Bruin is an unreliable beast! For hardly had the last issue of Nature Notes been taken from the mimeograph when signs of his presence -- footprints in the snow about the garbage dump some distance from Longmire -- were noted. At least one or two of the more adventuresome scalawags had decided that he had had enough rest for the winter. No doubt the garbage dump will keep these first ones occupied for a time -- we hope so at any rate for, with considerable snow upon the ground, there isn't much in the way of filling material for their apparently cavernous stomachs.
The sketch on this page pictures a she bear with two cubs and, though it may give one the impression that such is a more or less common sight now that the bear are beginning to emerge from hibernation for the season, such is not the case as yet. We will not see cubs for quite some time. The she bears keep their helpless offspring close to their birthplace -- which may be a hollow tree or some similar location -- until they are able to get about and compete in a rudimentary manner with the ways of the cold, cruel world. Of course it is an old story to those who know the ways of bears but to many it is an item of never ceasing interest when they are informed that the bear at birth is one of the smallest of all mammals - in proportion to its mature size - weighing about eight or nine ounces. Those tiny cubs are naturally helpless and naked and so it is generally some two months or so before we see them trotting about after their mother. Then they are able to get about and their education in the business of getting their living begins, and their chubby, furred bodies and mischievous minds attracts interest from every quarter.
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