. And he wished that he might get rid of his thick coat. But though Cuffy was beginning to believe himself a very wise little bear, he could think of no way to slip off his heavy black fur. So he sat down in the shade of a big tree, where the breeze blew upon him, and tried to be as cool as he could.
Except when he was asleep it was not often that Cuffy was still for so long. But now he sat motionless for some time, with his bright red tongue hanging out of his mouth like a dog’s. Yes, he was quite still—all but his little, beady, bright eyes. They kept moving about all the time. And they saw many things, for something or other is always happening in the forest.
Cuffy saw a gray squirrel stick its head up from the crotch of a tree nearby and peep at him. And he watched a wary old crow as he rested high in a tree-top and cawed a greeting to some of his friends who were flying past on their way to Farmer Green’s cornfield. And Cuffy noticed a bee as it lighted on a wild-flower right in front of him and sucked the sweetness out of it. But Cuffy didn’t pay much attention to that. And since he soon began to feel cooler he was just wondering what he would do next when it occurred to him that several bees had lighted upon the flowers near him, and that they had all flown off in the same direction.
All at once Cuffy forgot how hot and uncomfortable he had been; for now he was wondering if those bees weren’t all of them flying home to make honey out of the sweet juices they had drawn from the flowers. And if they were—and if he could only follow them—then he would find the tree where they lived and he could have all the honey he wanted to eat.
So Cuffy followed on a little way in the direction in which the bees had disappeared. And then he sat down again and waited and watched very carefully.