There was a bear — his name was Jim,
An' children weren't askeered of him,
An' he lived in a cave, where he
Was confortubbul as could be,
An' in that cave, so my Pa said,
Jim always kept a stock of bread
An' honey, so that he could treat
The boys an' girls along his street.
An' all that Jim could say was 'Woof!'
An' give a grunt that went like 'Soof!'
An' Pa says when his grunt went off
It sounded jus' like Grandpa's cough,
Or like our Jerry when he's mad
An' growls at peddler men that's bad.
While grown-ups were afraid of Jim,
Kids could do anything with him.
One day a little boy like me
That had a sister Marjorie,
Was walking through the woods, an' they
Heard something 'woofing' down that way,
An' they was scared an' stood stock still
An' wished they had a gun to kill
Whatever 'twas, but little boys
Don't have no guns that make a noise.
An' soon the 'woofing' closer grew,
An' then a bear came into view,
The biggest bear you ever saw —
Ma's muff was smaller than his paw.
He saw the children an' he said:
'I ain't a-goin' to kill you dead;
You needn't turn away an' run;
I'm only scarin' you for fun.'
An' then he stood up just like those
Big bears in circuses an' shows,
An' danced a jig, an' rolled about
An' said 'Woof! Woof!' which meant 'Look out!'
An' turned a somersault as slick
As any boy can do the trick.
Those children had been told of Jim
An' they decided it was him.
They stroked his nose when they got brave,
An' followed him into his cave,
An' Jim asked them if they liked honey,
They said they did. Said Jim: 'That's funny.
I've asked a thousand boys or so
That question, an' not one's said no.'
What happened then I cannot say
'Cause next I knew 'twas light as day.