Tall Tales

The Fisherman and the Bear

A Maine Tall Tale 

retold by

S.E. Schlosser 

One fine day an old Maine man was fishing and fishing on his favorite lake and catching nary a thing. Finally, he gave up and walked back along the shore to his fishing shack. When he got close to the front door, he saw it was open. Being of a suspicious nature, he walked to the door quietly and looked inside. There was a big black bear. It was just pulling the cork out of his molasses jug with its teeth. The molasses spilled all over the floor and the bear rubbed his paw in it, smearing it all over.

Well, the old man was not the timid sort. He went to the back of the shack, put his head in the window and gave a loud yell. The bear jumped and ran out the door. It was running strangely. The old man saw that the bear was holding up the foot covered with molasses so it wouldn't get dirty.

The bear ran to the lake shore. Standing on its hind legs, it held up the paw full of molasses. Soon all the flies and bugs and mosquitoes were swarming all over the sticky sweet paw. Then the bear waded into the water with his sticky paw full of bugs. It held the paw out over the water. Suddenly, a big trout came jumping out of the water trying to get to the flies. The bear gave it a swat and it flew to the shore and flopped there. Then another fish jumped into the air after the flies, followed swiftly by another. Every time a fish jumped after his paw, the bear cuffed it ashore. Soon it had a large pile.

Finally, the bear decided he had enough fish and waded to shore. The bear had caught a mess of fish any fisherman would envy. The old man had caught nothing. He watched that bear eat half a dozen trout, his stomach rumbling. All he had for dinner was some bread and what was left of the molasses. Finally the bear paused in his eating, and looked over to the bushes where the old man was hidden. The bear stood up and laid the remaining fish in a row. Then it walked away up the shore. It kept looking back at the bushes where the old man stood.

The old man crept out of the bushes and down to the shore. Sure enough, the bear had left six large trout for him. He looked over at the bear. It was standing at the edge of the wood watching. "Thanks a lot," the old man called to the bear. The bear waved the now-clean paw at the old man and disappeared into the thicket. "Well," said the old man, "That's the first time a bear has ever paid me for my molasses."

The old man never hunted bears again.



Lol , i like this story .... i wonder what old man made up this tall tale ?

i like this one.. my family loves to fish so this story strikes home about sharing..!!! even the fish you caught

its propbably nt 100% true but i like it,it has a lesson within it....nice one

nice story....

awwwwwwwwwww the bear helped him!!!!!!!!!=)=)=)=)


pretty funny;)

that was cool! =D

ha ha funny, i wish i could write one too.


Its rather silly becouse real bears dont really give there fish to hunters. And hunters dont watch bears eat fish.:-)

lol pretty funny(=

it was cooooooooooooooooooool

that was sooooo cute! and way funny! that Bear was super smart,I cant believe it

awwwwww sooo adorible !

that bear was sooo smart I bet that bear had a good meal

i'm sure if the bear wouldn't have shared his fish that fisherman would have don the same thing the bear did to get his fish the next day

Thats how we learned 'fly fishing'.

it was awesome!!!!!!!!! :)

Kool:) i bet now a days a bear would eat u and the fish.

i like that the bear was nice its cute.


So adorable!!!!!!! Luv it!!!! Lol

I like this story

that made my dad laff

it was cool

I think that the story is really cute. Even though a bear would just attack the hunter, and not leave fish for him. :}

this story is the bomb diggity!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good story mate

haha funny

loved it it was a awsome story right ????

lol,smart bear

awesome thats nice

lol it is awsome

this story is sooooooooooooooo cool!!!!!

It's a really cute story:) If only animals really behaved that way.

This is super cute (:

love this story!good moral! =)

thats cool

lol sooooooo awesome! the bear is super smart

wow funny..but how I wish the fisherman was also eaten by that voraceous bear..it could be more interesting

That was awesome my grandpa gave a bear some malasas but shot it:(

OMG!that is too funny....I wonder how many people have put molasses on there feet so they can catch fish!

i luv it

if i were the bear i would eat the old man lol !

Good one. My daughter like it as I read it to her.

wow good story

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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