Then somebody called his name. Cuffy was so surprised that he looked up, and there was his father standing on the edge of the stream. Cuffy was so glad to see him!
Mr. Bear seemed very cross, but Cuffy did not mind that, he was so glad to see his father.
“Oh, Father! What shall I do?” Cuffy cried.
Mr. Bear said just one word. It was "Jump!"
Cuffy could hardly believe his ears.
"Jump!" said Mr. Bear again.
“I don’t know how to swim,” Cuffy whined.
"Jump, jump, jump!" Mr. Bear repeated very sternly.
Still Cuffy did not jump. He was so afraid of that rushing water!
Then Mr. Bear became very, very angry. He gave a great roar and plunged into the icy water. With a few strong strokes—for Mr. Bear was a fine swimmer—he reached the middle of the river. And as he swam close up to Cuffy he reached out and gave that naughty, frightened little bear a shove that sent him flying into the stream.
Cuffy started to scream. But his shriek was cut off short as he sank, head and all, into the cold, cold river. In another moment his nose came up out of the water. It was only an instant, but to Cuffy it seemed a long, long time before he could breathe again. And now, to his great surprise, he found that he was swimming as well as his father.
Now, little bears are different from little boys and girls. They don’t have to learn to swim. Cuffy didn’t know it. But his father did. That was why Mr. Bear told him to jump. He knew that as soon as Cuffy found himself in the water he could swim as well as anybody.
In another minute Cuffy and his father were safe on the bank, and in another second after that they were running toward home as fast as Cuffy could go, so they wouldn’t take cold, you know.
Cuffy had to go to bed for the rest of the day, as a punishment. And as he lay on his little bed he could hear his father and mother laughing in the next room. He didn’t see how they could laugh. But you know, Cuffy didn’t realize how funny he had looked, floating down the river on the cake of ice.
One day Cuffy Bear and his little sister Silkie had been making sand pies. And now, having grown tired of that, they were squatting down on the ground and had covered their legs with the clean white sand. Perhaps they would have heaped the sand all over themselves, if Silkie had not spied her father as he came climbing up the mountain. When they noticed that he was carrying something they both sprang up and ran to see what Mr. Bear was bringing home.
Mr. Bear’s mouth was stretched quite wide in what Silkie and Cuffy knew to be his most agreeable smile. You and I might not have felt so comfortable if we had looked past Mr. Bear’s great white teeth into his big red mouth. But it was different with Cuffy and Silkie. They saw at once that their father was feeling very pleasant.