158 THE WICKED WOLVERINE
only answered: ' I think you had better stay here till it is done, and if there is any alteration needed I can make it.' So the wolverine sat down on a heap of dry ferns, and, picking up the apple, he finished it without even asking the mouse's leave.
At last the coat was ready, and the wolverine put it on.
' Yes, it fits very well,' said he, ' and you have sewn it very neatly. When I pass this way again I will bring you a handful of corn, as a reward'; and he ran off as smart as ever, leaving the mouse quite grateful behind him.
He wandered about for many days, till he reached a place where food was very scarce, and for a whole week he went without any. He was growing desperate, when he suddenly came upon a bear that was lying asleep. ' Ah ! here is food at last!' thought he ; but how was he to kill the bear, who was so much bigger than himself ? It was no use to try force, he must invent some cunning plan which would get her into his power. At last, after thinking hard, he decided upon something, and going up to the bear, he exclaimed : ' Is that you, my sister ? '
The bear turned round and saw the wolverine, and murmuring to herself, so low that nobody could hear, ' I never heard before that I had a brother,' got up and ran quickly to a tree, up which she climbed. Now the wolverine was very angry when he saw his dinner vanishing in front of him, especially as he could not climb trees like the bear, so he followed, and stood at the foot of the tree, shrieking as loud as he could, ' Come down, sister; our father has sent me to look for you! You were lost when you were a little girl and went out picking berries, and it was only the other day that we heard from a beaver where you were.' At these words, the bear came a little way down the tree, and the wolverine, seeing this, went on :
' Are you not fond of berries ? I am ! And I know a