Norwegian fairy tale from Asbjørnsen and Moe's collections. The original ("Hvorfor bjørnen er stubbrumpet") was found at Project Runeberg and was translated into English by me for E2. Enjoy!


The bear met the fox, who came along with a bunch of fish he had stolen.

"Where did you get that?" asked the bear.

"I've been fishing, mister bear!" answered the fox.

Then the bear wanted to learn how to fish as well, and asked the fox to teach him.

"It's an easy art," said the fox, "and it's fast to learn. Just go out on the ice, chop yourself a hole, and stick your rump in; and keep it in as long as you can. Don't worry if it stings a bit; it's just the fish biting; the longer you can keep it in, the more fish you get. And when you're done, pull it out as fast as you can!"

Yes, the bear did as he was told, and kept his rump in the water for a long, long time, until it was stuck in ice; then he pulled it out as fast as he could, tearing his tail off, and still to this day he walks around with no tail.


More fairy tales here!