The Travelers and the Bear

052. THE TRAVELLERS AND THE BEAR Two friends were travelling on the same road together when they met with a Bear. The one in great fear without a thought of his companion climbed up into a tree and hid himself. The other, seeing that he had no chance single-handed against the Bear, had nothing left but to throw himself on the ground and feign to be dead, for he had heard that the Bear will never touch a dead body.
As he thus lay, the Bear came up to his head, muzzling and snuffing at his nose and ears and heart, but the man immovably held his breath, and the beast supposing him to be dead, walked away.
When the Bear was fairly out of sight, his companion came down out of the tree, and asked what it was that the Bear whispered to him, “for,” says he, “I observed he put his mouth very close to your ear.”
“Why,” replies the other, “it was no great secret; he only bade me have a care how I kept company with those who, when they get into a difficulty, leave their friends in the lurch.” [more info]

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