When Omnok returned from hunting Big White Bear he sat down and began to think. “White bears about,” he thought to himself. “There must be white foxes about too, for they always stay close to white bears. I must go out and set some traps.” And that is just what he did the very next evening. He threw the cruel looking traps, with their ugly steel jaws, over his shoulder and went out to look for a good place to set them. At last he came to a place where there were many white bear tracks.
“I guess this will do,” he said to himself. He took out his great knife and cut out a cake of snow that was nearly as hard as ice. He cut this up into four little snow boards, very square and very smooth. Then he made a little hole in the snow and put a trap there. Next he made a thin shingle of snow,–so thin that the least touch would break it right in two. He put this over the trap and smoothed it over so carefully that no one in all the world could tell there was a trap hidden there.
Then he made a little house over it with the four boards,–a very fine looking house with a roof and three sides, and with one side left open for the door. He put some nice pieces of meat inside of the house, so when any little fox came to live there he wouldn’t have to go away hungry.
Finally he spilled a few drops of delicious smelling seal oil around the house and went away.
Now who should happen by that way, almost right away, but our own Little White Fox, looking, looking everywhere for Big White Bear. Right away the west wind blew a little whiff of the rich seal oil in front of his nose, and almost before he knew it, Little White Fox was standing in front of the little house that Omnok built, wondering how it came there and how there happened to be such delicious looking meat inside of it.
He wasn’t quite sure it was safe to go inside, so he just licked up all the drops of seal oil around the outside. It was very good, but it was only a taste, and it made him hungrier than ever.
“I just believe I am going to have that meat!” he said to himself. He was about to put his paw on the little snow shingle that was so thin and would break so easily, when he heard a great, gruff voice right behind him.
“Here! What you doing there?” Little White Fox just tumbled a back somersault away from the little house and ran as fast as ever he could, for there, right behind him, was Big White Bear! It’s one thing to be looking for some one very much larger than yourself, but quite another thing for that big person to be looking at you.
Little White Fox didn’t take any chances. But when he was a long distance away, and Big White Bear wasn’t following him, he turned around to see what would happen to the little house. He wished Big White Bear would go away, so he could get all that delicious meat.
But Big White Bear did not go away. He bent his long neck and put his great nose right up to the little house and gave a great “Woof!” The little house was far too small for Big White Bear to enter, so he put out one of his ponderous, powerful paws and sent the little house flying every way. But his ponderous, powerful paw went too deep. It touched the thin shingle, and Snap! the trap came down on Big White Bear’s paw. Came down hard too! Ow-e-e-e! How it did hurt! How Big White Bear roared! One might have thought he was being killed!
He ran limping to the ocean, dragging the little fox trap after him. When he got there, he stuck his paw up in the air, and moved it round and round, round and round, till the chain on the trap went Ziz! Ziz! Ziz! just like that. All of a sudden the trap came loose and tumbled into the sea, and I think Steadfast Starfish’s children are playing with it still.
Little White Fox ran straight home to tell his mother how he had found Big White Bear and all the things that had happened.
“Well,” said his mother, “I think Big White Bear has found you, and I am sure it is a good thing he did!” Then she sat down and told Little White Fox all about the dangers of nice smelling meat and the little houses that Omnok builds.
Look up and define these words:
- Trap —
- Shingle –
- Steadfast -–
- Ponderous -–
YOUR REACTIONS TO THE CHAPTER
In this chapter, Omnok the hunter sets a steel trap for an arctic fox by hiding it under the snow and ends up catching Big White Bear instead. Back in the early 1900s when “Little White Fox and His Arctic Friends” was written, trapping animals was fairly common. Now it’s not widely practiced because many people believe it’s a cruel form of hunting. Those that trap say it helps them get food to eat and fur to wear. What do you think? Is trapping necessary or is it cruel? Write down your thoughts or draw a picture about trapping. When you’re done e-mail it to us at email@example.com or mail it to us.
Our address is: Junior Dispatch, 205 North George St., York, Pa. 17401
YOUR VIDEOS FOR TODAY
Learn the trappers’ code of ethics: http://youtu.be/0iCCuvPXNXo
In this video, a barn owl is accidentally caught in a steel trap: http://youtu.be/70z_atDsqe4Read More