A close family who has found themselves stranded on an
island after a shipwreck - By J. D. Wyss

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four paces from the bears, we discharged our pistols directly at their heads. The huge animals gave a groan, and then fell back motionless on the sand.
We remained some time dumb with astonish­ment. Our dogs, covered with wounds, were still tearing the bears as if they were alive. Jack was the first to sing out victory, and he brought back poor Ernest, who still trembled all over. I asked him how he had come across the bears. He answered, with tears in his eyes, that he had run on before us in order to frighten Jack, by imitating the growling of bears, and his terror when he found his jest trans­formed into a reality was overwhelming.
The moral was so obvious that I did not call attention to it. A minute's silence followed, then Jack remarked that the presence of bears in a country so warm was rather extraordinary.
' I cannot explain it to you,' said I.
During this time the boys had approached the two animals. They passed their hands over the long line of sharp teeth, with which their jaws were furnished, raised their huge paws armed with terrible claws, and admired their shaggy coats.
We took the precaution before leaving, to draw the two carcasses into the cave, and cover them with thorn bushes, to keep off all carnivorous beasts and
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