The Adventures of Buster Bear Part 1

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The Adventures of Buster Bear is a Webnovel created by Thornton W. Burgess.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

The Adventures of Buster Bear.

by Thornton W. Burgess.



Buster Bear yawned as he lay on his comfortable bed of leaves and watched the first early morning sunbeams creeping through the Green Forest to chase out the Black Shadows. Once more he yawned, and slowly got to his feet and shook himself. Then he walked over to a big pine-tree, stood up on his hind legs, reached as high up on the trunk of the tree as he could, and scratched the bark with his great claws. After that he yawned until it seemed as if his jaws would crack, and then sat down to think what he wanted for breakfast.

While he sat there, trying to make up his mind what would taste best, he was listening to the sounds that told of the waking of all the little people who live in the Green Forest. He heard Sammy Jay way off in the distance screaming, “Thief! Thief!” and grinned. “I wonder,” thought Buster, “if some one has stolen Sammy’s breakfast, or if he has stolen the breakfast of some one else. Probably he is the thief himself.”

He heard Chatterer the Red Squirrel scolding as fast as he could make his tongue go and working himself into a terrible rage. “Must be that Chatterer got out of bed the wrong way this morning,” thought he.

He heard Blacky the Crow cawing at the top of his lungs, and he knew by the sound that Blacky was getting into mischief of some kind. He heard the sweet voices of happy little singers, and they were good to hear.

But most of all he listened to a merry, low, silvery laugh that never stopped but went on and on, until he just felt as if he must laugh too.

It was the voice of the Laughing Brook. And as Buster listened it suddenly came to him just what he wanted for breakfast.

“I’m going fishing,” said he in his deep grumbly-rumbly voice to no one in particular. “Yes, Sir, I’m going fishing. I want some fat trout for my breakfast.”

He shuffled along over to the Laughing Brook, and straight to a little pool of which he knew, and as he drew near he took the greatest care not to make the teeniest, weeniest bit of noise. Now it just happened that early as he was, some one was before Buster Bear. When he came in sight of the little pool, who should he see but another fisherman there, who had already caught a fine fat trout. Who was it? Why, Little Joe Otter to be sure. He was just climbing up the bank with the fat trout in his mouth. Buster Bear’s own mouth watered as he saw it. Little Joe sat down on the bank and prepared to enjoy his breakfast. He hadn’t seen Buster Bear, and he didn’t know that he or any one else was anywhere near.

Buster Bear tiptoed up very softly until he was right behind Little Joe Otter. “Woof, woof!” said he in his deepest, most grumbly-rumbly voice.

“That’s a very fine looking trout. I wouldn’t mind if I had it myself.”

Little Joe Otter gave a frightened squeal and without even turning to see who was speaking dropped his fish and dived headfirst into the Laughing Brook. Buster Bear sprang forward and with one of his big paws caught the fat trout just as it was slipping back into the water.

“Here’s your trout, Mr. Otter,” said he, as Little Joe put his head out of water to see who had frightened him so. “Come and get it.”

[Ill.u.s.tration: “Here’s your trout, Mr. Otter,” said he. _Page 5._]

But Little Joe wouldn’t. The fact is, he was afraid to. He snarled at Buster Bear and called him a thief and everything bad he could think of.

Buster didn’t seem to mind. He chuckled as if he thought it all a great joke and repeated his invitation to Little Joe to come and get his fish.

But Little Joe just turned his back and went off down the Laughing Brook in a great rage.

“It’s too bad to waste such a fine fish,” said Buster thoughtfully. “I wonder what I’d better do with it.” And while he was wondering, he ate it all up. Then he started down the Laughing Brook to try to catch some for himself.



Little Joe Otter was in a terrible rage. It was a bad beginning for a beautiful day and Little Joe knew it. But who wouldn’t be in a rage if his breakfast was taken from him just as he was about to eat it? Anyway, that is what Little Joe told Billy Mink. Perhaps he didn’t tell it quite exactly as it was, but you know he was very badly frightened at the time.

“I was sitting on the bank of the Laughing Brook beside one of the little pools,” he told Billy Mink, “and was just going to eat a fat trout I had caught, when who should come along but that great big bully, Buster Bear. He took that fat trout away from me and ate it just as if it belonged to him! I hate him! If I live long enough I’m going to get even with him!”

Of course that wasn’t nice talk and anything but a nice spirit, but Little Joe Otter’s temper is sometimes pretty short, especially when he is hungry, and this time he had had no breakfast, you know.

Buster Bear hadn’t actually taken the fish away from Little Joe. But looking at the matter as Little Joe did, it amounted to the same thing.

You see, Buster knew perfectly well when he invited Little Joe to come back and get it that Little Joe wouldn’t dare do anything of the kind.

“Where is he now?” asked Billy Mink.

“He’s somewhere up the Laughing Brook. I wish he’d fall in and get drowned!” snapped Little Joe.

Billy Mink just had to laugh. The idea of great big Buster Bear getting drowned in the Laughing Brook was too funny. There wasn’t water enough in it anywhere except down in the Smiling Pool, and that was on the Green Meadows, where Buster had never been known to go. “Let’s go see what he is doing,” said Billy Mink.

At first Little Joe didn’t want to, but at last his curiosity got the better of his fear, and he agreed. So the two little brown-coated scamps turned down the Laughing Brook, taking the greatest care to keep out of sight themselves. They had gone only a little way when Billy Mink whispered: “Sh-h! There he is.”

Sure enough, there was Buster Bear sitting close beside a little pool and looking into it very intently.

“What’s he doing?” asked Little Joe Otter, as Buster Bear sat for the longest time without moving.

Just then one of Buster’s big paws went into the water as quick as a flash and scooped out a trout that had ventured too near.

“He’s fishing!” exclaimed Billy Mink.

And that is just what Buster Bear was doing, and it was very plain to see that he was having great fun. When he had eaten the trout he had caught, he moved along to the next little pool.

“They are _our_ fish!” said Little Joe fiercely. “He has no business catching _our_ fish!”

“I don’t see how we are going to stop him,” said Billy Mink.

“I do!” cried Little Joe, into whose head an idea had just popped. “I’m going to drive all the fish out of the little pools and muddy the water all up. Then we’ll see how many fish he will get! Just you watch me get even with Buster Bear.”

Little Joe slipped swiftly into the water and swam straight to the little pool that Buster Bear would try next. He frightened the fish so that they fled in every direction. Then he stirred up the mud until the water was so dirty that Buster couldn’t have seen a fish right under his nose. He did the same thing in the next pool and the next. Buster Bear’s fishing was spoiled for that day.



Buster Bear hadn’t enjoyed himself so much since he came to the Green Forest to live. His fun began when he surprised Little Joe Otter on the bank of a little pool in the Laughing Brook and Little Joe was so frightened that he dropped a fat trout he had just caught. It had seemed like a great joke to Buster Bear, and he had chuckled over it all the time he was eating the fat trout. When he had finished it, he started on to do some fishing himself.

Presently he came to another little pool. He stole up to it very, very softly, so as not to frighten the fish. Then he sat down close to the edge of it and didn’t move. Buster learned a long time ago that a fisherman must be patient unless, like Little Joe Otter, he is just as much at home in the water as the fish themselves, and can swim fast enough to catch them by chasing them. So he didn’t move so much as an eye lash. He was so still that he looked almost like the stump of an old tree. Perhaps that is what the fish thought he was, for pretty soon, two or three swam right in close to where he was sitting. Now Buster Bear may be big and clumsy looking, but there isn’t anything that can move much quicker than one of those big paws of his when he wants it to. One of them moved now, and quicker than a wink had scooped one of those foolish fish out on to the bank.

Buster’s little eyes twinkled, and he smacked his lips as he moved on to the next little pool, for he knew that it was of no use to stay longer at the first one. The fish were so frightened that they wouldn’t come back for a long, long time. At the next little pool the same thing happened. By this time Buster Bear was in fine spirits. It was fun to catch the fish, and it was still more fun to eat them. What finer breakfast could any one have than fresh-caught trout? No wonder he felt good! But it takes more than three trout to fill Buster Bear’s stomach, so he kept on to the next little pool.

But this little pool, instead of being beautiful and clear so that Buster could see right to the bottom of it and so tell if there were any fish there, was so muddy that he couldn’t see into it at all. It looked as if some one had just stirred up all the mud at the bottom.

“Huh!” said Buster Bear. “It’s of no use to try to fish here. I would just waste my time. I’ll try the next pool.”

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