The Travelers and the Bear

Two men, travelling through a forest, agreed
To stand by each other in all times of need.
They had not gone far, though the day was quite fair,
When they saw in their path a fierce-looking bear.
One man—nimble fellow—climbed up a tree,
The other, much stouter and wiser than he,
Concluded to lay himself flat on the ground,
And the fierce bear soon came smelling around.
The man kept quite still, and the bear thought him dead,
Left him unhurt and to the woods quickly sped.
All danger over, the coward came down,
And said to the man who yet lay on the ground:
"Pray, what did that huge bear whisper in your ear,
While I in the treetop was trembling with fear?"
"He told me hereafter to have nothing to do
With a mean, contemptible coward like you."
In this forest called life, you cannot depend
In times of great danger on an untried friend.

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