Back in the old days, Bear had a long tail like Fox. Since Fox likes to fool others, he decided to play a trick on Bear.
One day Fox was carrying a long string of fish that he had stolen. When Bear saw Fox, he asked, "Where did you get those fine fish? They look delicious."
"I went fishing and caught them," said Fox. "Do you want me to show you how to fish?"
Bear had never fished before. He had only had fish that others had given him. He loved fish and wanted to learn how to catch them.
Fox took Bear to the cold icy lake and said, "Cut a hole in the ice and stick your tail in the hole. Soon the fish will begin to bite. When you can't stand the cold any longer, pull out your tail and it will be covered with fish. The longer you leave your tail in the water, the more fish you will catch."
Bear did exactly what Fox told him to do. He left his tail in the freezing lake a very, very long time. It was a long enough time for the ice to freeze around Bear's tail. When he finally pulled his tail out, most of it stayed stuck in the ice. And that is why bears today have short tails.