Snow blew around the two
raccoons. Their gray fur coats were crusty and stiff with chunks of frozen
ice. "Iím freezing," Ian whined. "M-m-m-m-my paws are cold. I can
h-h-h-h-h-h-hardly feel them!" he shivered.
"Itís not that cold," Mac
said, trying to convince Ian and himself that was true. His paws were
nearly blue with the cold. Ice was caked around the patches of his eyes.
His tail was so heavy that he had to drag it behind him as he walked
"Right now, I wish I was
sitting on a beach in the Spain, where itís warm," Ian dreamed. "Where are
we going anyway?"
"Youíre the one who wanted
to go ice skating, remember? Weíre nearly to the loch. I know thereís a
small cave close to it. We can thaw there," he snidely remarked.
They trudged through the
deep snow, having to raise their legs high with each step. After another
half an hour, they reached the loch. "There it is, Loch Mirey," Mac
Ian stopped and looked.
"Wow, itís big. I see others ice-skating. Letís go," he now said,
enthusiastically. He started to run and looked quite silly to Mac. "Iíll
beat you there," he called out.
Mac let Ian run ahead. He
was in no hurry. When they got closer to the frozen loch, Mac went in
search of the cave while Ian ran towards the ice. "Look, Mac," he cried
out. He was gliding across the frozen water. "Wheeeeeeee!"
Mac shook his head. He was
too cold to skate right now. He looked around, moving bushes, and brushing
snow off the boulders. "Aha!" he called. He found the entrance to the
cave. He used his paws to knock all the snow off that was clinging to the
cold stone boulder. He stuck his head inside. It was very dark and he
couldnít see a thing. Putting his arms out in front of him, he felt his
way inside and sat down, his furry back against the cave wall. Rubbing his
arms and legs, Mac already started to feel warmer. He could hear Ian
outside making all kinds of noise. As Mac sat there he thought he could
hear breathing noises. He listened carefully. "Whatís that noise?" he
He stood up and went back
further into the cave. Suddenly he stepped something soft. Bending down,
Mac felt what heíd stood on. It was wide, soft, warm, and furry. Just then
he heard it, a growl. A pair of eyes glowed in the darkness. "YIKES!" Mac
screamed and ran out of the cave. "A bear! A bear!" He ran through the
snow onto the frozen loch. It had stopped snowing and the sun had actually
come out, shining on the ice and nearly blinding Mac. On top of that, he
didnít know how to ice-skate. Mac began to slip. He slid across the lake.
Ian saw him and started clapping, not realizing the danger. "Very good,
Mac. I didnít think you knew how to skate."
"A bear! A bear!" Mac
Just then Ian noticed the
big brown bear coming out of the cave. It looked very angry and was
growling and heading towards the loch.
"Here it comes," Mac
warned. "Help me, Ian," he begged.
Ian skated over towards
Mac. He took his hand and they skated across the loch. The bear climbed
onto the ice. It began to slide. It had been hibernating and its paws were
very soft and that wasnít good at all for ice-skating. The bear fell on
its tummy. All four legs spread out to the side and as hard as it tried,
it couldnít get up.
After watching the helpless
bear and feeling a little bit cheeky, Ian said, "Stay here, Mac. Iím going
to tell that bear what I think of it."
"No, Ian, Donít," Mac
pleaded but it was too late. Ian was skating towards the floundering bear.
Ian skated circles around
the bear. It tried to get up and a few times succeeded, only to fall again
on its tummy. Ian started laughing and pointing at the bear, moving closer
and closer. He started showing off a bit too, doing tricks on the ice. In
fact he was doing so much showing off that he didnít notice that the bear
had figured out how to stand on the ice and was slowly moving towards him.
Mac noticed though. "Ian. Watch out!" he screamed.
Ian turned around and
looked at the bear. It was only a few feet from him and very angry with
the raccoon. Ian quickly skated into the middle of the loch and watched to
see if the bear was going to fall or not. It didnít. It moved closer and
closer. Ian was about to take off towards Mac when he noticed that his
long tail had fallen into a crack in the ice. It was wedged in there and
he couldnít get it out. He tugged and tugged. "Help me, Mac!" he cried.
Mac started to move on the ice but slipped and fell. The bear was moving
Frantically Ian pulled at
his tail. It wouldnít budge. The bear was right next to Ian and about to
swat at him with his big paws when suddenly the ice made some cracking
noises. The bear was too big and the ice was breaking under his heavy
weight. Suddenly it split wide open and the bear fell into the icy water
of the deep loch. Ianís tail came free and he skated across the ice,
helped Mac stand up, and the two of them ran as fast as they could until
they were safe in forest of tall pines.
The raccoons watched
carefully as the bear climbed out of the water, back onto the ice, and
went back to the cave, shivering and cold. "I think that will be the last
time weíll be going ice skating," Mac said.
Ian looked at him and
sighed, "I donít know about that. That was kind of fun!"
Mac just shook his head and
walked towards home.