The Old Man and the Bear

The old man went to the forest to sow some turnip seeds. He plowed and worked hard. Then the bear came up:

“Old man, I’ll break your back.”

“Don’t break my back, good bear, let’s sow the turnips together instead. I’ll just take the roots, you can have all the tops.”

“So be it,” the bear said. “But if you try to trick me, don’t you dare show yourself in my forest!”

Having said this, he went away deep into the forest.

The turnips grew to good size. In the fall, the old man arrived to harvest the turnips. No sooner did he reach the field that the bear came out of the forest.

“Old man, let’s divide up the turnips, give me my share.”

“All right good bear, let’s share: you take the tops, I take the roots.”

The old man gave all the greens to the bear, and loaded all the turnips in the cart and took it to the city to sell it.

The bear came towards him.

“Old man, where are you going?”

“I’m going to the city, good bear, to sell the roots.”

“Let me taste those roots.”

The old man gave the bear a turnip. No sooner had the bear eaten the turnip that he roared:

“Aahrgh! Old man, you tricked me! Your roots are sweet! Now don’t you dare fetch wood from the forest, or I’ll break your back!”

The following year, the old man sowed rye in that same field. When he returned to harvest it, the bear was waiting for him.

“You won’t fool me twice, old man, give me my share!”

The old man said: “So be it. Take the roots, good bear, and I’ll just take the tops.”

They harvested the rye. The old man gave the roots to the bear, and loaded the rye into his cart and took it home.

The bear tried to chew on the roots this way, and that way, but got nothing out of them.

He became very angry at the old man, and from then on, there was great enmity between bears and men.

Posted by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

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