One night the bear and the squirrel were sitting by a small stream. The bear was fishing. He caught a fish and threw it on the shore. The bear and the squirrel were sitting on the riverbank, eating the fish, when the bear said to the squirrel:
'We're living in harmony although we're actually not that well suited to each other. You're little and cannot do the work I can. For I can fish, you see. No matter how hard you tried, you'd never be able to catch a single fish. And you're also stupid and don't always do the right thing.'
The squirrel began to argue against this. She listed all the things she could do. The two friends ended up having a heated argument. In the end the squirrel said: What's the point of arguing about this? Let's think of something we can use to decide which one of us is smarter. For example, from which direction does the sun rise in the morning?
The bear pointed in the correct direction of sunrise. The squirrel immediately argued against this. The sun rises from the other side, she claimed, pointing in the direction from where the moon rises. Which one was correct? The bear and the squirrel decided to sit there through the night and see where the sun would rise. The bear sat down on the side from which the sun rises and the squirrel the side from which the moon rises.
There they were, sitting and waiting. It was getting dark. It became quiet. The little birds stopped their singing. The squirrel began to tease the bear, claiming that the sun was rising from behind him. She decided to fool the bear. The bear knew exactly where the sun would rise and was thinking to himself, quite upset: 'Stupid squirrel, that she'd bother to argue with me. I'll show her who's the clever one here!'
Finally, the moon began to rise over the squirrel's side of the forest. There was not a cloud in the sky so it became light as if it was daytime.
The squirrel exclaimed: 'Look, bear! The sun's rising just as I told you!'
The bear turned to look and, indeed, it was as if the sun was rising! He got very angry at the squirrel. He turned round and tried to catch her. The squirrel managed to wriggle out of his paws, but his claws cut five streaks in her back.
From that day the bear and the squirrel remained separate and were no longer friends. And the squirrel now had stripes on her back in memory of the bear's claws."